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March of Dimes Walkamerica hoofs it for the health of babies
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March of Dimes WalkAmerica

  • When: 10 a.m. Saturday (registration begins 9 a.m.)
  • Where: Longstreet Clinic, 725 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Gainesville
  • Contact: 678-546-0023, www.marchforbabies.org

The March of Dimes is hoping to see 1,000 people come out to WalkAmerica on Saturday to raise money for premature babies.

WalkAmerica, also known as the March for Babies, is the group’s primary fundraiser.

The mission of the March of Dimes is "to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality."

The 5-kilometer walk is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Longstreet Clinic, 725 Jesse Jewell Parkway. Registration begins at 9 a.m.

"We’re hoping to have 1,000 people this year," said Shea Elrod, Chairman of Hall County’s volunteer board. "We’re looking at $140,000 for Hall County."

Last year, Hall County participants raised about $135,000.

There is no cost to participate in the walk, but Elrod said they are "happy to accept whatever donation we can get."

Hall County’s fundraising kickoff was held at First Baptist Church in January.

Some of the money raised will stay in Hall County, Elrod said.

"We have a couple of grants that actually go straight back to Northeast Georgia Medical Center," Elrod said.

Those grants provide carts stocked with books for parents to read to their infants in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital.

But most of the funds collected in Hall County and around the country will go toward research.

"The main thing is for research for prevention of premature babies," Elrod said.

Elrod said this year, many kid-friendly activities are offered during the walk. Inflatables, mini-golf, face painting and games will be available Saturday, and Publix will provide lunch.

"It’s a great time for the family," Elrod said.

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