Parents, kids march for babies' health at Arlington Park

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com
Updated 4/23/2017 11:13 PM
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  • The crowds start the walk during the 2017 March for Babies on Sunday at the Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights. More than 1,000 people participated in the March of Dimes event that hoped to raise more than $300,000.

      The crowds start the walk during the 2017 March for Babies on Sunday at the Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights. More than 1,000 people participated in the March of Dimes event that hoped to raise more than $300,000. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Claire Todesco, 3, of Vernon Hills wears a purple cape in support of March of Dimes during the 2017 March for Babies on Sunday at Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights. More than 1,000 people participated in the March of Dimes event that hoped to raise more than $300,000.

      Claire Todesco, 3, of Vernon Hills wears a purple cape in support of March of Dimes during the 2017 March for Babies on Sunday at Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights. More than 1,000 people participated in the March of Dimes event that hoped to raise more than $300,000. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Gilbert R. Boucher II/gboucher@dailyherald.comKristin Guardino of Schaumburg dresses her daughter, Arianna, 2, in a purple cape during the 2017 March for Babies on Sunday at the Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights. More than 1,000 people participated in the March of Dimes event that hoped to raise more than $300,000.

    Gilbert R. Boucher II/gboucher@dailyherald.comKristin Guardino of Schaumburg dresses her daughter, Arianna, 2, in a purple cape during the 2017 March for Babies on Sunday at the Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights. More than 1,000 people participated in the March of Dimes event that hoped to raise more than $300,000.

More than 1,000 suburban family members, health care givers, and representatives of local businesses walked around Arlington International Racecourse on Sunday in support of the 2017 March for Babies to help give infants a healthier start in life.

This year's theme was "Hope, Remember, and Celebrate," as organizers hoped to raise $300,000 during the March of Dimes biggest annual event.

"The money helps support March of Dimes in their effort to fund research, advocacy and community programs to help improve the health of moms and babies," said Rebecca Evans, marketing communications director for March of Dimes Midwest. "It is the first time walking at Arlington so we are excited to be here."

In addition to the walk, children were able to enjoy bouncy houses in a playland and a Superhero Sprint for runners in purple capes.

For those who experienced the loss of a baby, there was special March for Babies Memory Garden.

Each year in Illinois, 16,000 babies are born prematurely, the leading cause of death for infants, with those who survive often having to deal with serious and lifelong health problems.

Rachel Caputo's daughter, London, was the ambassador baby for the event. She was born three months early and spent the first three months of her life in intensive care.

"We are proud to walk for all the babies that fought so hard and for those that we lost too soon," said Caputo, a Chicago resident.

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