GREENVILLE — Kristina Knapp is the 2016 chair for the Darke County March for Babies, slated for April 30.
She is the marketing director at Dave Knapp Ford Lincoln in Greenville, owned by her father. The car dealership is also one of the major sponsors of this year’s event with Greenville Technology Inc. and Wayne HealthCare.
The event starts and ends at the Darke County Fairgrounds, 800 Sweitzer St. Donations are to be turned in by 8 a.m., while the 5.5-mile walks gets underway at 9.
“There will be a kickoff at 8:30, with the singing of the National Anthem and the Ambassador Child, Gabriel Stevens, and myself speaking, Knapp said.
Knapp’s goal is to raise $110,000.
Among things featured at the family-friendly event will be Kid Zone activities, food provided before and after the walk and vendor tables.
“There will be areas for water along the route,” Knapp said. “At Dave Knapp Ford, you can use the restrooms and get water.”
More than 700 walkers are expected to participate in this year’s walk for stronger, healthier babies.
According to her, there will be a vehicle following the walkers to shuttle them back if they decide not walk the complete route.”
“After the walk, there will be a deejay, games for the kids, pries, food and face-painting….like a little festival,” Knapp said “It’s typically over by noon.”
March for Babies is the nation’s premier walking event held in 700 communities across the United States and involves more than 7 million people each year.
The March of Dimes, it was noted, is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health.
“Each year in Ohio, one out of nine babies are born prematurely,” said Knapp. “Everybody born in the United States is touched by March of Dimes. Ohio has the 11th highest rate of pre-term births in the country.”
The purposes of the March of Dimes, according to Knapp, are to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature births and infant mortality by providing education to help moms and healthcare professionals; for funding and research; and to help families with direct care and support.
Serving on the Executive Leadership Team with her are Darke County Municipal Court Judge Julie Monnin; Bill LaFramboise of GTI; John Staub, plant manager at Fram; Annette Ryan of Greenville Federal; Peggy Schultz, representing human resources at Wayne HealthCare; and Sherry Smith of Whirlpool.
Knapp lives in Englewood with her husband, Vince Bradley, the product manager for Kroger’s in Troy, and soon-to-be 13-year-old daughter Makayla Kempton.
The daughter of Dave and Karen Knapp, she graduated from Northmont High School and attended Sinclair College, before she began work at the dealership.
She coaches a competitive dance team out of Vandalia.
“I danced for 12 years until I was a sophomore in high school,” she said.
Knapp said it is not too late to register for the March of Dimes for Babies. Anyone can sign up for March for Babies and create a team with their family, friends or colleagues at marchforbabies.org or by calling the Miami Valley Division at 937-294-3330.
“Contact me at Dave Knapp Ford at 547-3000 or Jackie Allen, executive director of Dayton Market, at 937-657-0958,” Knapp said. “You can register to walk and start raising money.”