|Contact:||Sunny Mindel/Curt Ritter
|View the Mayor's Press Conference|
WalkAmerica 2001 consists of a 10-mile walk in Manhattan and a 12-mile walk in Staten Island. This will be the eighth consecutive year the Mayor has participated in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica Day.
"For 31 years the March of Dimes WalkAmerica has galvanized New Yorkers and people throughout the country around a fundamentally important cause -- preventing birth defects," said Mayor Giuliani. "On Sunday, April 29th, thousands of people will come together to help raise awareness and money for this cause. For the fourth year in a row, Joe Namath has teamed-up with the March of Dimes, and with Broadway Joe on our team, I know that WalkAmerica 2001 will be biggest and best ever and I thank them for their support in the fight against birth defects."
The Manhattan edition of WalkAmerica 2001 will begin and end at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, while the Staten Island Mall will serve as the start/finish line for the Staten Island walk. There are 47 walk sites in the tri--state area, including East Meadow, Kings Park, Long Beach, Riverhead and Sag Harbor on Long Island; and sites in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties, the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County.
Former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath said, "Every step you take at WalkAmerica helps to save a baby and makes you a hero. I have been blessed with two healthy daughters, but I know that not all parents are as fortunate, and that is why the March of Dimes is close to my heart -- because they are working toward a day when all babies are born healthy and no parent knows the pain of losing a child."
"The March of Dimes' emphasis on prenatal care and education for expectant parents is working to improve the health of our babies. We at CIGNA HealthCare know the best birth outcomes don't start in the delivery rooms. They result from planning, education, a healthy pregnancy and good medical care. We are proud to part of the WalkAmerica team," said Terrence Cahill, Regional Vice President, CIGNA HealthCare, Tri--State Region.
To register to walk or for information, individuals should call (212) 353-8353 in Manhattan, (718) 981-3000 in Staten Island, (516) 496-2100 in Long Island, (914) 997-4744 in Westchester/Rockland/Putnam Counties, (845) 454-9072 in Hudson Valley or (203) 847-8060 in Fairfield County.
In New York last year more than 15,000 people participated in WalkAmerica, which helped to raise $2 million to support March of Dimes programs. This year an estimated 18,000 New Yorkers are expected to participate in the 31st Annual WalkAmerica. Over the past 30 years, WalkAmerica has raised more than $800 million nationwide. Cigna HealthCare is a national sponsor of WalkAmerica, and is the presenting sponsor for the Greater New York Chapter's walk.
The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is
to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality.
The March of Dimes funds programs of community service, advocacy, research and
education that help save babies.