The 8th annual Walk for Babies, an event dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the Akron Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit, had its most successful event yet on Sept. 21, raising more than $109,000.
This year 1,692 people – from newborns to great grandmas – walked in the event, creating 124 teams. The largest team was Goddard School with 138 walkers. They also raised the most money, donating $12,005.
The walk also included co-founders Shelby and Sam Snellenberger of Kent who spoke about their experience in Akron Children’s NICU.
“We are always humbled to hear the great things that are happening in the NICU, and we are proud to help the babies, their families and the staff who so deserve and need the community’s support,” said Sam Snellenberger, who pledged to raise $1 million to show his gratitude for the 26 days of care his daughter Amelia received.
“Like other parents who go through a NICU experience, we were terrified,” he said. “The NICU staff amazed us daily by caring for us as well as Amelia, by really listening to our input and encouraging us to be a part of the team that cared for our daughter.”
Alexis Host and Nick Pryor shared the story of their twin girls’ 7-month journey from NICU patients to NICU graduates. (Read about their journey here.)
Families were able to once again see the Akron Children’s doctors and nurses who helped their children grow and thrive in the NICU, including neonatologist Jennifer Grow who spoke to the group.
“Every year we love seeing some of the doctors and nurses who helped keep (our daughter) Bekah safe,” said NICU graduate mother Sarah Plant. “It’s also nice to see some of the families of children who were in the NICU the same time Bekah was. It’s incredible to see how much they have all grown and changed over the past year.”
Donations will be accepted for the event through Oct. 15, and can be made at walk4babies.com or sent to PO Box 191, Kent, Ohio 44240.
Since its start in 2007, Walk for Babies has raised more than $600,000 for Akron Children’s NICU.
The 9th annual Walk for Babies will be Sept. 20, 2015.