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    March of Dimes March for Babies Kicks Off Campaign in Beaufort County

    Asley Lindquist, March of Dimes, 843-571-1776, alindquist@marchofdimes.com

    Beaufort, SC, February 27, 2013 —

    The March of Dimes held the official Kick Off for the 2013 March for Babies fundraising campaign on Thursday, January 31 at Outback Steakhouse.  Representatives from family and corporate teams from the Beaufort community attended.

    “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 Bryan Gates, this year’s March for Babies Chariman. “March for Babies will be on Saturday, April 20 at Naval Heritage Park at 9 AM.  Funds raised for March for Babies support vital research to help prevent premature birth, birth defects and community programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies.  Last year the March of Dimes distributed $400,000 in community grant funding to projects improving the health of South Carolina’s mothers and babies.

    South Carolina currently has a premature birth rate of 14.1%- one of the highest in the country. Premature babies often struggle to survive, and many have lifelong health and developmental consequences. There is no known cause for 50% of premature birth cases.

    During the Kick Off, participants from March for Babies 2012 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 Ashley Lindquist, Community Director for the March of Dimes.

    One family who has lived the journey of premature birth is the Bright family, this year’s Beaufort County Ambassador. Brandon and Kyleen Bright’s twin boys Joey and Logan were born at just 29 weeks and each weighed just over 2 and a half pounds.

    “When it comes time for the March for Babies campaign, I’m reminded of what we went through with Joey and Logan,” said Kyleen Bright. “While those memories can be good and bad, it makes me realize how lucky we really are and how much worse it could have been.  It drives me to help others not have to experience what we did.  I just feel like it is my responsibility as a mom of preemies to help in any way I can.” 

    In Beaufort County, March for Babies is sponsored by Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Beaufort Pediatrics, Stokes Honda and Hargray Communications. The 2013 national March for Babies sponsors include number one corporate supporter Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, Macy’s, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Famous Footwear, Actavis, Mission Pharmacal, 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.            

    In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th Anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life.  Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive today.  Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects.  For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com/southcarolina, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. 

     

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