UNION — The annual March of Dimes “March for Babies” is one month away, and teams are working hard to raise funds for the cause.
The official March for Babies walk will take place at Veterans Park at 9 a.m. Oct. 13 and will feature a DJ, food, a kids bounce house and more. Funds raised by this March for Babies event support research and grants awarded to programs that improve infant and maternal health in South Carolina.
This year’s walk — sponsored by Gestamp, the City of Union, Broad River Electric Cooperative and Lockhart Power — will begin on Veterans Drive, turn left onto Rice Avenue., right on Arthur Boulevard, right on Main Street, right on Blassingame Street, right on Rice Avenue and end back on Veterans Drive for a total distance of 4.7 miles.
At a team pep rally held at USC Union on Thursday, teams discussed last-minute fund raising ideas in an effort to get closer to this year’s goal of $34,000. Each team is encouraged to seek donations and participation from friends, family members and co-workers.
Several teams also participated in a T-shirt contest by submitting their T-shirt designs. Winners of the contest will be announced on the day of the walk during an awards ceremony beginning at 8:45 a.m.
Information about the March for Babies and its cause was freely available during Thursday’s meeting. Some of the information stated that the most urgent infant health problem in the United States today is premature birth — affecting more than half a million babies each year, with the number growing every day. 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.
Each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests more than $1.5 million in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community services. Through these program services, the March of Dimes continues working to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina’s premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care and educate men and women about having healthy babies.
Thursday’s meeting was led by Lindsay Vickery, community director for the March of Dimes in Union, Laurens and Spartanburg counties.
“When our local businesses and families come together for March for Babies they show the whole community the value of volunteer service and community involvement, and they impact the lives of babies and families in Union and throughout our state,” Vickery said.
Look for more information about this year’s March for Babies at www.marchforbabies.org.