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The March of Dimes Foundation has a walkathon event every year with over 1000 communities participating across the United States. The first walkathon took place in 1970 and was the first charitable walking event to take place in the country. March of Dimes is a non-profit organization founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. It was first known as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis which worked to combat polio. The organization grew, after funding the polio vaccine, to include work on preventing birth defects and infant mortality as well as funding research to prevent premature birth.