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March of Dimes WalkAmerica to be held Saturday

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Posted: March 27, 2007 4:54 p.m.
Updated: April 13, 2007 5:00 a.m.
Organizers are hoping a new date will help attract more people to the March of Dimes WalkAmerica now that it isn't conflicting with other charity events.
    The walk, scheduled for Saturday morning at Mill Creek Park, was originally scheduled for April.
    "April is a busy month in Statesboro," said Carol Simons, 2007 Bulloch County WalkAmerica committee member. "The people in Statesboro want to help the March of Dimes save babies, and we hope that by moving the event to March, our teams won't be forced to choose among so many worthy causes to support."
    The goal for this year's walk is $35,000, which will go to help find a cure to birth defects and premature births. Last year, more than 500,000 babies were born prematurely, with many of the babies dying. Also, more than 120,000 babies are born with serious birth defects
    "I wish people would do this in honor of their healthy child and for what (the March of Dimes) had done so far to help reach their goal of finding a cure for premature births," said Amanda Emley, whose family is serving as this year's ambassador family for the Walk.
    Emley delivered twins at 27 weeks into her pregnancy. Walker survived, but Emma Kate died from complications eight months after being born. Since that time, Emley has become involved with the March of Dimes, but encouraged others to participate in the WalkAmerica in honor of their healthy children.
    "I don't think they realize how they're affected by the March of Dimes," she said. "The truth is that if you have a healthy child its because of the March of Dimes and because of the research they've done."
    Last year's fund raiser netted $23,140.
    Nationally, the WalkAmerica has raised more than $1.7 billion since its inception in 1970. At least one million walkers are expected to take part nationwide. Money raised by the March of Dimes is used to conduct top-level research into the causes and preventions of premature births and birth defects.
    Organizers are encouraging teams to continue fund raising after the walk, especially online at www.walkamerica.org.
    "By being a part of WalkAmerica in Bulloch County, we can all help save babies and give hope to families," Simons said. "We can help give all babies the gift of a healthy start."
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