The ninth annual Rady Children’s Hospital Family Walk was held on Sunday morning at Mission Bay, where around 4,000 walkers raised money for hospital programs.

The event started at 7:30 a.m. at Rose Marie Starns South Shores Park and continued along the shore to SeaWorld San Diego, where the walkers were cheered on by the park’s penguins, a sloth, macaws and other animals, along with SeaWorld costume characters.

Some of the walkers even had the opportunity to see the park’s penguins up close and pet them. “It was like wet but also slimy, but overall, it was cool to pet a penguin,” said one of the participants in the Family Walk.

Walkers chose between one-mile and three-mile courses. Participants received a T-shirt, free admission to post-walk festivities, including games, entertainment, food and a 50 percent discount admission coupon to return to SeaWorld San Diego after the walk.

According to SeaWorld, the event sponsored by San Diego County Credit Union has raised $1.7 million for the hospital over the years.

— City News Service