The American Red Cross NMI Chapter’s 32nd Walkathon drew over 2,000 community members on Saipan alone.
American Red Cross NMI Chapter executive director John Hirsch said that there were about 3,000 individuals who participated from Saipan, Tinian, and Rota and a little over 2,000 of that were from Saipan, making this year’s walkathon turnout better than expected—from the weather, down to the amount of participants the event garnered.
“It turned out awesome. It was kind of beyond our expectations. We had a beautiful morning and there’s well over 2,000 people here on Saipan,” he said.
Hirsch attributed the walkathon’s success to the amount of new activities incorporated into this year’s festivities. There were three bounce houses, carnival games, and a pet adoption booth courtesy of Saipan Cares for Animals. There were also free canoe rides, courtesy of Okeanos Marianas and 500 Sails.
“People understand the Red Cross and what our mission is here in the community…so the community responds and helps us by supporting us to meet our financial goals and to keep this wonderful event running for 32 years,” he said.
According to Hirsch, the goal this year was to raise $60,000 and he is hopeful they will achieve it. Last year, the chapter raised over $70,000.
About 30 schools participated in last year’s walkathon and Hirsch said about the same number of schools participated again this year.
The walkathon raises funds for the American Red Cross so it could continue its humanitarian work and promote healthy living. The event included the regular exhibits for health screenings such as blood pressure, eye screening, blood sugar levels, and flu vaccinations.
The amount of money raised this year has yet to be counted and will be announced this week.
The exact amount of registrants and school with the highest number of walkers will also be announced within this week, according to Hirsch.