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Hi, I'm Darryll and I live in Pullman, Washington with my wife and two kids. I'm a licensed Architect and am employed as a Project Manager at Washington State University. In addition, I have my own business doing residential designs in the greater Palouse area. I am a self-taught pianist, song-writer and singer and am involved in the music department at my local church.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

March of Dimes Walk-a-Lot

Does anyone else remember when in the ‘70s we had the Walk-A-Lot in Seattle? Was this only in Seattle? Did everyone else do them all over the country?


Sponsored by the March of Dimes – a group that provides support for the families of infants who need to be in an NICU in the hospital – this was an opportunity to put your foot where your mouth was. It was a pretty basic set up. You’d start by getting all of the paperwork from a March of Dimes representative – my Mom was a rep which made it easy for us to get everything we needed. The Sponsor Form was a sign-up sheet for people to sign up and sponsor you a certain amount per mile. So – you’d make the rounds and get all your neighbors and relatives to sponsor you. Your Mom and Dad may even take your form to work where they might try to coerce their office mates to sponsor you, too. It was held in the summer. So you didn’t have the chance to take it to school – which was good if you were too scared to ask your friends or teachers.

The Walk-A-Lot was a 20 mile route that started and ended at the Seattle Center. There were a bunch of tables set up by the flag pavilion and you checked in there and started walking the route. There were check points every few miles where you got your sheet stamped to verify your progress. For you Seattleites, the route went from the Center over to Eastlake, under the freeway and then north on 15th NE as far as 130th. We then headed west across the freeway, over Aurora, down Greenwood and ended up on 15th NW, shot along Elliott Avenue and up Denny Way to the Seattle Center.

It was a lot of fun. It was an opportunity to do something good and participate in something much bigger than ourselves. We always kidded about how hard it was when we started, but by the end, we were pretty wiped out. We did it for quite a few years, and every time we were glad that we had done it, and it was for a worthy cause.

13 comments:

Ally said...

SO many bloggers have participated in this walk for March of Dimes. I think it's wonderful. I don't walk usually, but I donate.


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The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I donate to my SIL who walks. My niece was born premature and was helped by their great organization!

Blast from the Past said...

Ally and GND: My brother had some physical birth defects, so I believe that's how my mom got involved. God bless you both for your donations!

I don't know about you, but I've never felt bad after donating to a worthy cause... it's a legal, ethical and awesome natural high feeling!

Susan Horning said...

My dad and I walked it, I remember that he was wearing combat boots from his Army days. I searched for this because I wanted to confirm it had been 20 miles. Dad handled the distance better than I did.

Kim Ethier said...

In the 70's, I walked 18 miles in our walkathon for the March of Dimes. I am a congenital amputee, left leg. It took me all day to walk it. I hopped some when my leg was bleeding. The National Guard ended up walking with me. I finished the 18 miles, bloody and tired, but I did it.

Anonymous said...

WOW......Just heard a commercial on the radio for March of Dimes an it made me want to Google 'the 20 mile walk'. Pretty sure my family didn't believe me when I said I walked it for several years. It was so many years ago, I started to wonder if it actually was 20 MILES. It was long, but a lot of fun, and you felt really great at the end, knowing you were helping innocent, little babies. Thanks for the memory. ~~~Linda

Blast from the Past said...

Linda - It WAS a long walk, but it was a LOT of fun, and you DID feel good about yourself for helping others. I don't know that kids these days are as involved or committed to causes as we were... of course we had a lot less distractions in our lives than they did on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Same thing. People tell me no way did I ever do a 20 mile MOD walk. Mine was in Fayetteville, NC. VERY fun town when I was an Army brat. Still a wonderful cause.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I did the March of Dimes Walkathon in the early 80'stages in San Jose CA. For us it was 30 kilometers 18ish miles. I would get neighbors to pledge 10cents per kilometer and I clearly recall collecting $3.00 from them after the race. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but I was in 6th grade and I remember as a kid making it much harder than it needed to be because we would horse around running all over the place during the walk. The first year, I remember wanting to give up even with the end in site and my friends encouraging me to finish, which thankfully I did.
I remember the next day I was so sore I needed to use crutches to walk. My wife is crazy if she thinks that would happen after a 3 or 6 mile walk.

Blast from the Past said...

I certainly remember doing the exact same thing. My cousin, brother and I would spend the first couple miles running ahead, running back, chasing each other around... only to get really tired and (depending on the Seattle weather that year) hot, sweaty and thirsty. Without fail, we would end up spending the last half - and especially the last couple of miles - complaining, crying, etc.

And -yes - we would be very sore the next day. But it was for a good cause and I'm really glad that we did it.

Anonymous said...

Yes!!!! 20 Mile walk in Michigan suburb of Detroit (Stoney Creek)
We did it every year! So...today's youth walking 3k? lol
Good memories, great cause!

Blast from the Past said...

I didn't know that they're only doing 3K now - sorry - but I think that they're pretty wimpy, if you ask me. I think we gained a lot of character having to tough it out for 20 miles! You can check out my book about growing up in the '70s - it's called "My '70s Book" and remembers all the fun and awesome things we did growing up.

Unknown said...

Just did a six mile walk today in Gainesville Florida, but I also did the 20 mile walk in Miami Florida from the Orange Bowl and back. I remember the sheets to for 10 cent a mile as a mimimum asking donation.