Walking Together for Stronger, Healthier Babies | Community Spirit

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Walking Together for Stronger, Healthier Babies

Each year, in Maine, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely. Residents of the Greater Portland area are working to help change this. By raising awareness and funds through the March of Dimes largest event, March for Babies®, Greater Portland supporters are helping improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

March for Babies — the nation’s premier walking event — is held in 900 communities across the United States and involves more than 7 million people each year. Maine expects to raise $400,000 with the help of 2,000 people walking in support of healthy babies – including over 900 walkers in Portland’s Payson Park on Sunday, May 6th.

Greater Portland’s March for Babies will be held on May 6, 2012 at Payson Park/Baxter Boulevard. Registration begins at 8AM at Payson Park and walkers will kick-off at 9AM. Join the Morning Crew - Meredith, Jeff, and Laurie of Q97.9 for breakfast provided by Dunkin Donuts before heading off to walk a 3.2 mile loop. Following the walk, family entertainment will be provided by Wayne from Maine with snacks from Hannaford.

The 2012 Mission Family, Rachel and Ben Pasquale of South Portland, ME are available for press interviews prior to the event or at Paysone Park on Sunday, May 6th - the parents of a premature baby girl born at Maine Medical Center. Isabella was born at 24 weeks, weighing just over 1 pound and is now nearing her 2nd birthday. They're walking to give other families hope through sharing their story. At the walk, the Pasquele's will wear purple beads in honor of Isabella, while others may wear pink for healthy babies and unfortunately, many families will wear white beads - in honor or memory of a baby that didn't survive.

Thanks to the support of the local community, the March of Dimes has helped reduce the rate of premature birth. But there are still too many babies born too soon and sick. That is why supporters are enlisting friends, family, and colleagues to join March for Babies and walk together for stronger, healthier babies.

In addition to supporting medical research, the funds raised through March for Babies are distributed to local community organizations working to improve the health of mothers and babies. In Maine, the March of Dimes supports a Family Support Program at Maine Medical Center that provides families of premature babies with support and education at a critical time in their lives.

March for Babies is sponsored statewide by Hannaford, The Bank of Maine, Bangor Hydro, Hollywood Slots, Q97.9, Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital of Maine Medical Center, Central Maine Medical Center, Spectrum Medical Group, Patriot Subaru, Mercy Hospital and Joe Bornstein. The 2012 March for Babies national sponsors include Bayer, CIGNA, Famous Footwear, Farmers, FedEx, First Response, Kmart, Mission Pharmacal, Sanofi Pasteur, United Airlines, Macy’s, and OneMain Financial.


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