march for babies blog
The Washington Monument in the background, families and friends gathered and the sun shining – combined, these pieces make for a perfect March for Babies day! The DC event was a great success, with local residents showing up in full force to walk around our Nation’s Capitol so that one day every baby is born healthy.
As you avid readers know, Kerri Strug came out to the event and was able to spend some time with our top youth walker in the area, Maggie. Kerri got a few fundraising tips from superstar Maggie. And Maggie, who hadn’t reached her goal yet, sent another ask with photos from her day at March for Babies and hit her goal, raising $3015!
From family teams to high school volunteers to some of our favorite athletes including Kerri and Brian Mitchell, the day was all about people coming together to support the March of Dimes and healthy babies. I had a fabulous time at my 11th March for Babies, and I hope you did too! Tell us all about it.
And if you happen to be walking in San Antonio this weekend, keep your eyes out for American Idol former contestant and local Team Youth Ambassador Haley Scarnato. She’ll be making an appearance at the San Antonio March for Babies!
So, we’ve been around for awhile. And it struck me just how long when I read the great-granddaughter of the first March of Dimes president is speaking at the Winchester, VA, March for Babies. The walk is this Saturday.
Karen Drury will be talking about her great-grandfather Basil O’Connor’s many accomplishments. She was interviewed by NV Daily and said this about her work for the March of Dimes: “I think I’m going to be doing a lot for them. My great-grandfather was all about volunteerism. This is my way of keeping his memory alive.”
Basil O’Connor signed up as president of the March of Dimes in 1938 – the end of the Depression. People were feeling the pinch just like we are now, worse even. Still, they gave what they can – sending in their dimes. We’re counting on America once again!
“We can all volunteer,” said Karen. “We can all do our part.”
Wendy Sledd, Central PA’s board chair (who also happens to be Mrs. Pennsylvania) joined John Bricker on the stage at the Harrisburg March for Babies.
It was a wet day. But that didn’t keep the crowd away! Harrisburg had a record turnout and went way over their goal!
John, by the way, is a team captain. His team raised a modest $31,000. Kidding, that’s amazing! And of that money, he raised $30,000 himself! Go John! And go Central PA Family Teams!!!
Thank you for sharing those photos and stories! Keep sending them in and we’ll post them here.
Magdalena Roberts was born to Noah and Julie of Clinton, MS on August 6, 2008. She was diagnosed with T-18 or Edwards Syndrome at just 20 weeks gestation.
The Roberts were getting ready for March for Babies and planned to speak at their kickoff on January 15, 2009. Unfortunately, Magdalena passed away just days earlier. Her family had 5 wonderful months of memories together. Magdalena’s funeral was the very hour of our Luncheon. Julie was determined to spread the word about sweet Magdalena so her boss came to the kickoff to deliver Julie’s speech.
Julie asked that everyone wear pink on the day of the funeral. She was sent pictures from all over the world of people in pink honoring Magdalena.
The Magdalena’s Feet Family Team participated in The Tri County March for Babies in Ridgeland, MS on May 2, 2009. An impressive 200+ walkers showed up on May 2 to celebrate the life of Magdalena. And 85 more people joined the team online and walked in 14 states. Noah and Julie’s family and friends raised more than $16,000 for March for Babies.
The Roberts are expecting a baby boy in early Fall. Follow their blog to see how everyone’s doing.
If you have a successful Family Team story you want to share with us, or even just a great picture, please do!
Michael Hall is the March of Dimes National Ambassador Dad. Every time Michael speaks out about prematurity to raise money for the mission, he lights up with joy and pride talking about his wife, Ashley, and daughter, Katelyn. Michael is leading Team Katelyn to victory for March for Babies. And, oh yeah, Michael was also named Dad of the Month by iParenting.
Want to know what this volunteer dad extraordinaire is doing for Mother’s Day? Michael is shopping online to benefit the cause! Flowers, photos, jewelry and more. Take a few more steps for babies – get something for your mom! Or, is your mom the mom who has everything and is also allergic to flowers, just donate in her honor – it’s a priceless gift of love and hope.
Our social media leading volunteer, Dylan Conn, volunteered at his local March for Babies event. We interviewed him to find out about his experience as an on-the-ground volunteer.
