Region 8 Walks for Charities

April 28, 2007 - Posted at 9:12 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - Saturday was a beautiful day to spend outside and that was exactly what many folks across Region 8 did...and a couple even managed to pull double duty by raising money for some of their favorite charities.

The morning started early at the Craighead Forest Park for walkers celebrating Community Spirit Week.

Rennell Woods of City Youth Ministries said, "With our mission, health and fitness is a part of what we do and so for the pediatric daycare center to chose us to be a part of their walk, a first annual for us, it's quite an honor."

Sponsored by the child and youth pediatric day clinic, walkers were raising money for the City Youth Ministries.

"They do daily devotionals with the children there, they do after school programs, tutoring and they feed them supper every night, athletics, just reaching out to the youth," said Mental Health Therapist Valerie Brannen.

And the funds raised Saturday will help 135 to 145 children this summer.

"City Youth Ministries is a very important place in the community; it's a vital part of the community.  That's why we wanted to donate to them is because they need continue funding.  They rely solely on volunteers and donations and that's it," said Brannen.

Across town, walkers took over downtown Jonesboro for WalkAmerica...helping to raise funds to fight the crisis of birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

"The walk is a way to promote the march of dimes and earn money for research," said Amy Privett, March of Dimes Community Council.

Walkers hope to pass their goal of raising $83,000.

Melissa Coles, who serves on the March of Dimes Community Council said, "I can't tell you how important it is and how many lives we save each and every year by small and large donations and the communities coming out together with the companies, the family teams and the individuals, we all have the same purposes."

Organizers at both walks say the turn outs were good and the fund raising efforts were successful.