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"Be A Hero for Babies Day" Raises $2.6 Million for March of Dimes

White Plains, New York, Wednesday, July 29, 2009

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With car washes, golf outings, pancake breakfasts and pie-throwing contests, Farmers Insurance agents nationwide led their communities to raise more than $2 million on July 22 to support March of Dimes programs to give every baby a healthy start in life.

The total amount raised was $2.6 million, more than $600,000 above this year’s goal. Farmers Insurance also matched public donations to the March of Dimes made online up to $250,000. That brings Farmers' total contribution to the March of Dimes so far this year to more than $4.1 million.

March of Dimes officials said the funds raised will support urgently-needed research and education to help stem the growing crisis of premature birth, the leading cause of newborn death in the U.S.

“This one-day event, organized and led by Farmers agents, is an extraordinary demonstration of how much they care about babies,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “With the money raised, the March of Dimes will be able to fund programs such as NICU Family Support™, which brings hope and comfort to families with a baby in neonatal intensive care units. On behalf of the babies and families who will benefit, the March of Dimes wants to thank everyone who participated in “Be a Hero for Babies Day” and made it a success.”

“The dedication and hard work of our Farmers agents and employees across the country makes this one of the proudest days for me personally and for this entire organization,” said Robert Woudstra, CEO of Farmers Insurance and a member of March of Dimes national Board of Trustees. “I want to personally thank everyone for sharing in my dedication to helping the more than half million babies born too soon, and in giving back to the communities where we live and work."

About Farmers
As the nation’s third -largest personal property and casualty insurance group, Farmers is committed to improving the communities where their customers, agents and employees live and work. Farmers’ commitment to the March of Dimes spans more than two decades and includes the time and talents of nearly 18,000 employees and 15,500 agents.

About March of Dimes
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 health information, visit our websites marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our shareyourstory.org community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit persistats.org. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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March of Dimes funded research is saving the lives of thousands of babies each year.