Event lauds fundraising
The March of Dimes recognized the efforts of its volunteers’ fund raising at an "Appreciation Coffee Reception" held by Vice President of Student Affairs Elwyn C. Lee on May 22 at the University Center.
The event highlighted 2007’s WalkAmerica, the March of Dimes’ annual event to raise awareness of premature defects and to help save newborn babies, which was held at the University on April 29.
"One of the main reasons that I’ve been doing this was because my daughter was a premature baby, so that makes it a lot more special to me," Irma Zamora, a coordinator in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, said.
First-time participant Amanda Hernandez, who was responsible for helping raise funds for the organization, was recognized for her efforts.
"For this being (my) first time, I didn’t know what to expect," Hernandez, who plans to continue volunteering next year, said. "I did a fundraiser with spaghetti plate lunches and raised about $1,000."
Both Zamora and Hernandez were acknowledged with awards for spearheading the campaign.
This year, the March of Dimes raised more than $27,000 from the volunteers’ efforts.
"Our goal is $30,000," event logistics coordinator Juanita Jackson, said.
Approximately 40,000 people gather for WalkAmerica, an annual five-mile walk that takes place on the last Sunday of April.
"The University of Houston is the largest walking event in the United States," Executive Director for the Houston Division of the Texas Chapter of the March of Dimes Richard L. Jennings said. "Cougars can take pride that this is the largest walk in the U.S."
Jennings said that the organization is proud to be associated with UH, where WalkAmerica has been hosted for the past 11 years. The event will remain at UH for the next three years.
"Dr. Gogue, before he left, agreed that we could stay here through 2010, and I plan, when you get a new chancellor, sometime in 2008, to try to extend that through 2012," Jennings said.
Jennings said he plans to meet with the newly appointed Interim UH System Chancellor John Rudley to discuss extending the organization’s stay.
Zamora, a returning participant, says she plans on attending the event for years to come.
"I bring my husband to come and walk with me, and we pick up walkers to come with us, and we have a lot of fun," she said.