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    March of Dimes Honors Chandler Herndon With National Youth Leadership Award

    Bennettsville, South Carolina, September 19, 2013 —

    FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Coleen Sweatt, (843) 438-1113 or CSweatt@marchofdimes.com

    The March of Dimes honored Chandler Herndon of Bennettsville with the Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at the School of Discovery in Clio.  The award is part of a national Youth Leadership Recognition Program to honor March of Dimes youth volunteers across the country who excel in their fundraising and volunteer service.  Mona Carter, South Carolina State Director, and Coleen Sweatt, Community Director of the Pee Dee Division, presented the award during the school’s kickoff assembly of their campaign for 2013 March for Babies.

    Chandler Herndon was just five years old when he became an Ambassador for March of Dimes WalkAmerica in 2005. Chandler was born premature, weighing just two pounds, 12 ounces and suffered a number of health consequences due to his premature birth—including cerebral palsy. He and his family, parents Jamie and Stacey, and brothers Jett and Trey served as spokespersons for WalkAmerica, helping raise awareness of the serious problem of premature birth. They also raised funds—more than $1,300 that year. Chandler and the family have been advocates for the March of Dimes ever since. Each year at March for Babies (formerly WalkAmerica), the Chandler’s Chain Gang team continues to increase their fundraising goal, and to date have raised more than $41,000, including over $15,000 last year. 

    “He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at an early age but has never let that get in his way” says Coleen Sweatt, Community Director for the March of Dimes. “He is a true inspiration to all he meets.  I know that Chandler has a very bright future and will be a future Chairperson for our March for Babies event. We are honored and blessed to know and work with Chandler and the Herndon family.”

    The 2013 Chesterfield-Marlboro Counties March for Babies will take place on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at Cheraw State Park.  For more information on how to get involved contact Coleen Sweatt at the March of Dimes office at 843-438-1113 or register online at www.marchforbabies.org

    March for Babies local sponsors are Domtar, Flakeboard, Mohawk, Marlboro Herald Advocate, Parker’s Used Cars, The Link, WCRE Radio and WPDE News Channel 15. 

    The 2013 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, Macy’s, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Famous Footwear, Actavis, Mission Pharmacal, and United Airlines.

    Premature birth touches half a million babies and their families every year including nearly 9,000 babies in South Carolina each year. Babies born too soon struggle to survive and may have lifelong health consequences. The March of Dimes is committed to funding research to find the answers to premature birth and funding local programs to educate healthcare providers and moms-to-be.

    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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