GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Runners and walkers, some wearing large inflatable costumes, gathered at Grandville Middle School Sunday to support local neonatal intensive care patients.
The seventh annual Running for Covers event collects blankets for babies in and raises money for the NICU at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Event coordinator Mandy Dobrowolski’s daughter Paisley was only 2.8 pounds when she was born 12 weeks premature.
“We decided we wanted to give back to the NICU and the nurses. They used to buy the blankets themselves out of their own pockets, and I thought we could come with an event to collect blankets for them,” Dobrowolski said.
She held the first Running for Covers shortly after Paisley was born. Those who wish to be part of the 2.8 mile (the distance reflecting Paisley’s weight at birth) run/walk donate baby blankets to participate.
Now 6, Paisley is healthy, which her mother says it thanks to the NICU.
“Our mission is just to give back to other NICU families and make them feel supported like we did when we were there,” Dobrowolski said.
Last year, Running for Covers collected 400 blankets and many other supplies, as well as $2,000 to pay for special hospital-grade power recliners for parents of NICU patients to use.