March of Dimes set for Walk-a-thon

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Organizers of the annual March of Dimes WalkAmerica are hoping people all over Selma will get out their best walking shoes and head

to Memorial Stadium, where they can get some exercise and raise money for a good cause.

Beginning at 8 a.m., the Selma-Dallas County Chapter of the March of Dimes will host its fourth annual Walk-A-Thon at the stadium.

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The local organization is using the event to raise funds to continue saving the lives of premature babies and help families handle expensive medical bills.

Walk-A-Thon coordinator Althea Chance described the start of the event as big pep rally, complete with cheerleaders.

After the walk, participants can enjoy free food and take home a prize or two.

So far, Chance said, it looks as if this Walk-A-Thon will be bigger than years past.

Several corporate teams-including International Paper, Pioneer Electric, and Bush Hog-have already committed to take part in the event.

The goal for this year’s WalkAmerica is to have 30 teams participating and raise around $35,000 for premature babies.

The funds go towards research, community service, and education to prevent births. WalkAmerica is a national fund raising event that occurs each April, usually involving 1100 communities across the country.

According to the March of Dimes, over 470,000 babies are born prematurely each year. At least 183 premature babies are born in Alabama each year. Chance said individuals who are not part of a team, but would still like to participate, are more than welcome to attend.

Those who make a $100 to $200 donation will receive a WalkAmerica T-shirt.

A $200 to $500 donation gives participants a nylon windbreaker. The $500 to $1,000 donation incentive is a fleece blanket and those that contribute more than $1,000 receive a stadium seat.

Individuals and teams should start arriving around 8 a.m. for all the pre-walk events. The ribbon-cutting and Walk-A-Thon will officially begin at 9 a.m.