March of Dimes’ March for Babies kicks off campaign

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The March of Dimes held the official kick off for the 2012 March for Babies fundraising campaign on Wednesday, January 25, at the Outback Steakhouse on Boundary Street.
Veronica Vereen, Community Director for the March of Dimes, served as emcee at the event which brought together representatives from family and corporate teams from the Beaufort community. “This kick off is a wonderful opportunity to get our teams’ fundraising efforts started, so they have plenty of time to recruit team members and raise money for healthier babies,” said Veronica.
Teams use this time to promote special events that they are planning for fundraising efforts. The Ambassador team name is FiremanSavingBabies. They are planning an event called “SHOW UP in TURNOUT for Babies” the day for the walk on Saturday, April 21. Firemen and friends are encouraged to come out in their turnout gear and walk the three miles with their team.
“Our March for Babies event will be held on Saturday, April 21st at the Naval Heritage Park. Funds raised for March for Babies support vital research to help prevent premature birth and birth defects and supports community programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies.  Last year the March of Dimes distributed nearly $500,000 in community grant funding to projects improving the health of South Carolina’s moms and babies,” said Veronica.
South Carolina currently has a premature birth rate of 14.3% — one of the highest in the country. Premature babies often struggle to survive and many have lifelong health and developmental consequences. In half of all cases there is no known cause for premature birth.
During the kick off, participants from March for Babies 2011 who raised more $1,000 or more were recognized as part of the Circle of Champions. “Our Circle of Champions are leading the way so more babies will have a healthy start in life, and more families will know the joy of having a healthy baby.” said Veronica.
One family that knows the journey of premature birth is the Connellys, who are serving as this year’s Beaufort Ambassadors. Ryan and Ashley Connelly are thankful to have Emilia and Olivia. Ashley commented, “March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization that, among many things, funds research concerning prematurity, low birth weight and birth defects. A drug implemented because research funded by the March of Dimes saved Emilia and Olivia.”
To register yourself or a family or corporate team, please call the March of Dimes office at 843-571-1776 or visit marchofdimes.com/southcarolina.
In the Beaufort community, March for Babies is sponsored by Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Beaufort Pediatrics, Beaufort OB/GYN, MCAS of Beaufort, and Stokes Honda, Toyota, and Used Cars. March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes and corporate supporters Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, CIGNA, Famous Footwear, Sanofi Pasteur,  FedEx, Mission Pharmacal  Watson Pharmaceuticals, First Response and United Airlines.
Each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community programs. Through these programs, the March of Dimes continues working to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina’s premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care and educate men and women about having healthy babies.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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