Communities Nationwide Gear up This Weekend For Annual March for Babies®

Todd P. Dezen, (914) 997-4608, tdezen@marchofdimes.com
Elizabeth Lynch, (914) 997-4286, elynch@marchofdimes.com
Nate Brown, (202) 292-2755, nbrown@marchofdimes.com

Celebrities, Sports Stars and More Than 7 Million People to Take Part

WHITE PLAINS, APRIL 24, 2012 – Celebrities from music, film, television, and sports are lending their star power to bring greater attention to the annual March for Babies, the March of Dimes premier fundraising event that takes place in 900 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico this coming weekend.

March for Babies supports cutting-edge research and community-based programs that help moms have full-term, healthy babies. March for Babies has been held annually since 1970, and the event has raised a combined total of $2 billion to help all babies get a healthy start in life. The goal for this year’s event is to raise more than $110 million.

“Funds raised at March for Babies support our efforts to give all babies a healthy start in life. We also fund programs to prevent preterm birth – babies born too soon,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “More than 7 million people, including celebrities, sports stars, community leaders and families of babies born prematurely are involved in March for Babies as volunteers, sponsors and participants. Participants can either walk as an individual or join a team with co-workers, family or friends by visiting marchforbabies.org.”

Shaquille O’Neal, national celebrity spokesperson for March for Babies, who has helped raise awareness for the event, will participate in Atlanta, GA on the morning of Saturday, April 28th at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta.

Internationally famed model Niki Taylor will help kick off March for Babies at Miami’s Tropical Park the morning of April 28th. She will be joined by friends and family walking to encourage others to help improve the health of babies.

The Los Angeles March for Babies will take place Saturday, April 28th in Exposition Park and will be hosted by television personality Samantha Harris. Joining her will be March of Dimes volunteers Nicole Sullivan and former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres. Television and Broadway actress Cleo King will open the walk by singing the national anthem.

In New York City, two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning of the New York Giants and tennis superstar Venus Williams serve as March for Babies Celebrity Co-Chairs. Venus Williams will be leading the walk on the morning of Sunday, April 29th at Lincoln Center.

Latin recording artist and international superstar Thalia will walk with fans and March for Babies supporters in White Plains, NY at Saxon Woods Park on Sunday, April 29th. Thalia hopes to inspire fellow moms to join March for Babies, as she is a long-time supporter of the March of Dimes mission to give moms full-term, healthy babies.

Earlier this month, and to encourage everyone to sign up for March for Babies, racing driver Denny Hamlin drove the FedEx/March for Babies #11 Toyota racecar on April 14 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Denny and March of Dimes’ 6-year-old 2012 National Ambassador Kieran Wittstruck, born 3 ½ months premature, wore matching fire suits in pre-race activities to help promote the Dallas March for Babies walk that occurred on April 21st. See more about the race on the March for Babies blog.

March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes’ no.1 corporate supporter, Kmart, and other top sponsors Farmers Insurance Group, Cigna, Famous Footwear, Sanofi Pasteur, FedEx, Mission Pharmacal, Watson Pharmaceuticals, First Response, and United Airlines. To join a March for Babies event near you, visit marchforbabies.org.

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.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/players/English/55801-march-of-dimes-march-for-babies/.

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©2013 March of Dimes Foundation. The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).