04-03-13-march-of-dines.gifFour million babies were born last year and the March of Dimes was there for each and every one of them. One in nine babies are born too soon. The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. It is in support of this mission that the March of Dimes will host its “March for Babies” walk on Saturday, April 13 at 10 a.m. at Methodist University. This is the 75th anniversary of the March of Dimes. Founded in 1938 by FDR, the organization’s original goal was to eradicate polio. When March of Dimes fulfilled the mission, the new challenge became helping to prevent birth defects and premature births.

“This exciting event is a celebration of the fundraising that takes place year round by our teams and sponsors in the area,” said Catherine Heindselman, director of the Cape Fear Division of March of Dimes. “There will be 1,000 participants who will come out for the event and they consist of family teams, company teams and individual walkers.”

The money is raised through online fundraising or the various events the groups have during the year. The agency has set a goal of $140,000 for the event.

The event will consist of food, fun and entertainment. Dance teams, step teams and singing groups from Methodist University and the community will perform. Food vendors will be on hand to sell subs, pizza and breakfast items. There will be a Kid Zone with many activities for the youngsters to enjoy.

The March of Dimes’ Ambassador Family, the Poulks, will speak along with Dr. Ben Hancock, president of Methodist University. Their twin children, aged 2, were born prematurely. They were born at 25 weeks and 5 days and weighed 2 pounds, 14 ounces and 2 pounds, 14.5 ounces. One child spent six weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit and the other one spent seven weeks in the NICU at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. They are doing incredibly well today. Each year an Ambassador Family is selected to tell the story of how the March of Dimes impacted their children’s lives and the successes of their birth.

“We encourage everyone to come out and support us as we take on this challenge,” said Heindselman. “We are recruiting teams so please come out and register.”

Registration for the event begins at 9 a.m. The opening ceremony will start at 9:40 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10 a.m. Visit www.marchforbabies.org or call (910) 483-3691 for more information.

Photo: The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

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