Volunteers raise money for March of Dimes

Published 9:06 pm Saturday, April 30, 2011

March for Babies: Walkers prepare to set off on the track in the March of Dimes March for Babies on Saturday at Constant’s Wharf. The event raises money for research and education to help prevent premature birth.

Hundreds of people got up early on their Saturday to help raise money for the March of Dimes.

The 2011 March of Dimes March for Babies kicked off at 10 a.m. from Constant’s Wharf. Walkers could choose a 1-mile or 5-mile walk that looped through various downtown neighborhoods and wound up back at the hotel.

“Our goal is to make sure babies get the best start possible by entering the world as a healthy baby,” said Tara Moore, the chairman of the event.

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For Moore — and many others there Saturday — the fight for healthy babies is personal. Moore’s sister died after being born early with numerous birth defects, and her son also was born early at 3 pounds and 15 ounces.

Her son is one of the thousands of babies living a normal life thanks to March of Dimes research, education and service projects.

“You truly can see the results of what your money goes to,” Moore said.

Moore also is the principal at Northern Shores Elementary School. As an educator, she knows the first step on a child’s road to success is being born healthy.

The March of Dimes not only supports research that helps combat premature birth and its effects, but also helps educate parents and doctors, fights birth defects and even steps in during the aftermath of natural disasters to ensure that pregnant women and very young children have all their needs met.

Moore said she believes this year’s March for Babies raised about the same amount of money as last year.

“It looks like we’re holding steady,” she said.

Moore also credited the charity’s sponsors and community supporters — especially the city of Suffolk — with helping coordinate the walk.

“The city of Suffolk has really stepped up,” Moore said. “They make the walk itself possible.”

To find out more about the March of Dimes, visit www.marchofdimes.com.