Beneath the archway of purple balloons stood a crowd ready to march. Front and center was co-star of HGTV’s“America’s Most Desperate Kitchens”, John Colaneri, who cut the ribbon allowing the walk to commence for the March of Dimes March for Babies.
Decked out in purple, Colaneri gushed with excitement to be on the scene for a cause close to his heart. Father to four-month-old Lilyan Belle, Colaneri wants to help educate mothers and fathers and raise on the dangers of premature births.
“The mission of the March of Dimes is to prevent birth defects, infant immortality and premature birth,” said Gina Radice, Executive Director of March of Dimes Northern NJ Chapter. “The walk benefits moms in the community to have healthy babies through education, research, and community awareness.”
This Bergen County walk in Darlington Park in Mahwah brought out 900 walkers. The fourteen walks across the state totaled 14,000 participants.
Personal stories with premature births were shared through posters that were on display. Event DJ Ron Gaither took the time to share the story of his daughter’s premature birth.
“At the end of the day, the end result is that we’re helping babies. We’re helping our future by helping those babies,” Gaither said, whose daughter grew up to be a happy and healthy 30-year-old. “It really warms my heart that other people can have the benefit of having a child survive just like I did.”
All the baby steps taken in this walk amount to one large stride for premature babies and their families.
For more on March of Dimes, visit MarchOfDimes.org/NewJersey. And don’t forget to tune into “America’s Most Desperate Kitchens” starting July 1 at 8pm on HGTV!