March of Dimes Recognizes Paul Hamilton Sailors
HONOLULU (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) received the 2010 Top Military Team award from the health charity organization, March of Dimes, June 14.
Led by Electrician's Mate 1st Class (SW) Ernesto Derosas, Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW) George Steen and Lt.j.g. Makana Young, a team of more than 40 Sailors from Paul Hamilton raised more than $3,000 to support the March of Dimes March for Babies event.
"March of Dimes raises money through the March for Babies event for research to find the causes of premature birth and birth defects, interventions and treatments," said Carmella Hernandez the state director for the March of Dimes Hawaii chapter. "We also provide money to local programs to help families right in our own communities."
The March of Dimes has been organizing fundraising walks in Hawaii since 2007. This year, the organization raised more that $570,000 in donations in Hawaii alone and $103 million nationwide.
For the March for Babies event the Paul Hamilton team joined more than 1,000 participants as they walked five miles from Kapiolani Park to Ala Moana Park and back.
"It feels really good," said Young. "For everyone to come together and raise a lot of money for this cause, it just feels really good in the end. By the time we got to the walk it was a big accomplishment for us. Being from Hawaii and being a premature baby, myself, this was especially heartfelt for me to be able to participate in this cause. A lot of my friends did not know that. So sharing that bit about me really opened their eyes that there are a lot us out there, and this event is something that makes a difference in peoples' lives."
The cause hit close to home for Steen, as well, when one of his female friends asked him to godfather her daughter who was born premature.
"That's how it got me started on this," said Steen. "I read about it. I've been doing this since 2006. Volunteer is something you do. You want to make sure the Navy is out there in the community and make sure that they have support."
Both Derosas and Steen have participated in several March of Dimes events in past years but this is the first time they have received an award.