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Celebrities Take Giant Steps in March for Babies(R) - Now It's Up to You

Friday, April 16, 2010 General News J E 4
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Events Across the Country Support Research into Preterm Birth and Other Infant Health Problems

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With two weeks to go to most March for Babies events, celebrities, sports stars, and elected officials pledged to join the March of Dimes to fight preterm birth and give all babies a healthy start in life. Preterm birth is the number one killer of newborns in the United States, and babies who survive often face lifelong health problems.

Stars from the TV shows Modern Family and The Biggest Loser and pro athletes from baseball and football will walk in March for Babies. The event helps fund research, advocacy and educational programs for stronger, healthier babies.

The goal for this year's March for Babies, the March of Dimes signature fundraiser, is $100 million. Since 1970, the event has raised $1.8 billion to support research, advocacy and education programs in communities across the country, enabling more moms to have healthy, full-term pregnancies. March for Babies is held in nearly 900 communities across the country with more than 7 million people participating, including celebrity stars:

"The March of Dimes is grateful not only to the thousands of individuals, companies and organizations who show their support each year for healthy babies, but also to these well-known television and sports stars who lend their celebrity status to help raise awareness about our mission," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes.

Below is a schedule of some upcoming March for Babies events. To find out where a March for Babies event takes place near you, visit marchforbabies.org.

Premature birth is a serious and costly problem. More than 540,000 babies are born too soon in the United States each year, costing the nation more than $26 billion annually, according to the Institute of Medicine.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, CIGNA, Continental Airlines, Famous Footwear, FedEx, Sanofi Pasteur, First Response, Mission Pharmacal, and Focus Features' BABIES.

For more information, go to the March of Dimes Web site at marchofdimes.com or its Spanish language Web site at nacersano.org.

Schedule of Some Upcoming March for Babies Events

-- Country Music singer Ryder Lee in Nashville - 4/18 -- ABC's Modern Family star Julie Bowen in Los Angeles - 4/24 -- TV Host and March of Dimes Mom volunteer Nancy O'Dell in Los Angeles - 4/24 -- Actress and March of Dimes Mom Volunteer Nicole Sullivan in Los Angles - 4/24 -- Actress and March of Dimes Youth Volunteer Camille Winbush in Los Angeles - 4/24 -- NBC's Biggest Loser winner Ali Vincent in St. Louis - 4/24 -- Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas in Atlanta - 4/24 -- Actor, singer, songwriter Carlos Ponce in Miami - 4/24 -- 7-Time Olympic Medal Gymnast Shannon Miller in Jacksonville, FL - 4/24 -- Actress Melissa Joan Hart in White Plains, NY - 4/25 -- American Idol winner and Grammy nominated singer, Jordin Sparks in New York, NY - 4/25 -- New York Giant wide receiver, Steve Smith in New York, NY - 4/25 -- Grammy Nominated Rock Band for kids, Milkshake in Baltimore, MD - 4/25 -- Boston's infielder Kevin Youkilis in Boston - 5/8

SOURCE March of Dimes
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