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    Laurens Marches for the Health of Babies

    Lindsay Vickery, March of Dimes, 864-551-2649, lvickery@marchofdimes.com

    Hundreds joined together to raise more than $70,000 to help babies be born healthy in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the March of Dimes

    Laurens, SC, May 08, 2013 —

    Circle of Champions raising $1,000 or more: Neely Abernathy, Rion Gordon, Brooke Bishop, Chacie Howard, Sharon O’Bryant, & Alfredia Philson.

    It was a celebration of babies and families, and the 75th Anniversary of the March of Dimes in Laurens when approximately 200 residents joined together at March for Babies. Laurens was packed with strollers, families and teams to celebrate raising more than $70,000 to help babies be born healthy. Money raised from the event funds research, awareness, education and local community grants. “More than four million babies are born in the United State each year, and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one through 75 years of research, education vaccines and breakthroughs,” said Community Director, Lindsay Vickery. “What a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and honor the successes of the March of Dimes than to bring together families and businesses to raise money to improve babies’ lives.”

    Special guests at the day’s events included March for Babies Chairman, Stephen Wetmore, and the Abernathy family—the 2013 Laurens Ambassadors. Nay-n-AJ Mobile Deejays provided tunes to keep the energy high there was plenty of children’s entertainment.

    Premature birth affects nearly 9,000 families in South Carolina each year. Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have disabilities. The March of Dimes is committed to reducing this toll by funding research to find the answers to premature birth and providing comfort and information to families who are affected.

    “It was a memorable and rewarding day for all of us,” said Neely, who along with family members enjoyed the Laurens walk. “When Jackson was born premature, we decided to do everything we could to make sure that other families don’t go through what we did, and we were honored to be able to support the March of Dimes today in return for all the support they’ve given us.”

    During the event ceremonies, the top teams and individual fundraisers were honored. Top Team Awards included: #1 School – Laurens District 55 High School; #1 New Team – Team Isaac; #1 Family Team – Baby Bishop; #1 Manufacturing Plant – Milliken Gilliland; Team with the Most Money Online – Baby Bishop; Champion for Babies – Alfredia Philson; Team Captain of the Year – Chacie Howard; T-Shirt Award – Laurens CPW; Top Individual Fundraiser – Brooke Bishop; Top Fundraising Team – Walmart Distribution Center.  Individual walkers who raised $1,000 or more are recognized as the “Circle of Champions”. This year’s Circle of Champions for Laurens are: Neely Abernathy, Brooke Bishop, Rion Gordon, Chacie Howard, Sharon O’Bryant, and Alfredia Philson.

    In Laurens, the March for Babies presenting sponsor is Walmart.  Other community sponsors include Asten Johnson, CeramTec North America, PRTC, LCWSC, Michelin, Laurens County Healthcare System, Richloom, UTi/Key Logistics Solutions, Clinton Chronicle, Go Laurens, and WLBG Radio.

    Each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community services. Through these program services, 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.

    Donations are still being accepted at: www.marchforbabies.org.

    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.  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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