March of Dimes Walk raises funds, awareness

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, October 22, 2009

The March of Dimes’ annual fund-raising Walk was held Saturday at the city landing pavilion.

The Walk was led by this year’s Ambassador Child, Jadon Cleveland, his parents, “Chip” and Constance Cleveland, and other family members.

Jadon was born premature last March, weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces, and his lungs were underdeveloped at birth.

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Walkers helped raise money dedicated to research, education and treatment of birth defects and pre-natal and post-natal education.

“The money we raised is not a definite total yet, but it’s going to be around $10,300,” said Jennifer Thomason, the local coordinator for the March of Dimes. “My goal was $10,000, so I’m elated.

“Jadon is such a wonderful candidate for the Ambassador Child. Premature births is one of the main focuses for the March of Dimes. It is so important that women have prenatal care to help reduce their chances of having a premature baby.”

“Nationally, 1 in 8 babies is born premature,” said Courtney Watson, a state coordinator for the March of Dimes. “In Alabama, it’s 1 in 6. We are No. 50; we are at the bottom of the list. The money raised will help us help others, to help reduce the number of premature births and birth defects.”

Walk participants walked down Main Avenue, turned left on Washington Street, turned left again onto Walnut Avenue, then went down Capitol Street and back onto Main Avenue.

Gold sponsors for the Walk included Alabama Power Company, RockTenn and Robertson Banking Company. Parr’s Chevron was a Silver sponsor for the Walk, while Cemex was a Bronze sponsor.

Tommy Vice was named as the top fund-raiser for this year’s Walk, raising $1,478.

The top fund-raisers among Demopolis businesses were Roberston Banking Company, which raised $3,397.32; Bryan W. Whitfiled Memorial Hospital, which raised $915.85; and BankTrust, which raised $705.28. Westside Elementary School raised $317.20 for the cause.

Those still wanting to make a donation to the March of Dimes may contact Thomason at Robertson Banking Company’s downtown branch at 289-3564.