Nearly a thousand registered walkers fight for babies, including Mary Ellen Murphy , Todd Chance and Scrubbs in the Morning ; Dr. Leonard Radecki ; Mighty Joe Stankowski ; and special guest – Maranda , and raise $225,000 to help babies be born healthy. (Grand Rapids, MI, April 24, 2010) – Local residents joined together in support of the smallest citizens of Grand Rapids babiesby participating in March for Babies to benefit the March of Dimes. 500 people actually braved the drizzling rain on Saturday and the event was packed with strollers, families and teams. “I am proud that Grand Rapids residents joined together to support the health of all babies,” said Ginger Feldman, March of Dimes Division Director. “The efforts made and money raised by our volunteers this year will help the March of Dimes achieve its goal of $225,000 ensuring that every baby has a healthy start in life that much sooner.”
Special guests at the day’s events included Grand Rapids Division Board Chair, Mike Mraz, March for Babies Chair, Becky Berrevoets from Farmers and Ambassador Family, April & Ryan Hamm,, the 2010 Grand Rapids Ambassador Family. Emcees for the event were Mary Ellen Murphy, Todd Chance and Scrubbs in the Morning. Warm up was provided by Mighty Joe Stankowski and Christina DeVos , 2010 Miss Black Michigan, and a special appearance by Maranda who lead the countdown to start the walk.
‘We’ve seen today how important it is to help our babies,” said 2010 March for Babies Chair Becky Berrevoets from Farmers. “This has been an incredible event, and I’m so proud to be from a community where people can come together for such a great cause. Helping our babies should be a top priority, and we should be excited about what we’ve accomplished here today.”
“It was a memorable and rewarding day for all of us,” said April Hamm, who served as the 2010 Grand Rapids Ambassador Mom. “We held our daughter for the last time on June 2, 2009. She passed away peacefully in my arms surrounded by her daddy, close family, and the doctors and nurses that we came to love. Ashlynn will forever be remembered as an inspiration to many and the most perfect, beautiful daughter that I could have ever asked for. Without the March of Dimes we would not have had 6 ½ amazing months with our daughter.” April was presented with a check for her March for Babies team from Ken Graham.
Money raised from the event funds research, awareness, education and local community grants for programs such as prenatal education programs for doctors and nurses at Holland Community Hospital and the March of Dimes Family Support Specialist Program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital .
The most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. today is premature birth. It affects more than half a million babies each year, with the number growing every day. The March of Dimes issued a Report Card on Premature Birth, giving the nation a D and Michigan a D. 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.
2010 national March for Babies sponsors are Kmart, the March of Dimes’ No. 1 corporate supporter, CIGNA, Famous Footwear, Farmers, FedEx and Mission Pharmacal. Statewide March for Babies is sponsored by Farmers, Flagstar Bank, Coca Cola Enterprises and AT & T Yellow Pages. In Grand Rapids, March for Babies is sponsored locally by Mission Sponsor – Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Spectrum Health; Silver Sponsor – Dematic Corporation; Bronze Sponsor – Farmers Insurance; Start Line Sponsor- Flagstar; Family Fun Sponsor- AT & T Yellowpages; Registration Sponsor – Mill Steel Company; Radio Sponsors – Thunder 94.5 New Country, Hot FM 105.3 and 96.9 WLAV; Print Sponsor- Grand Rapids Business Journal; Food Sponsor- FedEx; Tent Sponsor – B-N-T Tents; Checkpoint Sponsors –FedEx, Independent Bank, Spectrum Health, Kreis Law, and Farmer’s.
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 .