MUSCATINE, Iowa–When the Theo Wolf Foundation incorporated into a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting safe sleep for infants in March, they knew they wanted to start raising funds to create safe sleep kits right away by holding a memorable fundraiser. Their president, Lisa Wolf, explained: “Theo’s second heavenly birthday is June 3, so we wanted to incorporate our first fundraiser as a celebration of his birthday. Our foundation’s board members brainstormed fundraising activities, and we decided to host a charity walk and family fun day to celebrate Theo’s birthday and to also get safe sleep information out to the public.”
That brainstorming led to the creation of Strolling for Safe Sleep, set for June 5 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside Susan Clark Junior High School at 600 Kindler Avenue, Muscatine. Both adults and children may register for the walk up until 9 a.m. the day of the walk, at a cost of $30 for adults and $20 for children 11 and younger. At 9 a.m., walkers will begin their one and a half mile walk around the school, which will conclude with a butterfly release in honor of Theo’s birthday.
Then, until 2 p.m., families can take advantage of several fun free attractions, including bounce houses, a dunk tank staffed by members of the Muscatine Police Department and Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office, an art table, silent auction, bake sale, and food vendors. As a special treat, members of the Muscatine River Hawks semi-professional football team as well as pageant winners Miss Iowa Emily Tinsman, Junior Miss Iowa Avery Bradley, Li’l Miss Iowa Adalynn Parrish, Li’l Miss Pearl City Harper Wittmer, and Li’l Miss Muscatine Sydney Thomas will host a meet and greet.
To provide information about safe sleep practices, Lutheran Services in Iowa, the Iowa SIDS Foundation, the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Unity Point Trinity Muscatine Hospital, Trinity Muscatine Public Health, and Rock Valley Physical Therapy will each have booths set up. Lutheran Services will also have trained volunteers on hand to check car seats. Theo Wolf Foundation volunteers will have a booth as well where they will buy back any recalled Rock ‘n Play baby sleepers for $10 apiece.
With Strolling for Safe Sleep coming up quickly, Wolf hopes many members of the community will sign up to help fund the creation of safe sleep kits and learn about the easy ways parents and caregivers can keep babies safe while they sleep: “Approximately 3,500 infants die annually from sleep-related deaths and these deaths are preventable,” stated Wolf. “We encourage our community members to bring their families to our event and have a fun family day while learning about infant safe sleep–the more people we educate on safe sleep the more infants we can keep safe.”
If you would like to join the more than 200 people who have already registered for Strolling for Safe Sleep, you may sign up online via the link on the Theo Wolf Foundation’s Facebook page or in person the day of the event. “We are looking forward to spending the day with our great community, celebrating, and honoring Theo’s second birthday, while educating the public on infant safe sleep,” added Wolf.