Hundreds Brave Weather to 'March for Babies'
JEFFERSON CITY - Hundreds of people gathered at Memorial Park Sunday to March for Babies. The annual walk is the March of Dimes' biggest fundraiser; a fundraiser that has been going on for more than 40 years.
"We march for every baby: healthy babies, sick babies, babies not with us, premature, birth defects. We march for them because they all matter," said Christy Carel, Division Director for March of Dimes.
The March of Dimes organization began in 1938 - originally tasked with battling polio. Then, when polio was cured in the 1950s, the organization went through a change of face. Now, the March of Dimes organization helps educate mothers about raising healthy babies and raises money to fund research to end premature births.
Even though the weather didn't cooperate, organizers said they are proud of the community for pulling together.
"I kept telling them, 'Listen folks, it's going to be fine. We'll have more people here than you can imagine.' And it's true - they filled the whole pavilion," said Gabe Hulsey, a member of the state board of March of Dimes. "And that just illustrates the absolute commitment to the March of Dimes and to its mission and what its about."
Last year, the March for Babies in Jefferson City raised $130,000. This year, the organization is hoping for more than $140,000 for its biggest fundraiser. Even though some non-profits have seen a decrease in fundraisers, the March of Dimes still sees steady donations.
"When people can't pay their bills, you can't hardly ask them to go out and raise money for you, but people do it and they're still finding a way," said Carel.
Next Sunday, May 6, there will be a March for Babies in Columbia at Stephens Lake Park.
For more information about the March of Dimes, click here.