"It will be a very family-oriented walk," Pritt said. "We'll have live music this year; City Heat will play for us. We'll also have face painters, games and a lot of activities going on for kids of all ages."
New this year is another aspect of the March for Babies, which has been dubbed Paws for Preemies. The idea was taken from another March of Dimes chapter that aspired to get dogs involved with fundraising, as well.
"Dogs are part of peoples' families, too," Pritt said, and those owners who register their dogs with team "paws4preemies" are invited to fundraise for the March of Dimes' mission. Those who raise $25 or more will receive a "Paws for Preemies" bandana to wear on walk day.
According to information provided by the March of Dimes, babies who are born too soon or sick usually spend weeks or even months in the hospital and they often have to cope with lifelong health problems or disabilities. The emotional costs to families are high, and so are the financial costs to families and their employers. More than 20,000 companies partner with the March of Dimes through March for Babies to reduce the burden and help improve the health of babies.
Funds raised by March for Babies in West Virginia help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, neonatal intensive care unit family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies.
"The money raised in West Virginia stays in West Virginia," Pritt said. The March of Dimes helps to fund grant programs, and provides a specialist who works in the neonatal intensive care unit of Charleston Area Medical Center's Women and Children's Hospital to provide support to the families of hospitalized babies.