March of Dimes walk to celebrate 27th year of walking under the lights

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Campaigning for healthier babies will have a twist this holiday season. 

The March of Dimes will once again host its night walk at Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens in November. 

“This is our 27th year, and it’s the one night that people can walk through the lights,” said March of Dimes Development Manager Carla Starling. “Any families or even companies that have associates walk makes this kind of a kick off for the holiday season. It’s a great family friendly, coworker friendly, type of event.” 

The walk is five miles long, but walkers are given ample time from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to walk and enjoy the lights. 

“It’s just a great event for everyone,” Starling said. 

“You go with at your own pace. Walking five miles may sound alarmingly long, however walking at your own pace makes this an entirely enjoyable event.” 

The event started in 1992 in what originally was decided over a handshake with Callaway Gardens.  

“This event started when my first manager and Bo Callaway connected, and it was one of those handshake agreements,” Starling said. “It was a great event that he loved for many years. I was down at the line taking tickets for some of those, and he’d be one of the first ones to walk. I just have some great memories from the past.”

Strollers, wheelchairs and wagons are all allowed on the walk, which makes it possible for families to enjoy an evening under the lights together, making memories. 

“It’s great to see folks come for both the March of Dimes and the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation because the ticket cost is split between the march and the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation,” Starling said. “It’s benefiting two great 501(c)3 organizations that are trying to make a difference in the world, and it’s just great.”

Each year, the walk raises an average approximate of $40,000. Starling said the event typically conflicts with the Georgia-Auburn game, but this year it will not. 

“Ticket sales for this year are already up from this time last year,” Starling said. 

The March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. 

“We believe that every baby deserves the best possible start,” Starling said. “Unfortunately, not all babies are getting one. So, we’re changing that from advocacy to education to research, we’re working to level the playing field so that all moms and babies are healthy. When a society supports every family, the future is brighter for us all and when communities work together, even the toughest problems can be solved.”

The walk begins and ends at Robin Lake Beach Pavilion on Nov. 9. 

Ticket costs are $21 ages 13 and up, $10.50 for ages 4 – 12, and children 3 and under need a free ticket. Tickets will be available online until 11:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 and will be available the day of the walk on Saturday, Nov. 9. 

For more information on the walk or to purchase tickets to the event, visit