Valdosta Daily Times

April 10, 2014

Valdosta marches for babies

Matthew Woody
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Registration begins on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and the walk will start an hour later for the 3.5 mile March for Babies event at Mathis Auditorium, held annually to raise money to give more babies a healthy start in life.

“March for Babies is the March of Dimes premier fundraising event. It supports research and other programs nationwide and in our community to help babies born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive. The Valdosta March for Babies brings together families, companies and volunteers to raise money so that more babies can be born happy and healthy,” stated a release.

Organizer and event chair Chuck Roberts said, “I started this about 9 or 10 years ago because I got information from public health, locally, here in Lowndes County – Valdosta, that we had one of the highest premature birth and infant mortality rates in Georgia, and so that really surprised me.

“This is the largest annual fundraiser of the year for the March of Dimes. There are nearly 4 million babies born in the United States each year, and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one of them,” he said.

For more than 75 years, infants and their mothers have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs.

The March of Dimes is leading a campaign to reduce the nation's preterm birth birthrate to 9.6 percent or less by 2020. In 2013, the state of Georgia received a “C” grade with a rating of 12.7 percent. This has lowered since 2006, when the preterm birth rate was 14.1 percent.

All of the proceeds will go to the March of Dimes for research to prevent preterm births.

To find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies, go to marchforbabies.org, or contact Chuck Roberts at (229) 333-1076.