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Save the date, save the babies

Published: Monday, March 25, 2013 3:54 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, March 25, 2013 4:29 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON – It’s time to mark the calendars for Princeton’s annual March for Babies 5K walk.

This year’s walk is schedule for April 21. The walk will kick-off from Darius Miller Park. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m., and the walk starts at 1:30 p.m.

The March of Dimes is celebrating 75 years of research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs.

Heartland Illinois Division Director Peggy Cain said the motto this year is, “You’ve been thinking about your baby for nine months; we’ve been thinking about your baby for 75 years.”

In honor of the milestone anniversary, Princeton March for Babies Chairperson Lori Boekeloo is issuing her annual challenge to all walkers who would like to donate. Her challenge this year is to lose 75 pounds by the walk date. Thus far, she’s lost 60 pounds.

“I’m calling on the community to join March for Babies and walk together for stronger, healthier babies,” she said. “Thanks to the support of the local community, the March of Dimes has helped reduce the rate of premature birth. But there are still too many babies born too soon and sick.”

Many may remember Boekeloo as the lady who dyed her hair purple two years ago for the walk and did a “shave it or save it” hair challenge at last year’s event.

Cain said this year’s goal is to round-up 200 walkers and raise $40,000. Princeton area residents are encouraged to sign up and create a team with their family, friends or colleagues by going to www.marchforbabies.org or by calling 815-220-5806.

This year’s ambassador family is Cheri Voigt and her son, Isaiah. This event will be a great way to meet them and hear their story.

The event will provide all the great entertainment that has accompanied past walks. The Generics will provide live music to entertain guests before and after they walk. There will be two inflatable bounce houses for kids, face painting, and pony rides will also be available. Jazzercise instructors will be scene to rev-up walkers before the kick-off. A food tent and Italian ice venues will also be on site.

The event is sponsored by Technisand and Heartland Bank and Trust and in part by Perry Memorial Hospital and Central Bank.

The funds raised through March for Babies are distributed to local community organizations working to improve the health of mother and babies. These grants are made available each year to help educate consumers about how to have healthy pregnancies.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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