Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120

April 30 "March for Babies" in Riverside

Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers addresses the crowd that took part in the annual March of Dimes walk last year
Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers addresses the crowd that took part in the annual March  of Dimes walk last year.

More than 1,500 people are expected to “March for Babies” in Riverside on April 30 to raise funds to prevent premature births and their associated defects.

Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers and Mayor Daryl Busch will take part in the annual March of Dimes event, which features a six-mile walk starting and ending at Riverside Community College.
Registration for the walk begins at 7 a.m. at the college at 4800 Magnolia Avenue. Walkers leave the starting line at 8:30 a.m. As usual, a contingent of City workers will be on hand to help count donations to support the March of Dimes.

“Premature birth is the leading cause of children in their first year and this event is so important in helping prevent that,” said Rogers, a division chair for March of Dimes. “Every child has the right to a healthful existence.”

Rogers said that children born even a few weeks early suffer from underdeveloped brains, lungs, eyes and hearts. That means they have difficulty breathing and other serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

The appearance of children whose lives have been saved through medical research funded by the March of Dimes is always a highlight at the annual March for Babies. This year, London-May Lupercyo will appear as a child ambassador at the Riverside walk. London-May was born 10 week prematurely on May 1, 2009 and weighed only 2-pounds, 2-ounces at birth. She spent the first 88 days of her life in a neonatal intensive care unit. As a result of her premature birth, London-May suffers from vision problems today.

But she loves to sing and watch Sesame Street.

“She’s a precious little girl,” Rogers said.

London-May also has a Perris connection.  Both parents work in Perris--her father  at the Lowes Distribution Center and her mother at Whirlpool.

In recent years, Perris Mayor Daryl Busch has appeared at opening ceremonies prior to the big run to read a proclamation in support of the event. He will repeat his duties on April 30.

“This is a big event and the issues involved are really about life and death for babies,” Busch said. “It’s a most-worthy cause, one I whole-heartedly support.”

Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff has been named Inland Empire Chair for the March for Babies 2011. Sheriff’s deputies from stations and correctional facilities across Riverside County will be walking for babies.

Sniff said in a press release that he is “excited to participate as the 2011 Inland Empire March for Babies Chair and looks forward to exceeding last year’s fund-raising goal.

The funds from the community will support March of Dimes research and community programs to help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies to begin healthy lives, Sniff said.

March of Dimes officials expect up to 4,000 people across the Inland Empire to participate in a series of walks on April 30.