LUMBERTON — About 80 people who participated in Saturday’s March for Babies raised a lot more than dimes — $3,200, which pushed the March of Dimes past its $37,000 yearly goal.
“We were very pleased with the turnout, extremely pleased with how the community came together to help us fundraise and surpass our goals here today,” said Erika Taylor, the organization’s community director. “And the weather was fantastic at that.”
Taylor credited the turnout partially to the change of scenery. For the first time, the event was held at Luther Britt Park instead of Lumberton High School.
“We’ve had amazing feedback with it being here,” she said. “You’ve got the shade, plenty of seating areas, the playground, restrooms on site, they provided paddle boats and canoes and the stage area … this is definitely a lot larger than our Lumberton March for Babies has been in the past so we’re very proud of it.”
This year’s ambassadors of the walk were Edward and LeeChelle Brooks, whose son Riley suffers with Beckwith Weidemann Syndrome, a rare genetic defect that causes abnormally large growth of the body and the body’s organs.
The event featured performances by Dark Water Rising singer Charly Lowry and Southern Sun, an American Indian drum circle from Pembroke. A classic car show, face painting, lake rides and giveaways also took place.
Money raised by March for Babies supports wellness programs, research grants and advocacy efforts for healthier pregnancies and babies. This year’s march was sponsored by Southeastern Regional Medical Center, the Department of Energy of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Lumbee Tribal Housing Programs and Children’s Health of North Carolina, which has offices in Fayetteville, Pembroke and Lumberton.