VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The 22nd annual March for Babies took place at the Virginia Beach Sunday morning.
Thousands of walkers participated in the March of Dimes "March for Babies" at the Oceanfront. Proceeds from the 5-mile walk will support healthy babies, address pregnancy concerns and help bring an end to premature births.
Some participants told WAVY.com loved ones inspired them to get out and walk.
"Over the last seven years, our family has experienced five losses," said Jennifer Ritter, whose family formed a team.
Together, the Ritters raised more than $1,800 at a yard sale, and donated all the money to the March of Dimes. They say seeing other families at the event reminds them they are not the only ones who lost children unexpectedly.
"A year and a half ago, my nephew died," said Ingrid Hachmeister. "He was premature, so I do it for him."
Hachmeister remembers how her family felt making the difficult decision of how to proceed.
"They had to decide whether to let him continue in pain or end it, and it was a really hard moment," she said. "Things like this are good because then we can remember and it's important because he's not the only one."
The babies they can't carry in their arms, they carry in their hearts. And it was hard not to smile, at the sight of so many who celebrated their cause.
Sunday's walk marks the 22nd year for the event.
WAVY.com's Don Roberts and 97.3 The Eagle's Jimmy Ray went above and beyond. They finished an 80-mile trek from James City County to Virginia Beach, and then joined the crowd for the March for Babies.
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