This was the biggest year in Promise Walk history, with more walks, more participants, and the most funds ever raised! Promise Walks were held in 24 cities in 19 different states and raised more than $271,000 for the Preeclampsia Foundation, with 2300 participants nationwide. Our largest walk hosted around 300 people. State governors and mayors proclaimed preeclampsia awareness day in 13 states and cities.
Many special tributes and fun features made each walk an inspirational and unique event. Butterfly releases in San Diego and Boston, a dove release in San Jose, survivor sashes in North Conway, personalized mile markers in Chicago, and a special feature with the Field of Cradles exhibit in Boston made each walk inspiring. Some of the fun features included face painting for kids and adults, and specialized desserts like Promise Walk heart cookies and "feet" cakes!
Walk participants at a few locations were treated to special guest speakers, including 2012 Saving Grace Co-Chairs, Pat Dignan and Lauren Larsen (author of Zuzu's Petals), Foundation Executive Director Eleni Tsigas, researcher Dr. Ananth Karumanchi, and author and reality show star Dr. Allison Hill, all of whom have dedicated their time and work to help raise awareness about preeclampsia. Volunteer Rosemary Jorden created the 2011 Promise Walk quilt that traveled around the country to six different walks. The quilt comprises 25 quilt squares, each created by a family remembering or honoring a loved one affected by preeclampsia. This quilt (along with future quilts) will continue to travel each year to different walk sites.
Walk participants also got creative with their team names: funny ("Be Fruitful and Multiply", "We Don't Need that Kind of HELLP", "Twinkle Toes", "PreE Rockstars", and "Team Down with BP)"), as well as those named in honor of loved ones ("Eli's Little Giants", "Friends of Rose Babies", "Christie's Crusaders", and "Remembering Henry").
Big congratulations to Team Cooper Landon Barnett in San Jose who was the top fundraising team, raising a whopping $8,125! This year, more than $8,000 donations also came from employer-matching funds...many thanks to those philanthopically minded companies. Does your employer match funds? Check into it and watch your donations grow!
We are enormously grateful to the many people who made the 2011 season so successful: national Promise Walk director Becky Sloan, city walk coordinators Marlene and Robert Bradley, Lori Harrison, John and Brenda Warner, Leanne Park, Laura Dale, Dawn Detweiler, Stephanie Steiner, Nicole Purnell, Jennifer Joyce, Tia Doster, Tiffany Trevers, Kelly Sullivan, Amy Mertz, Dana Russell, Terri Suffecool, Renee Feagan, Meredith Drews, Katie Rhodes, Diane Williams, Cindi & Jon Hillman, Jamie Schmidt, Kata Lakovic, Alicia Magdaleno, Chad and Kelly Thomas, Abby Hausmann-Virgil, Minda Gerst-Swisher, Karin Chitty, Johanna Aiken, Jill Siegel, Renee Martinez, Janel Kovarik, Megan Stuart, Denise Lang, Kellie Beadle, Jessica Sobat, Amanda Meier, Mindy Aucone, and Susannah Pabot, and all the hundreds of volunteers that helped the coordinators. Special recognition also goes to our national sponsors, Alere, Cord Blood Registry, and Beckman Coulter, and the many local sponsors who continue to support our efforts.