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by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer
Seven-year-old Kiara Riske was recognized Saturday for raising the most money for the annual March of Dimes Carson City WalkAmerica fund-raiser.
“I wanted to help the babies,” she said. “I hate it when they’re sick.”
Kiara, who raised $617, joined more than 250 others at the Capitol in a walk to raise money to fight birth defects and infant mortality.
Her dedication served as inspiration to other walkers, including Gov. Kenny Guinn.
“I thought, ‘If that little girl can collect $600, I can give something,” said Guinn, who reached into his pocket and offered a $300 spontaneous donation.
“What a pleasant surprise to get that kind of support,” said Shelly Young, the community director.
Young said Carson City’s goal is to raise $40,000 for the organization. Before the walk, the city had raised $14,000 and fund raising will continue through June with events planned by local businesses including Kmart and Mo & Sluggo’s.
Samie Lapia, 14, saw the walk as her chance to help.
“A lot of people can’t raise that much money that fast, but when the community comes together we can,” she said. “It’s teamwork.”
Gordon McEachin, 34, joined for more personal reasons.
“My supervisors just had two premature babies,” he explained. “One has a heart condition — I’m here for his babies.
“Also, I was a ward of the state for 18 years and I had a heart condition. This is my way of giving back.”
About 60 area prisoners held their own walk earlier Saturday morning and raised over $500.
“We see this as saving our future,” said Jackie Crawford, director of the Nevada Department of Corrections. “We’re hoping this will spread throughout the state and next year we can get the prisons in Southern Nevada involved.”