Organizers kick off March of Dimes campaign Thursday

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A local chapter of a national organization is hoping volunteerswill step up and step out to take on their cause to raisefunds.

Lincoln County organizers with The March of Dimes will hold akickoff luncheon Thursday from noon until 1 p.m. in the CrowleyRoom of King’s Daughters Medical Center. Anyone who is interestedin participating in the walk is invited to the luncheon, which issponsored by KDMC.

The March of Dimes is dedicated to the fight against prematurebirths, which is the leading cause of newborn deaths.

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Mississippi has the highest number of premature births, saidAlan Burrows, March of Dimes community director. Many lifelongdisabilities, often result from babies that are born premature.Premature babies are those born prior to 30-weeks of gestation.

“WalkAmerica is the “bread and butter” of the March of Dimes,”said Burrows of the walk.

He explainedthe majority of the organization’s funds comedirectly from the WalkAmerica events, which are held yearly acrossthe United States.

Lincoln County’s walk is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 28 at theExchange Club Park. The Exchange Club will be opening rides thenight of the walk to help raise money for the March of Dimes.

Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. The goal for this year’swalk is $15,000, Burrows said. Teams will form and hold specialevents of their own to raise money as well, he said.

Burrows hopes people will come to the kickoff luncheon andvolunteer their time to raise money during the walk.

“We’re looking for people who are willing to support our missionof mothers and babies,” he said.

All of the funds raised stay in Mississippi, Burrowsexplained.

Burrows cited examples of where local money is used as the NICU(Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Family Support Project at theUniversity of Mississippi Medical Center and the Mother Mobile,which was sent to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. TheMother Mobile is a neonatal care unit and OB/GYN clinic onwheels.

This year’s ambassadors are Nealy Smith and Dylan Miller.

Teams intersted in joining should call Phyllis Maher at ThiftHome Care at (601) 835-2555.

The March of Dimes has been fighting to improve the health ofchildren in the U.S., since 1938, which includes funding researchthat found the cure for polio.