Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

 

 

Perris Relay for Babies Fundraising Tops All Other California Cities

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Rita Rogers addresses the crowd at the March of Dimes Relay For Babies: “Everyone gives when it’s an important cause, an important mission.”
Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Rita Rogers addresses the crowd at the March of Dimes Relay For Babies: “Everyone gives when it’s an important cause, an important mission.”

Perris once again topped all California cities in its commitment to fight premature births and their related birth defects, raising more than $22,584 in its 2010 March of Dimes Relay For Babies Saturday at Foss Field Park.

“I am pleased but not surprised,” said Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Rita Rogers, a division chair for March of Dimes. “The economy is struggling but everyone gives when it’s an important cause, an important mission. We are committed in our efforts to save babies and I thank everyone who contributed to making this year’s Relay for Babies an unqualified success.”

Rogers and Perris Mayor Daryl Busch led hundreds of marchers in the opening lap around Foss Park at the start of the relay.

Throughout the course of the daylong relay, at least one member from the 20 teams kept walking around the course to show solidarity for pregnant mothers and their children. The Perris contingent also included City Councilman Al Landers, Assistant City Manager Ron Carr, Deputy City Manager Darren Madkin and numerous City staff from various departments.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch and his wife, Kay, accept a check from Rio Ranch Markets for the Relay for Babies
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch and his wife, Kay, accept a check from Rio Ranch Markets for the Relay for Babies.

Former Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Raiders wide receiver Ron Brown, who also won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, took part in the event as well. Brown said he came to Perris to show his support for Rogers and the March of Dimes.

“Anytime we can show our support for a cause like this, we certainly will,” Brown said. “This is important. Kids are important.”

The City’s total contribution to March of Dimes topped its 2009 total of about $18,000. Rio Ranch Markets, a new business to Perris which will open its first store in the City in December, topped the list of contributors with $7,334. A team from Tri-Lake Consultants raised $1,850. Perris City employees raised $1,661 in series of fund-raising events, including a car wash, chili cook off and barbecue lunch. Other major contributors included Wal-Mart and Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley.

Mayor Pro-Tem Rita Rogers shows her spirit while leading a lap during the day-long relay
Mayor Pro-Tem Rita Rogers shows her spirit while leading a lap during the day-long relay.

Perris High School, Palomar High School  and the California Military Institute sent contingents, as did Lowe’s, the Perris Police Department, Perris Fire Department, the Perris Youth Council and Cops and Clergy.

Mayor Busch, the chairman of the Relay for Babies, and his wife, Kay, addressed the crowd at the start of the event. They said they had lost a child 46 years ago and wondered whether the treatments provided to pregnant women today would have made a difference.

“We are very, very proud of everyone’s participation,” Mayor Busch said. “The research conducted by the March of Dimes goes a long way toward saving babies’ lives. This is a special event for special people. We are number one in the state. We’re proud of what you have done to make us number one.”

Sara Cowan is one of the children who benefitted from March of Dimes research.

Perris City Councilman Al Landers and Mayor Daryl Busch lead a lap as the relay winds down
Perris City Councilman Al Landers and Mayor Daryl Busch lead a lap as the relay winds down.

Sara, who is now 4, was born three months premature, with lungs insufficiently developed to support proper breathing. March of Dimes research funded the therapy that kept her alive until she could breathe on her own. Sara and her mom, Amanda Cowan, regularly appear on behalf of the March of Dimes.

“Because of you, babies like Sara will have a chance to survive,” Amanda Cowan said. “It’s great to come to Perris and see the community so excited about an event like this.”

Councilman Landers, who every year fields a team of walkers from his real estate company, called Perris “the little City with the big heart.” He thanked all the volunteers who came out to walk or run on a cold, grey day for making that commitment.

“If we can make any difference in the lives of babies, then by all means we should,” he said. “Volunteers make Perris the great City that it is. I thank you all.”

The contingent from the City of Perris included Ron Carr, Darren Madkin, Isabel Lugo, Daryl Hartwill, Arturo Cervantes, James Fructuoso, Matt Fructuoso, Sarina Brannon, Sara Cortes-Diaz, Lynn Buchanan, Tammy Bianco, Walt Carter, Stacie Dain and Joshua Estrada.

Team Totals

Team Online   Collected Total $$$ Raised
Rio Ranch Market $29 $7367.65 $7396.65
Tri Lake Trotters  $350 $1500 $1850
Perris Pride $320 $1312 $1632
Perris Relay Team $25 $1602 $1627
Perris Police dept  $835 $718 $1553
Vista Hospital   $1000 $1000
Inland Auto, Boats & RV    $1000 $1000
PCP Youth Council   $604 $604
City of Miracles Church   $560 $560
Preferred Realtors   $548 $548
Lowe’s 966   $520 $520
Perris Fire Dept $60 $400.16 $460.16
Cops & Clergy  $250 $177 $427
First Baptist Churc   $345 $345
Individual walkers $270 $65 $335
Perris Panthers $185 $101 $286
Paloma Valley Interact   $250.09 $250.09
CMI   $100 $100
Farmers $45   $45
Starlight ceremony   $25.50 $25.50
Team Kujawa $20   $20