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March raises $62K

Those who have life came together recently to help those struggling for theirs during the March of Dimes March for Babies, and the organization has announced the event’s top participants.

Nearly 600 people participated in the April walk, raising nearly $62,000, according to organizers.

“Despite the hard times and a little rain, the people in Suffolk have remained consistent in their support of our mission,” said Kristin French, an administrator with March of Dimes. “What was most encouraging was seeing all the families that came out on Saturday. There were so many parents there with their kids, pushing strollers. It was great to see those who have been affected by our mission.”

March of Dimes is a non-profit organization aimed at improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Donations fund research and education to help babies fight the threats to their health.

More babies in this country die because of birth defects, low birth weight, and prematurity than any other cause, officials say.

Of the many new teams that participated, awards were presented to the Nansemond Insurance Agency, Madelyn’s Fan Club and the Lakeland High School Varsity Girls’ Soccer Team.

Top family teams included that of ambassador Kelsey Meade, Team Fofana and that of ambassador Virginia Lee Hughes.

Suffolk Public Schools, which raised more than $26,000, was named the top overall team overall. Team Kelsey Meade and Team Fofana were in second and third place in that category.

Top school teams included Hillpoint, Elephant’s Fork and Creekside Elementary schools.

“We help raise money to prevent birth defects and premature birth,” Suffolk Public Schools spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said in an interview about the March for Dimes earlier this year.

“As a public school system, our teachers and staff see-first hand the results of what happens when a child has a birth defect. The bottom line for us, though, is to get the word out that there is something we can do to make the quality life better for every child that is born.”

Other sponsors included Lipton/Unilever, QVC, Sentara Obici Hospital, Nansemond River Pilot Club, Lakeview Medical Center, Wendy’s, Subway, Firehouse Subs, Target Distribution Center, Photography by Wendy Spain, the Kiwanis of Suffolk, and the city’s police, fire and emergency medical services.

The March for Babies is the March of Dimes’ largest fund-raising event. Last year more than half a million people walked in some 1,400 communities.