The executive director of the Union County Development Board and the director of the City of Union Utility Department will co-chair this year’s March of Dimes March for Babies in Union County.
In a statement released this past week, the March of Dimes announced that Andrena Powell-Baker, executive director of the Union County Development Board, and Joe Nichols, director of the City of Union Utility Department, will serve as co-chairs for the 2012 March for Babies in Union. The announcement states that Powell-Baker and Nichols “are committed to helping reach the event goal of $34,000 to support March of Dimes research and community programs to help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies to begin healthy lives.” March for Babies will take place on Oct. 13 at Veteran’s Park.
“When you participate in March for Babies, you give hope to the more than 9,000 babies born too soon each year in South Carolina. The money you raise supports programs in our state that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies,” Nichols said. “I’m serving as a 2012 co-chair for March for Babies because I believe if we can give a child a healthy birth, we have a positive impact on their future quality of life. I challenge Union’s businesses and families to join me in raising critical funds so more families will know the joy of having a healthy baby.”
Powell-Baker and Nichols’ involvement was welcomed by Lindsay Vikcery, community director for the March of Dimes in Union, Laurens and Spartanburg.
“We are honored to have the leadership of Andrena and Joe and the support of the employees of the City of Union,” Vickery said. “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.”
The announcement states that “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. 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.”
It further states that “each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests more than 1.5 million dollars 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.”
The Union County March for Babies is sponsored by Gestamp, while nationally, the program is sponsored by Kmart, Farmers Insurance, CIGNA, Famous Footwear, Sanofi Pasteur, FedEx, Mission Pharmacal, Watson Pharmaceuticals, First Response, and United Airlines.
In 2011, the co-chairs for the March for Babies in Union County was Sheriff David Taylor and his wife, Betty Jo. The fund raising goal for the 2011 march was $22,000, but the effort exceeded its set goal and raised just over $32,000.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, 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.