Allison & Kaylen: What motivated you to volunteer & participate in March for Babies?
Dylan: I may be known for the work I do for the March of Dimes online, but this weekend I experienced “the real deal” – walking in March for Babies. Walking in March for Babies was actually my first experience with the March of Dimes, so I love participating in it again every year.
A & K: In what ways did you volunteer at the walk?
Dylan:I left my house much earlier than I usually even wake up on a Sunday morning (6:30!) and headed to the Chicago suburb of Highland Park to volunteer at the Lake County March for Babies. My job was to work the registration table, which consists of taking the donations from the walkers and making sure their team gets the credit for it. It may sound easy, but when the walkers began arriving, it quickly turned busy. All of the other volunteers did a great job of working together, and we managed to collect all of the walkers’ money quickly and efficiently!
A & K: Were you able to participate in the walk?
Dylan: Yes! I really wanted to experience the walk, so I ran away from the table just in time to catch the ribbon cutting and beginning of the march. As we left the park where we started, hundreds marched through Highland Park’s shopping district, which was a very cool sight. I caught up with the ambassador family and asked them about their story since I couldn’t hear it earlier when I was working registration. Jack weighed only 1.5 pounds when he was born at 26 weeks because his mother suffered from HELLP syndrome, which can cause premature birth. Jack’s story is a happy one though, because he came home from the NICU after 115 days. Now a year old, he suffers from some lung issues, but is otherwise happy and healthy. It was great to see Jack, his cousins, and many other family members walking in the March for Babies and supporting the March of Dimes!
It started to rain about twenty minutes into the walk, which is something I always dread! It seems like I always get stuck with bad weather! But another great thing about the March for Babies is everyone is so happy to be there and showing their support, they don’t care if they get a little wet. I was still relieved when I reached the picnic shelter at the end and got to put on my warm, dry coat!
A & K: Were there other youth walkers participating in your March for Babies event?
Dylan: There were-special thanks to students from North Chicago and Zion-Benton High Schools who came out to walk – I love seeing youth teams come out when we all know that many would prefer sleeping on their Sunday morning!
A &K: Why do you think it’s important for youth to be involved in March for Babies?
Dylan: March for Babies truly shows what the March of Dimes is all about, and I can’t wait to participate for years to come… but I also like volunteering online. It never rains on Facebook!
All you walkers and fundraisers out there, I know you’ve done so much already… but we still need your help!
It’s really no surprise, but March for Babies is feeling the economic crunch. Despite everyone’s best efforts, we’re $3 million short of our online fundraising goal.
I just found out about this number and all I can think about is what a huge amount of money that is. And then I think about how much we could do with that money to help babies and families.
The March of Dimes has already cut several million in research grants. Now it looks like that may have been just the beginning.
Unless we do something now. And we can. Yes, $3 million is big. But if we all join together, it’s not that much!
$20 from every March for Babies participant is all it takes to reach our goal. $20, made as a donation to your own walk. Even if you’ve already reached your goal. It’s all it takes.
You guys, I have never asked you to do anything I’m not doing myself also. I gave my $20, please join me!
I’m counting on you, we’re counting on you. And most of all, the babies are. Help give them the chance they deserve.
I’m sure many of you who walked last weekend, or are planning on walking this weekend, had beautiful locations for your March for Babies event. But I think I definitely lucked out with my walk. I was in New Haven, CT volunteering at their event which took place at Lighthouse Point Park. On the beach. Complete with a lighthouse, old-fashioned carousel, and plenty of picturesque views for walkers to enjoy.
There were many highlights from the day, but watching the children play after completing the route was definitely one of them. I was also very moved by Team Kaelyn, a family team walking in memory of a little girl with my name. Thank you to Team Kaelyn, Team Peleach, and all of the other family teams who walked and helped remind me why participating in March for Babies is so important.
And youth walkers? Special shout out to East Shore Middle School who fundraised and walked in a community service effort led by student Serena Mulligan. Also, kudos to the women of Quinnipiac University’s Women’s Ice Hockey Team who showed up with smiles to help set up the walk. Go Team Youth!
It was such a beautiful day, I couldn’t resist snapping some photos. Did your walk site rival mine in beauty? Were you inspired by any family teams or youth walkers? Please share, we’d love to hear what made your March for Babies Day!