BELPRE - Around 200 people went out and ran in the rain Sunday to raise money and awareness for issues affecting mothers.
The fourth annual World Breastfeeding Week Mother's Day 5K Race and free kids races were held Mother's Day at Belpre's Civitan Park.
"It is a really great thing for families to do and for anyone who wants to support the cause or come out and have a good time on Mother's Day," said Danielle Bergum, one of the event's organizers.
The purpose of the run was to bring attention to breastfeeding education and support.
"We are raising money to benefit that in our community as well as around the world," she said.
Bergum, who is also an Esali Birth Perinatal Educator, hosts a breastfeeding support group every month where moms can come and learn about breastfeeding, talk about their day-to-day experiences, any difficulties they are having and more.
The subject of breastfeeding is not something that is regularly talked about in today's culture, she said.
"The majority of moms are not breast feeding," Bergum said. "It is not something that we grow up around.
"This will help fund some of those things that we do for our monthly meetings."
The support group has different parenting resources, like workshops for parents and a number of programs that can help with cognitive development and more. It also keeps up to date with different birth practices, specifically those that affect the breastfeeding experience.
This year, there were 215 runners who signed up for Sunday's race compared to 190 last year.
"It is bigger this year than it was last year," Bergum said. "Some people may have not come because of the rain, but others did.
"This is our biggest year so far. I don't think the rain hurt us too bad."
Last year, the group raised around $1,000 at the race, said co-organizer Leslie Thomas. This year they are expecting to surpass that, she added.
Bergum wants people to know there are resources available to help mothers and babies in the community.
"Education is important, because we don't live in a culture where we grew up around breastfeeding," she said. "It is something that you have to learn.
"People just need to know that in our area we have a lot of support for it and we are a phone call or email away to be able to get your answers answered."
For more information, go to EsaliBirth.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (304) 273-4190.