SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 29 in Midtown Detroit, thousands of families and business leaders will join together in the March of Dimes annual March for Babies—the nation's oldest walk fundraiser honoring babies born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive. This is the first time March for Babies will be held in Midtown and with one in eight babies born premature in Detroit, organizers hope to raise significant funds to support lifesaving research and educational programs aimed at helping moms have healthy babies. March for Babies is on Sunday, April 29 at 8 a.m. on Wayne State University's Campus in Midtown Detroit. To register, visit www.marchforbabies.org.
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. with the 3.4-mile walk kicking off at 9:00 a.m. Participation in March for Babies will provide a memorable and rewarding day for the whole family with music, a warm-up from Yoga Shelter Midtown and Detroit's own Jill Jack will sing the National Anthem. Funds raised by March for Babies in Michigan help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, newborn intensive care unit (NICU) family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies.
Last year, March for Babies in metropolitan Detroit raised more than $1.4 million. March for Babies began across the nation in 1970 and has raised an incredible $2 billion to benefit moms and babies.
Premature birth is the most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. today. It affects more than half a million babies each year, including more than 15,000 births in Michigan. This past November, the March of Dimes issued its annual Premature Birth Report Card, giving both the nation and the State of Michigan "C" grades. The March of Dimes is committed to funding research to find the answers to problems that continue to threaten the lives and the health of babies.
This year's Ambassador Family is the Ollie Family of Taylor. Tia Ollie delivered twin girls at Hutzel Hospital 14 weeks early and spent four months in the NICU before going home. Thanks to the incredible care she received, including corticosteroids injection – lifesaving research funded by the March of Dimes, the girls and Tia are doing well. The family will be at March for Babies in Midtown. Tia and her husband James are both pharmacists and Tia works for the DMC.
March of Dimes has partnered with two world-class institutions, the Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University. Honorary Co-Chairs are Michael Duggan, CEO of the Detroit Medical Center and Allan Gilmour, President of Wayne State University. March for Babies Chair for the new Midtown site is Dr. Joel Kahn of the Detroit Medical Center.
"March for Babies gives me an opportunity to be a part of something I deeply believe in and give back to an organization that helps so many families. And as a father I can't think of a more important cause than our babies," said Dr. Joel Kahn, Health and Wellness Director for the Detroit Medical Center. "One in eight of our babies here in Detroit are born premature, and that's just not acceptable. It takes leaders in our community working together to ensure moms have healthy pregnancies."
"We are extremely grateful for our thousands of corporate and individual participants, volunteers, sponsors and partners that make March for Babies possible. Their passion for the cause and commitment is essential in helping our babies," said Laura Loughridge, Michigan, State Director of the March of Dimes.
The 2012 March for Babies has four locations in metropolitan Detroit, including:
- Nankin Mills in Hines Park on April 28
- Wayne State University in Midtown Detroit on April 29
- Metropark Plaza Area at Lake St. Clair Metropark on April 29
- Somerset Collection in Troy on April 29
To register for an event in your community, visit www.marchforbabies.org.
About the March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
The March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporters Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, Cigna, Famous Footwear, Sanofi Pasteur, FedEx, Mission Pharmacal, Watson Pharmaceuticals, First Response, and United Airlines.
Local partners include FOX 2 Detroit, WJR News/Talk 760, 92.3 WMXD, Flagstar Bank, AT&T Yellow Pages, UAW – GM, Health Alliance Plan, Farmers Insurance, Detroit Medical Center, Cigna, UAW Region 1 and UAW Region 1A, and Metro East Chapter of Credit Unions a Michigan Basic Property Insurance Associates.
SOURCE March of Dimes