LIFESTYLE

Gonzales walks for March of Dimes

Michael Tortorich
A group of walkers begin the route around Gonzales Saturday morning in the annual March for Babies.

A damp, rainy morning didn’t stop a host of walkers from hitting the streets of Gonzales Saturday for the annual March of Dimes’ Ascension Parish March for Babies.

With drops of rain falling and heavy clouds looming, the walk began at 8:30 a.m. from the American Legion Hall at East City Park, and winded through the streets of the city, escorted by firefighters.

The Gonzales fundraiser is part of a larger national campaign held each year by the March of Dimes. More than a million people walk in March for Babies events across the country to raise money for the nonprofit organization.

The March of Dimes’ mission is to help mothers have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

The organization researches potential pregnancy problems and works on prevention.

Dee LeJeune, president and CEO of St. Elizabeth Hospital, served as the chair of the Gonzales March for Babies.

Working in the medical field, she has seen the difference modern technology can make for mothers and babies.

The rainy weather didn’t seem to deter walkers Saturday. When LeJeune asked, “Are we going to walk?” The crowd joined in a resounding, “Yes!”

EATEL anchor Jenny Heroman introduced the crowd to one of the premature youngsters people around the nation walk for each year.

Tucker Townsend was one pound, 11 ounces when he was born. At just over two and a half years old, the vibrant child was able to join in the festivities with his family.

“I can’t think of a better reason to walk than for a special little guy like Tucker,” Heroman said.

Ascension Parish March for Babies chair Dee Lejuene gives an award to Luke Ickes.