Pre­ston Au­to­mo­tive hosts March for Ba­bies

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

— 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.

PHOTO BY VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE

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.

PHO­TOS BY VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE

NICU grad­u­ates ages 5-12 stretched it out be­fore run­ning their Su­per­hero Sprint.

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