March for Babies launches 2017 campaign

LIHUE — “They’re very active babies,” said Juno-Ann Apalla. “They’ve been under the table, over here, and over there. They’re all over the place.”

Apalla was describing Silas Limbaugh and Keanu Strickland, children from the Kauai March for Babies ambassador families who were greeting team captains at the Captain Kickoff Thursday at Starbucks Coffee at Kukui Grove.

“Both moms of Silas, Christine Morales, and Keanu, Natassja Strickland, got to know each other during the births of their babies,” said Apalla Kauai March for Babies event coordinator. “They were each other’s support system while they stayed at the Women and Children Center at Kapiolani. Their babies were born prematurely and spent time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”

Premature babies can have under-developed lungs which can lead to respiratory problem, blood infections and digestive distress.

With the help of March of Dimes and its cadre of volunteers, the two families have healthy, active, and happy baby boys to greet the team captains of this year’s March for Babies on April 8 at Lydgate Park.

“We haven’t gotten our company goal, yet,” said Candice Tada of the Kmart team. “But we’re always tops in our district. We will be doing the walk and today, we’re pledging our own individual goal which is $2,000. We will also be doing the company goal once we get the numbers.”

Kmart, one of the March of Dimes top corporate sponsors, was among more than 10 teams that stopped to register their team and declare their goals for the April 8 March for Babies.

“Fun ‘n Kwazy has always been one of our strong supporters,” Apalla said. “Today, Zoe Carvalho came in with a goal of $5,000. Oceanic Cablevision also came in strong with goals of more than $3,000.”

Teams can register online at www.marchforbabies.org.

Apalla said the 2017 March for Babies features two honorary chair people — Justin Kollar, the Kauai Prosecuting Attorney, and Kaci Manion of The Specific Chiropractic Center.

The March of Dimes has been helping families have healthy babies for more than 75 years.

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