Friday, April 26, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 139


 
 









 
 

UH will play host to March of Dimes

By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff

Hundreds of volunteers from around Houston will walk Sunday to support a cause that affects families from around the country every day: helping to save and comfort the lives of premature and unhealthy babies.

"The them


Photo courtesy of UH External Communications

As with last year's walkathon, UH President Arthur K. Smith, center, will help open festivities for the March of Dimes WalkAmerica event to be
held on the UH campus beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday.
e for WalkAmerica is to be a hero for the tiniest baby, and it's not just a statement for us at the March of Dimes," March of Dimes

Director of Communications for the Texas Gulf Coast Ernestine Pina-Sandoval said. "We truly feel that everyone can be a hero.

"We just try to draw it out by getting people to volunteer and be a part of saving babies' lives."

This is the sixth time UH has played host to the event. The 32nd Annual March of Dimes WalkAmerica 2002 consists of a six-mile walk around
the UH campus beginning at 9 a.m. on Cullen Boulevard near Entrance 14. 

Festivities for the event, which will include a speech by UH President Arthur K. Smith, will begin at 8 a.m.

UH's relationship with the March of Dimes plays a vital role in the organization, successfully applying every facet of the community to its cause.

"Over the years, we've succeeded with forming a strong relationship with the community by having many volunteers come from UH,"
Pina-Sandoval said. "Many of them are students who have children of their own.

"We also respect Dr. Smith and everyone at UH who have allowed us to utilize the expertise of the University."

The UH campus is the largest walk site in the country the Bayou City plays host to the event at Ellington Field, Greenspoint, the Cynthia
Woods Mitchell Pavilion and Fort Bend/ First Colony Mall as well, UH March of Dimes intern Patricia Daniels said.

"We received $3.4 million in donations from the Houston area just last year," Daniels said. "Every year the donations have gone up a bit and
we're hoping it will do the same this year.

"This year our goal for Houston is $3.7 million."

As far as initiating the event through volunteers, Pina-Sandoval said that, besides raising money, relaying the ways in which March of Dimes
enhances babies' lives is far more important. "When we ask people to register for the event, we don't intend for them to take money from their
pockets, but we want them to ask friends, co-workers and acquaintances," Pina-Sandoval said. "It's important for people to realize (March of
Dimes') role in babies' lives and how it reaches out to a large and diverse group.

"When an unhealthy baby is born, everyone feels the social and financial impact, and the March of Dimes is always prepared to take on the task
of addressing these issues."

Alan Buckwalter, chairman of JP Morgan Chase's southwest region, is the presenting sponsor of this year's WalkAmerica. JP Morgan Chase is
looking to reach its goal of donating $300,000 to the effort, Pina-Sandoval said.

"Even in the current environment of corporations in Houston, we felt that the corporations who were there in the beginning have remained
dedicated to their role in the March of Dimes," she said.
 
 
 

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