Organizers plan city’s first walk for March of Dimes

Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 21, 2005

Organizers hope an upcoming Brookhaven event will raise money tohelp continue the march toward reducing the number of prematurebabies born.

“We’re in the baby business, and we want to make sure all babiesare born healthy,” said Joell McBeth, community director for theMarch of Dimes’ Mississippi chapter central division.

The organization hosted a kickoff luncheon for its Walk Americacampaign Wednesday at the State Room. McBeth said the event,scheduled for the fall at Exchange Club Park, will be the firstwalk for March of Dimes in Brookhaven.

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“This is about having a good time and fun, but our main goal israising money for the babies,” McBeth said.

The mission of the March of Dimes is “to improve the health ofbabies by preventing birth defects, prematurity and infantmortality.” McBeth said funds raised through events like the walkgo to research into preventing premature babies, public informationand health fairs and legislative advocacy efforts.

One focus area McBeth mentioned is the number of women in their30s and 40s having premature babies.

“It is on the rise, and we don’t know why,” McBeth said.

McBeth said the Brookhaven walk was originally scheduled forSept. 17. However, she said Wednesday the event would likely bedelayed.

“We may be extending that to give everybody more time because itis a new event,” McBeth said.

McBeth offered team representatives a variety of tips andactivities designed to raise funds during the campaign.

McBeth said the initial fund-raising would probably be around$10,000. Also, she said more teams are needed and encouraged toparticipate.

“We’d love to have 20 teams. That would be ideal for a firsttime,” McBeth said.

Additional information about the Brookhaven walk for March ofDimes is available by calling 1-800-842-5117.