Preston Automotive hosts March for Babies
— Hundreds participated in the 2017 MidShore March for Babies on Sunday, May 7, hosted by Preston Automotive Group for the fourth year.
This year’s walk was three miles long with each mile representing a different aspect of the March of Dimes mission. The Hope Mile aimed to bring hope to mothers, babies, and families with mission signs and Zika awareness, sponsored by Ferry Point Marina.
The Remember Mile featured signs in memory of those little ones who were lost too soon due to premature birth or other complications. Along the final stretch, the Celebrate Mile, signs were posted with then and now success stories of NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) graduates.
“You see a lot of these families who have had children with birth defects or premature births, and they all come together to celebrate those that have come through,” said March of Dimes Eastern Shore Division Director Jessica Hales. “It’s a great family event to bring everyone together and walk for all those babies, until one day we won’t have to.”
Hales said that the fudraising goal for this event was $105,000, and a preliminary projection showed they had
raised about $100,000 before the walk even began.
In addition to the threemile walk, there were two Superhero Sprints, when NICU graduate children put on their hero capes and ran a short race to ‘show off their superpowers.’
The mission of the March of Dimes prematurity campaign is to raise funds for research, increase awareness of the impact of premature births, and support legislation that improves the likelihood of babies being born healthy. This has been the focus of the organization in the United States since 2003, and the campaign went global in 2008.
According to the March of Dimes website, 15 million babies are born premature each year across the world, with 380,000 of those births in the U.S.
Graduates of the NICU, ages 5-12, participated in the second Superhero Sprint of the event to show off how healthy and strong they are today.
The annual walk began with a ribbon cutting before the hundreds of participants set of on their three-mile trek.
NICU graduates ages 5-12 stretched it out before running their Superhero Sprint.