Lawrenceville Highway was a sea of light blue on September 1st as over 725 people, donning identical T-shirts, walked three miles to show their support for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
They were participants in this year’s Walk 2008, an annual walk-a-thon held by BAPS Charities to support local beneficiaries such as CHOA. In keeping with this year’s theme, participants of all ages truly took a step to help a child in need.
“We really received a great turnout this year,” said Anand Mehta, the Vice President of BAPS Charities. “We are truly grateful to everyone for their commitment to this important cause. The contributions from this walk-a-thon will certainly help CHOA continue its efforts in providing healthcare for children.”
Rushi Patel, 12, raised $311 dollars by going around his neighborhood. He and many of his friends were among the first waiting in line for the kickoff. As the ribbon was cut, they dashed past it with enthusiasm, already a step ahead of their parents.
“I’m participating in this walk to raise money for children who need help and can’t get to doctors,” he said.
Gwinnett County Board of Education member, Louise Radloff, cut the ribbon, marking the event’s traditional kickoff.
“It is a good day that we can come together to celebrate being together,” she said in an address to the community. “But it’s also a good day that we can come together to help other children.”
Joining Ms. Radloff were State Representative Hugh Floyd and Dr. Gene Taylor, Principal of Lilburn Middle School.
“It’s an inspiration to me to see so many young children and so many of the older citizens taking part in such a worthy cause,” Representative Floyd said.
Dr. Taylor, who graciously allowed Lilburn Middle School to be the turnaround point for the walkers, was equally impressed with the volunteer efforts and the Mandir itself.
“The mandir has become a symbol of Lilburn and it’s become a symbol of Georgia,” Dr. Taylor said.
Over 30 BAPS Charities centers throughout North America will hold walk-a-thons in their respective regions, all for the benefit of a local charity of their choice.