Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

April 11, 2013

March for Babies Saturday

Raises money and awareness for March of Dimes

VALDOSTA — This year’s March for Babies event is Saturday, April 13, at Mathis City Auditorium, and marks the 75th anniversary of the March of Dimes public health foundation.

The March for Babies walk has been held in Valdosta for nearly a decade, and each year, the event attracts several hundred walkers, including families with small children in tow,  many of whom were born prematurely and aided by the March of Dimes.

“Funds raised in the March for Babies supports our efforts to give all babies a healthy start in life. We fund cutting-edge research, support local prenatal care programs, and provide educational materials to moms to help them have health full-term pregnancies,” said Chuck Roberts, March of Dimes area spokesman.

Many do not realize that the March of Dimes was created in 1938 by Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt to eradicate polio, a disease that killed thousands, mostly children, every year, and which had affected the president as well. The March of Dimes mission has expanded to include all health threats to children, particularly those what affect the health of newborns.

“Lowndes County is one of the areas with the greatest number of premature babies born,” Roberts said. “A few years ago, through the March of Dimes, we were able to secure a $50,000 grant to the public health department to create the Baby Love program.

“Through the program, they work with at-risk women and educate them on the issues related to premature births. They’ve had a lot of success but there still needs to be more recognition and awareness of the problem.”

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins around 9:15 a.m. It starts and ends at Mathis Auditorium, with a bouncy house for children, hamburgers and hotdogs after the walk, along with awards for participants.

For more information about the March for Babies or the March of Dimes, contact Michele Redmond at (229) 432-1201 or mredmond@marchofdimes.com.

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