The 2018 season will mark Eli Manning's 15th year as part of the New York Giants organization.
Off the field, Manning has spent the last eleven of those years as the celebrity chairman for March for Babies, the flagship event for March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization that has led the fight for the health of all moms and babies for 80 years.
"March of Dimes is leading the fight for the health of all moms and babies," Manning said. "We hope to raise $1.6 million to ensure that all babies are given the best possible start."
According to the March for Babies NYC website, the annual event, held this year on April 29th, has already raised more than $1.2 million. Walks are held across the country year-round, helping to raise millions of dollars for healthy moms and strong babies.
"With your support and the amazing support from our sponsors, our volunteers, our family teams and our corporate teams, I know that we will reach that goal," Manning told the crowd prior to the walk. "Because of you, more babies will be born healthy in New York City, across the country and around the world."
The three mile walk started at Lincoln Center, cut through Central Park, and headed down Lexington Avenue from East 65th Street to East 26th Street. Manning was joined by thousands of New Yorkers, and a few friendly faces for the kids in attendance – Marshall and Skye from Nickelodeon's PAW Patrol and Nella the Princess Knight. Two of Manning's three daughters, Ava, 7, and Lucy, 4, joined their dad on the walk.
"This is the 11th year that Eli Manning is the celebrity chairman for March for Babies," said Eileen Hochberg, Senior Development Director for March of Dimes NYC. "His involvement and his dedication has meant so much to this event and drawing attention to this event and giving attention to the event."
Nearly half a million babies are born premature or with birth defects in the U.S. each year, according to the March for Babies website. The money raised is a lifeline for moms and babies here and across the country. March of Dimes supports premature birth research and leads educational and advocacy programs so that every baby can have the best possible start.
Eli Manning participates in the annual March for Babies!(Photos: Benjamin Lin Photography)