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Walk, run and crawl for life

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Despite pouring rain, more than 500 walkers participated in the second annual Life Walk in Fredericksburg April 12. The popular fundraiser raised $51,798 for three local pro-life organizations: Bethany Christian Services, a pregnancy counseling and adoption program; Choices Women’s Center, a pregnancy resource center; and Mary’s Shelter, a home that provides expectant mothers and their children with housing for up to three years. 

By the time walkers started out along the Rappahannock River Heritage Trail, the rain had stopped and the sun peeked out. Many participants were families with young children in strollers. John DePrato was one of the first to complete the 3.1-mile loop running while pushing a stroller filled with Annabell, 5, Owen, 4, and Eden, 2. At the finish line, he was joined by his wife, Veronica, where the family enjoyed lunch with fellow participants and the children descended on two bouncy houses. 

“This was our first time at the Life Walk,” said Veronica. “We came to recognize that life is important and kids are a blessing from God. It’s also a great way to get out in the sunshine.”

Stephanie Robins, a clinical psychologist with Catholic Charities, attended the event with her husband, Clinton, and their daughter, Grace, 7-month-old.

“I love that the places that we are sponsoring support the babies and the moms both before and after birth,” said Robins. “I feel that is what it means to really be pro-life.”

Megan Dlugos, one of the Life Walk organizers from Mary’s Shelter, was pleased with the increase in participation this year. 

“It is a great way to rally the community together and the businesses, and for them to work together to show this community how pro-life we are,” said Dlugos. “It has been a joy for me to be able to work with all these organizations and get to see all these faces that come from so many different avenues of life, different churches, different religions. It's just such a beautiful thing to see us all come together and walk for one solid cause.” 

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019