Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
Local residents, businesses and organizations have the opportunity to help infants and mothers Saturday by taking a walk in Havre. The March of Dimes March for Babies starts with registration at Pepin Park on 7th Avenue and 4th Street at 9 a.m., with the start of the fundraising walk at 10 a.m. Angie Kralich, Havre site coordinator for the walk, said the route will be from Pepin Park down to Bullhook Road at Rod’s Drive In and the Parthenon Restaurant, across to Havre High School and through its parking lot, then back to Pepin Park. “It might be too much for some people so they can always shorten the walk,” Kralich added. “They also can volu n t e e r t o help.” Kralich said rest stops with bottled water will be set up along the route, and the local Jaycees are providing a barbecue at Pepin Park after the walk. Dizzy Days is providing play equipment at the park for children of walkers. March for Babies, the single largest fundraiser for the March of Dimes, formerly was known as WalkAmerica. The name was changed effective last year. Sherlynn Stewart, eastern Montana community coordinator for the March of Dimes in Billings, said Havre has been involved in the fundraiser at least since 1987, which is the earliest record the organization has of the Montana fundraisers. Last year some 120 people walked in the Havre event, raising about $13,500, Stewart said. She added that the area participation is high. Hi-Line chapters of one organization alone, Future Community Leaders of America, raised $1,000, one-eighth of the statewide amount raised by that organization. Stewart added that the research and work done by March of Dimes directly impacts Montana and Havre-area families. One of eight babies in the state is born prematurely. These babies benefit from the research and programs conducted by March of Dimes. “I’m stunned on how many come out of Havre,” she said. March of Dimes has organized the fundraiser since 1970, the organization said in a fact sheet about the walk. In its 39-year history the walk has raised $1.8 billion to support the nonprofit organization’s mission of researching and promoting healthy pregnancies and healthy infants. Programs supported by the walk include: Research to find prevention of and solutions for babies born too soon or with birth defects; Educating women on things they can do to increase their chances of having a healthy baby; Providing aid and information to families with a newborn in intensive care, and Pushing for newborn screening and health insurance for all children and pregnant women. Kralich said people can still register to walk or volunteer to help at the march, joining millions of Americans in the fundraiser. March of Dimes said that every year more than 7 million people are involved in the march as sponsors, volunteers or participants. Kralich said people can find out more for the walk or register to walk or volunteer by calling her at 265-8130. People can register online, which helps give a quick and accurate count of the number people participating, she said. Kralich said those registering online should list all people participating, even if it is an infant the walker will push in a stroller. On the Net: March of Dimes March for Babies: www.marchforbabies.org.