April 28, 2013
The Charlottesville community is helping local babies get a healthy start in life, one step at a time.
Each year, more than half a million babies are born too soon.
Monday's March for Babies raised nearly $80,000 for The March of Dimes Foundation. The organization supports programs and research to fight pre-mature births.
Dozens of supporters walked the four-mile course in Downtown Charlottesville.
This year's ambassador family was the Wrights. Last year, Heather and Kris Wright had twins Colin and Nora at just 29 weeks. Less than a month later, Nora passed away from an internal infection.
Wright is the Western Albemarle High School girls basketball coach.
At Monday's walk, the family had a team of supporters, called "Do the Wright Thing." Several local girls' basketball players -- including some from William Monroe, a school Wright described as having a traditionally "fierce" rivalry with Western Albemarle -- walked in solidarity.
"That was actually really cool. It was great for them to come out here. I really thank them for that," said Western Albemarle basketball player Alex Starsia. "It was kind of amazing that we could be rivals one season and then a couple months later be talking like we're friends."
"To be able to come out here and support each other as a community and set that aside was really great," said Kaila Stevens, a basketball player at William Monroe.
Team "Do the Wright Thing" was recognized at the walk as the top Family Team, raising $7,870.
The event brought in $79,200 total among all teams.
"The way it ties the whole community together is an amazing thing, and the more the merrier," said Wright. "Every year that we can get more and more people out here to walk for awareness is a step in the right direction."
The Newsplex's Chris Stover served as emcee of the event.