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Published on May 6th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Columbia Marches for the Health of Babies

Rainy skies didn’t stop the March for Babies in Columbia

(COLUMBIA, SC) – Supporters of the March of Dimes joined together under rainy skies to raise more than $350,000 to help the March of Dimes continue working for stronger, healthier babies. The State Fairgrounds hosted families and corporate teams to celebrate raising funds to help more babies have a healthy start in life. 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 research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs,” said Dr. Percy Mack, the 2015 Event Chair. “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.”

Premature birth affects nearly 8,000 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 Talyse Burkett, Ambassador Mom.  The Burkett family experienced the journey of premature birth in 2008 when their twins Kyran and Karyssa were born 11 weeks early and spent the first 55 days of their lives in neonatal intensive care. In 2014, their daughter Gemma was born 4 weeks early and spent 12 days in the NICU.  “We are honored to be able to support the March of Dimes” said Mrs. Burkett.

During the event ceremonies, the top fundraising teams and individuals were honored including:

Top Individual Fundraiser: Eddie Khoury

Top Youth Fundraiser: Charis Bigwarfe

Top Veteran Large Company Team: Richland School District One

Top Veteran Medium Company Team: Publix

Top Veteran Small Company Team: Devro

Top New Large Company Team: Aflac

Top New Medium Company Team: Staples

Top New Small Company Team: Hutchens Law Firm

Top Family Team: Multiples of the Midlands

Top School: Brennan Elementary

Top Online Fundraising Team: Andrew & Aldrich – The A Team

Top Fundraising Organization: Zeta Phi Beta Chapters

Top Team Captain of the Year: Tiara Jenkins

Individual walkers who raised $1,000 or more are recognized as part of the Circle of Champions:

Sara Barr, Cari Barsh, Alexa Bigwarfe, Heath Carll, Harriet Coker, Jennifer Donnelly, Tiffany Douglas, Ashley Edmunds, Michael Hermes, Tim Heyward, Kim Hudson, Eddie Khoury, Corinee and Mark Matthews, Melissa Paschoal, Holly Shealy, Kimberly Shoulders and Elisa Strickler.

Donations are still being accepted by calling the March of Dimes at 403-8524 or visiting

In Columbia, the March for Babies presenting sponsor is Aflac.  Other sponsors include AGFirst Farm Credit Bank, Michelin, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, SCE&G, Publix, Hutchens Law Firm, Columbia Business Monthly, Palmetto Parent, Millennium Magazine, WLTX News 19 and B106.7 FM.

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.

For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at For the latest resources and information, visit Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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