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March of Dimes walk kickoff is set for this week

Are you aware of an event or project that benefits our community? Contact Shelley Mann at 770-963-9205 ext. 1305 or shelley.mann@gwinnettdailypost.com.

Lace up your running shoes - the kickoff for this year's WalkAmerica event starts at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Gwinnett Center. WalkAmerica Gwinnett is scheduled for April 22 at Lake Lanier Islands.

This year's walk chair Herman Pennamon will be at the kickoff event, as well as the 2006 ambassador family - Don, Lara and Jack Swift.

WalkAmerica is the biggest annual fundraiser for the March of Dimes, a national voluntary health agency with a mission to improve the health of babies. It supports research and programs to help prevent or treat premature birth, birth defects and other threats to infant health.

Since it began in 1970, WalkAmerica has raised more than $1.5 billion for research. Each year, about half a million walkers in more than 1,000 communities take part in the walk.

To register for WalkAmerica, visit www.walkamerica.org or call 1-800-525-WALK. Sponsor forms are also available at Kmart or Famous Footwear.

Habitat partnership will help build

Norcross house

Gwinnett County Habitat for Humanity recently announced it is working with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Southeast Region in a national $21.7 million house-building effort to construct more than 300 affordable homes this year, including one in Norcross.

Locally, volunteers will be needed to help build the house in Norcross. Nationally, Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial will try to build 312 homes in 2006. Thrivent Financial has pledged $105 million over the next four years to increase Habitat production by up to 500 U.S. homes per year.

Habitat affiliates across the nation were invited to apply for Thrivent Builds with Habitat funding, and 265 will receive money. Habitat for Humanity International is based in Americus and is a Christian ministry that encourages the community to work together to eliminate poverty housing. For more information, visit www.habitatgwinnett.org.

Walk registration

is coming up

As a heads-up, registration kickoff for the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer is March 18 at Maggiano's Buckhead, 3368 Peachtree Road in Atlanta. Breakfast will be from 7:30 to 8 a.m., followed by an orientation from 8 to 9 a.m. A three-mile training walk will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The event is free, and registration is $100 for two-day walkers and $50 for one day. The walk will be held from Sept. 16-17. For more information, call 404-531-4111 or visit www.2daywalk.org.