March for Babies' returns to PARC Oval Sunday

PLATTSBURGH - The March of Dimes is once again calling on the compassion of the North Country to support the health of the unborn.

This Sunday, April 26, the PARC Oval, located at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, is expected to be filled with hundreds of people participating in the annual March for Babies. The event raises money year after year for the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization whose mission is "to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality."

Event coordinator Karen Patterson said she anticipates roughly 300 people to be in attendance for this year's event and hopes to exceed the amount of money raised last year, approximately $39,000. The money raised is important, said Patterson, as it helps fund programs at the local, state and national levels.

"Programs that encourage moms to get prenatal care, smoking cessation, and to help people understand importance of eating healthy and living healthy in order to have a healthy baby," said Patterson.

Funding also helps initiatives like the Medicaid Obstetrical and Maternal Services, or MOMS program, which helps low-income earning women in Franklin County receive proper medical care during pregnancy.

Though the walk celebrates the mission of March of Dimes and the lives of children who have overcome the challenges of premature births, the event is something anyone can appreciate, said Patterson.

"Our mission is an easy mission to wrap around," said Patterson. "We want all babies to have a healthy start to life."

The March for Babies is a 1.5-mile walk which begins with registration at 9 a.m. and continues with the walk at 10 a.m. Again this year, the event will be followed by a picnic lunch, sponsored by Applebee's, Renzi Food Services and Hannaford Supermarkets. Children's activities and live entertainment will also be featured.

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