Over 100 team members took to the street Saturday as participants in “March for Babies,” a walk that benefited the March of Dimes.
Phyllis Stroud, executive director for the March of Dimes, North Central Division, said fund raising totals were still being tallied and she was happy with the turnout.
Foster Park Elementary was the school which raised the most money. The top team overall was Milliken & Co.’s Monarch Plant. The team with the most fund raising participants was St. Luke Baptist Church — 28. The top financial team was Wachovia. The individual who raised the most money was Linda Morman. Disney raised the most money on line. The team with the best T-shirt was Milliken & Co.’s Cedar Hill Plant.
Wallace Thomson Hospital was recognized as the major sponsor of the walk.
The Rochester family — Davis and his parents, Josh and Brandy — were recognized as the “Ambassador Family” for the walk. Davis was born prematurely on Dec. 24, 2006.
“Just to let you know, 93 cents of every dollar you raised goes back to the mission of the March of Dimes,” Ms. Stroud told the walkers. “Please give yourselves a round of applause for the work you do. Today is absolutely a day of celebration. But in all that we do we don’t want to forget why we are here and why we worked so hard this year. Even with the state of the economy, people are still giving. Babies are still being born prematurely and you all have answered the call.”
Before the start of the walk, teams were asked to break into groups of five and have one person from each group take a balloon from Capt. Greg Pickens with the Union Public Safety Department, who was distributing them. The balloons then were simultaneously released. Ms. Stroud said the number five symbolized the fact that one in five babies in South Carolina is born prematurely.
“One in five babies is born too small or too soon,” Ms. Stroud said. “There are different categories of these babies — those who by the grace of God are healthy and have normal, healthy lives. There is a second group who will struggle with lifelong health issues for the rest of their lives and on the sadder end of the spectrum there are those born too small and too soon to survive. As you go out and walk today, keep those babies in your mind, keep those families in your mind and understand the work we do and the work you allow us to do is to provide lifesaving research so we get an answer to this epidemic of prematurity. If ever baby who is born is born healthy, then our mission is done.”