Monday, May 16, 2022 |
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LIHU‘E — The March for Babies benefiting the March of Dimes and the state Department of Education STEPS Parent and Child Fair teamed up for the first time Saturday at Kukui Grove Center.
“We’re both concerned with young children so we have to support them,” said Cathy Shanks, the Kaua‘i coordinator for PATCH Kaua‘i.
Janice Bond, a strong advocate of the March, supported the walk before unveiling the Read to Me International exhibits for the Parent and Child Fair along with Jim Rosa, longtime supporter of the March of Dimes who was balancing the Mokihana Aquatics timed trials and the walk.
Several hundred people took advantage of fair weather and the morning coolness to participate in the March for Babies, which set a goal of raising $40,000 for this year’s event.
“We’re pretty close,” said Cheryl Ann Farrell, the March for Babies event coordinator. “We won’t know how much the walk made for a few days because contributions are still coming in and we’re still counting.”
Among the walkers, Stella Grace Sapp, all of five months healthy, and her family from Kekaha, this year’s Ambassador Family, was secure in mom Kelly’s arms as the family joined the walkers, many participating in strollers and pull wagons.
The March of Dimes on Kaua‘i helps local families like the Sapps when a pregnancy is headed to a premature delivery, states a release from the MOD.
Stella was born on Oct. 31, 2010, seven weeks premature and tipped the scales at 3.4 pounds.
Any baby born prematurely can have under developed lungs leading to respiratory problems, shallow breathing and pneumonia.
Premature babies are also susceptible to other complications such as blood infections, digestive distress, and numerous other health issues which make it difficult for the infant to survive.
The March of Dimes has been helping families have healthy babies for 41 years through continuing research, equipment and volunteer support.
“I just want people to know that monies raised for MOD comes back to help the island,” said Sammie Albano, a registered nurse with the Hi‘ilei Kaua‘i Prenatal Program. “The MOD, through a grant, able to offer this free service to first-time mothers with a wide variety of resources within the community to enable them to have healthy babies.”
Hi‘ilei Kaua‘i’s registered nurses provide health education and support through phone calls, personal visits at home, or at a place convenient for the patient, supporting women’s health before, during, and following pregnancy until the babies turn four months old.
A flier from Hi‘ilei states the program is funded by the Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund under the leadership of the YWCA of Kaua‘i.
Farrell, in a MOD launch of the 2011 March for Babies, said not only is this the 41st anniversary for the March for Babies, but by partnering with the STEPS Parent and Child Resource Fair, families can easily attend both events.
Following the walk, Shanks said families were invited to view the many exhibits by community organizations for information and interactive activities while enjoying the wide range of entertainment from community groups such as the Kapa‘a Middle School Ukulele Band and Chorus which recently returned from the Heritage Music Festival with a gold and silver medal.
Visit www.marchforbabies.org for more information.
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