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    Connecticut Chapter Names 2012 Volunteers of Excellence

    Leigh-Anne Lefurge, March of Dimes, (860) 815-9353, llefurge@marchofdimes.com

    Glastonbury, CT, February 16, 2013 —


    Eleven individuals were recognized as the March of Dimes Connecticut Chapter’s 2012 “Volunteers of Excellence” at its 3rd annual Franklin Delano Roosevelt Spirit of Giving celebration on February 16:

    Volunteers of the Year
    Since joining the Chapter in 2010 in honor of their daughter, Kendall, Adam and Lauren Pallone have raised over $16,000, spoken at numerous events and shared their story with media statewide. In 2012 they represented families worldwide when they appeared at a press conference at the United Nations in New York City, as the March of Dimes helped to unveil the first-ever global report on prematurity. 

    Excellence in Government Affairs
    The Chapter commends Senator Terry Gerratana and Rep. Prasad Srinivasan for their leadership in maternal and child health and for their advocacy in expanding Connecticut’s newborn screening panel to include universal screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD), a bill that passed in 2012 with much support from March of Dimes volunteers. 

    Mission Triangle Award
    Connecticut Children’s Medical Center was honored for its work in advocacy, communication and volunteerism in partnership with the Chapter.  The hospital was also a key advocate for the passage of the 2012 CCHD newborn screening bill, is leading a grant to reduce premature birth by eliminating non-medically necessary inductions or C-sections, and co-sponsored two health conferences in 2012.

    Heritage Award
    John Carusone, former Mayor of Hamden, first walked for the March of Dimes in the 1980, serving as Honorary Chair of then WalkAmerica.  He was named a March of Dimes Elm City Legend in 2011 and serves on the event committee to honor those who excel in athletics and community service.

    Humanitarian Award
    Stifel and Marcin Advertising, Marketing & Design has provided the Chapter pro bono design and consulting for more than a decade.  Partner Christine Marcin also sits on the Chapter’s communication committee.

    Legacy Award
    A member of the Chapter board since 1996, Joshua Hawks-Ladds has served as the chair of the board of directors, and currently serves as its Chapter council.  His firm of Pullman & Comley is also leading supporters of March for Babies.

    Leadership Award
    Actively involved with the March of Dimes since 2003, Michael Botelho served as the Chapter’s most recent board chair from 2010-12.  He has also served as chair of its Government Affairs committee and helps lead a walk team by his firm of Updike, Kelly & Spellacy.

    Ambassador Excellence
    As ambassadors, Aaron and April Boccasile share their story of premature birth at events and with media, lead a March for Babies team, and created a web site, Lily’s Amazing Grace, to support parents through the loss of a baby. Through her work as a NICU nurse at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, April also leads March of Dimes efforts within the unit.

    Humanitarian Award
    Lindsey Hiebert, a member of the March of Dimes National Youth Council, is a sophomore at Yale University.  She organizes a student fundraising team for upcoming March for Babies, plans prematurity awareness activities on campus and volunteers at the NICU Family Support program at Yale-New Haven Hospital. 

    Trevor Palonen Top Youth Walker Award
    In 2012, Emily Dzialo raised over $10,000 for March for Babies, and since 2005 has raised over $51,000.  She also received the award in 2011.

    The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. 

    Photo from L-R: Aaron & April Boccasile; Dr. Marilyn Sanders, Connecticut Children's Medical Center; John Carusone; Rep. Prasad Srinivasan; Christine Marcin, Stifel Marcin Advertising, Marketing & Design; Lindsey Hiebert, Yale University & National Youth Council member; Lauren Pallone. Seated are Dr. Victor Herson, Connecticut Children's Medical Center; and Adam and Kendall Pallone. Not pictured are award winners Michael Botelho, Joshua Hawks-Ladds and Senator Terry Gerratana.  (Photo courtesy of Kym Zwick Photography).