For most, October is a month for non-stop fun. It’s thirty-one days of festive pumpkin-picking, apple cider donuts and fall foliage that ramps up to that much-anticipated costumed night of revelry and candy, Halloween. But October is a somber month for many others, who recognize it as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.
October is devoted to considering how “as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent causes of these problems,” as Ronald Reagan said in 1988 when giving the month its special dedication.
In that spirit, the March of Dimes strives to create events that not only work to raise awareness on how to prevent the death of a newborn — but also raise funds for programs that can support those who have lost a child.
That’s how Bark for Babies came to be. Hosted by March of Dimes, the October 8th event was a fundraising dog walk that offered families the chance to show their support — all while coming together with some incredibly cute puppies. (Some were even in costumes!)
The weather was gloomy, but it didn’t keep participants and their furry pals from hitting the street outside the Asbury Park Convention Hall dressed in purple. I
even brought my four-legged pooch, Bailey, with me to walk!
Despite the weather, hundreds of people showed up to endure the rain for the one-mile dog walk. It was truly an event for anyone who loves babies and dogs alike. The positive vibes that filled the air changed an overcast day into a much sunnier one.
Along the grass near the Convention Center were dozens of vendors. There were the requisite food trucks, of course (hello, ice cream and pork roll sandwiches!), but there were also sellers catering to animal lovers, offering fancy dog bowls and gourmet edible treats for both humans and their pets. With music playing in the background, mixed with the contagious laughter of children playing with their pets, the event was a complete hit.
Even if you missed Bark for Babies, you can always log onto www.marchofdimes.org to make a donation. Please keep in mind that making a donation helps to find ways to end premature and stillborn births and birth defects in babies. It is also a great way to stay up to date on future March of Dimes events that are happening near you.
- Hero (Top) Feature Image (& Additional Images): © Jessica Thompson-Baeza