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    MORE THAN 12,000 PARTICIPATE IN MARCH OF DIMES’ MARCH FOR BABIES ACROSS CHICAGOLAND

    About 8,000 gather in Grant Park for Lakefront March for Babies, raising $1.2 million in Chicago alone

    Chicago, IL, June 18, 2012 —

    Media Contacts:

    Jeri Bingham, jbingham@marchofdimes.com, 312-596-4731

    Rowena Vergara, rvergara@marchofdimes.com, 312-596-4725

    March for Babies, the March of Dimes’ largest annual fundraiser and walk has raised $2.3 million across the Chicagoland area to date, according to the March of Dimes Chicago Division. About 90 cents of every dollar goes to research, programs and advocacy initiatives to help prevent premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.

    The seven Chicago area walks were held in mid-April in Libertyville, Elk Grove, St. Charles, Naperville, Midlothian, Bolingbrook and Chicago. Chicago was home to the largest March for Babies walk in the state, drawing about 8,000 people on April 29 and raising $1.2 million. The Chicago Division raised a total of $2.3 million during its 2012 March for Babies season, compared to $2.2 million raised last year.

    Additionally, the Chicago Division hosted a walk overseas for the second year at the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan on March 31. The Chicago Division of March of Dimes was proud and honored to facilitate the walk, which was coordinated by a downstate Illinois mom, Tracy Mueller, who is stationed in Okinawa with her family and husband serving in the military. More than 400 Kadena Airmen and their families attended the Kadena March for Babies, raising a record-breaking $50,000 for the March of Dimes.

    In Illinois, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely every year. March for Babies supports the March of Dimes’ fight to save babies from premature birth and other serious threats to infant health by conducting top-level research.

    Each year, more than half a million babies are born too soon. But far too many die, making premature birth the leading cause of death in newborns. Additionally, more than 120,000 babies a year are born with serious defects that become lifelong disabilities.

    March for Babies began in 1970 and remains the March of Dimes largest fundraiser. The walk has raised about $2 billion to date, and takes place in 900 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In its 42nd year, March for Babies is expected to draw more than 1 million walkers across America.

    The 2012 national March for Babies sponsors are: Kmart – the March of Dimes number one corporate partner, Farmers Insurance, Cigna, Famous Footwear, Sanofi Pasteur, FedEx, Mission Pharmacal, Watson Pharmaceuticals, First Response and United Airlines.

    The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, 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.org or nacersano.org. Follow the Illinois Chapter on Facebook and Twitter @ILMarchofDimes.

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