Union County’s 2012 March of Dimes “March for Babies” campaign kicked off Thursday with a team captains’ lunch held in USC Union’s Community Room.
This year’s March for Babies is co-chaired by Union County Development Board Executive Director Andrena Powell-Baker and City of Union Utility Director Joe Nichols. Powell-Baker and Nichols announced on Thursday that the fund raising goal for this year is $34,000.
Nichols said there was no way he could turn down the position when it was offered.
“It’s all about babies,” Nichols said. “It’s about future generations and giving them a chance.”
Powell-Baker announced that she and Nichols will also participate as a two-person team, and their personal team fund raising goal is $2,000.
Powell-Baker said she thought about the birth of her daughter and what an important factor it was for her to be healthy. She said she believes it is also important to help other mothers and fathers who do not have healthy babies.
“Healthy babies grow up to be healthy adults,” she said. “I can’t tell you what an impact that has.”
Information about the March for Babies and its cause was freely available during Thursday’s meeting. Some of the information included that the most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. 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.
Powell-Baker offered team captains several ideas for various methods of raising money.
“Keep the ‘fun’ in fundraising,” she said. “Make it a competition; race to the finish.”
Powell-Baker mentioned recruiting walkers and setting goals, and she emphasized online methods of fundraising through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Other fundraising ideas can be viewed at www.marchforbabies.org.
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.
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.
The actual March for Babies will take place on Oct. 13 at Foster Park, and this year’s theme is “Going the Extra Mile.”
Vickery also made an announcement which invoked a round of applause. She announced that there are now four sponsors for the 2012 Union County March for Babies — Gestamp, the City of Union, Broad River Electric Cooperative and Lockhart Power.
Vickery also instructed team captains to start thinking of designs for individual team t-shirts, which will be judged for the annual t-shirt contest with the winner being awarded at the march on Oct. 13.
Another fundraiser to be part of this year’s March for Babies is “Purses for Premies.” Vickery said this fundraiser will be countywide, and she encouraged teams to collect purses to be donated. The purses collected will be sold, and proceeds will go toward the goal of the team which collected them.
Look for more information about this year’s March for Babies in The Union Daily Times or at www.uniondailytimes.com as it becomes available. Also visit www.marchforbabies.org for more information.