WalkAmerica this Saturday

By Ed Brock

Final preparations are under way for this weekend's "WalkAmerica" walkathon to benefit the March of Dimes.

March of Dimes workers were still tallying up the money raised so far by nearly 100 teams that are participating in the Clayton County WalkAmerica event. At 9 a.m. Saturday members of the team and other participants will set out from Starr Park on Forest Parkway in Forest Park on a three-mile course around town to show their support for the March of Dimes.

The teams have held various other fundraising events leading up to the walkathon.

"We had a hot dog sale, a snack machine, a bake sale," said Teresa Talley, captain of the Kaiser-Permanente team. "It was my first time being a team captain. It's a big difference being a team captain."

Money raised by the March of Dimes goes to research and treatment for premature babies, March of Dimes spokeswoman Heather Scheftel said. That includes the construction of neonatal intensive care units at hospitals around the nation.

The goal for the south-metro area campaign is $275,000, Scheftel said.

"We're about one third of our way to the goal," Scheftel said.

Between 1,000 and 1,200 people are expected to show up for the event, Scheftel said, adding that "Clayton County might surprise us and 1,500 people will show up."

Registration for the walk begins at 8 a.m. at Starr Park on Forest Parkway. Participants who raise $100 qualify for a WalkAmerica T-shirt. For more information call (404) 350-9800.