CHICAGO (CBS) — The annual March of Dimes brought thousands of families and friends to the lakefront Sunday morning.

There were families new to the March of Dimes walk and others who’ve been coming out for years.

Janella Hardin took part with her family and friends from all across Illinois.

“I had a premature baby, September 6, 2012,” Hardin said. “She was born at 24 weeks and she weighed 330 grams. She lived for about 11 minutes and so we’ve been walking ever since. This is our fourth year here.”

March of Dimes Chicago executive director Ashley Summers says the number of attendees is up from last year because of most likely due to the weather.

“People just came and enjoyed the day trying to find the causes of prematurity and find a solution for it,” Summers said.

Their total estimate is at over 10,000 participants and they plan to hit their fundraising goal of $1.4 million.

There are several different March of Dimes events happening across the state over the next few weeks.