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Published on February 20th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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March of Dimes March for Babies Kicks Off Campaign in Columbia

(COLUMBIA, SC)—The March of Dimes held the official kick off for the 2014 March for Babies fundraising campaign on February 11th at Leeside/Southern Way Catering. Lauren Talarico of WLTX and Tony Clyburn of B106.7 FM served as emcees at the event and representatives from family and corporate teams from the Columbia community attended.

“This kick off is a wonderful opportunity to get our teams’ fundraising efforts started, so they have plenty of time to recruit team members and raise money for healthier babies” said Ashley Edmunds. “March for Babies will be held on April 26th at the South Carolina Fair Grounds. Funds raised for March for Babies support vital research to help prevent premature birth and birth defects and supports community programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies. Last year the March of Dimes distributed $400,000 in community grant funding to projects improving the health of South Carolina’s moms and babies.

South Carolina currently has a premature birth rate of 13.7%–one of the highest in the country. Premature babies often struggle to survive and many have lifelong health and developmental consequences. In half of all cases there is no known cause for premature birth.

One family who knows what the journey of premature birth are the Donnelly’s, who are serving as this year’s Columbia Ambassadors. The Donnelly family was touched by premature birth when their twins Graham and Lindy Donnelly were born 12 weeks early each weighing barely over 2 lbs. Graham spent 57 days in the neonatal intensive care unit before being able to go home. His twin sister Lindy passed away after 71 days in the NCIU.

To register yourself or a family or corporate team for March for Babies, please call the March of Dimes office: (803) 403-8538 or visit marchforbabies.org.

In Columbia, March for Babies is sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, AGFirst Farm Credit Bank, Publix, SCE&G, Michelin, The Millennium Magazine, The State Media Group, Columbia Business Monthly, WLTX, Palmetto Parent and B106.7.

The 2014 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Famous Footwear, Macy’s, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, United Airlines, Mission Pharmacal, Airlines and Actavis

Each year the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community programs. Through these programs, the March of Dimes continues working to prevent birth defects and infant death, to reduce South Carolina’s premature birth rate, and to 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 marchforbabies.org. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com/southcarolina. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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