In May 26 Issue
More than $18,000 was raised countywide for the annual March for Babies event this weekend, according to Melissa Coffey, a member of the county's March of Dimes committee.
Around 80 participants attended Saturday morning's event where they walked the Russell Springs Elementary School track, raising money and awareness for the March of Dimes.
"On behalf of the Russell County March of Dimes, we would like to thank each and every person who made this year's walk the best one yet," Coffey said. "A special thank you goes out to all of the businesses who donated items and to all of the people who helped raise money and to all that participated. Without the help of the community, we would never be able to raise so much money and awareness to help such a worthy cause."
The organization seeks to prevent birth defects, premature birth, and infant deaths, according to event organizers.
The money raised, totaling just over $18,000, will support March of Dimes programs here in Russell County and go toward expecting mothers having healthy, full-term pregnancies. Coffey said K-Mart contributed the most to that amount.
It also funds research to find answers to the serious problems that threaten babies, such as premature birth.
This problem alone affects more the half a million babies in our country each year and is the number one cause of newborn death, according to the March of Dimes.
The local March of Dimes committee consists of Coffey, Tiffany Wilson, Dawn Robertson, Shena Antle, Emma Lou Bryant, Donna Little and Linda Newman.
Pizza and drinks were provided by Giovanni's after the walk and the children also got to get up and close to a fire truck and ambulance as well as participate in numerous games and a balloon lift-off.
All of the members sold balloons for $1 apiece to be released, Coffey said. "Everyone that bought one gave us the name of a child or grandchild of theirs. The pink balloons represented children you have already, purple represented children you hoped to have in the future and blue represented children that had been lost for some reason or another," she said. More than 100 balloons were released, she said.
Sponsors for the local event included the Bank of Jamestown, First National Bank, United Citizens Bank, Monticello Banking Company, Giovanni's, Harris Grocery, Hill's Portable Toilet Rental and Septic Tank Cleaning, Holston Gases, Antle's Heating and Cooling, Collins' Appliance and Upholstery, Russell Springs Elementary School, Russell Springs Volunteer Fire Dept., Russell County EMS, Cody Withers (DJ), Fruit of the Loom, the Lake Cumberland ADD Office, K-Mart and Sonic.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the March of Dimes in 1938.
The walk, which started in 1970, raises more than $90 million annually for the organization.
The event can be visited on the Internet at www.marchofdimes.com.