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The Battle of Ohio Moves Off the Field and Onto Premature Birth as the Bengals and Browns Support the March of Dimes

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 General News J E 4
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CINCINNATI, Dec. 18 Splitting the state of Ohio with arivalry stemming back to the 1970s, the Cincinnati Bengals and ClevelandBrowns had more in common this November than the AFC North and Paul Brown.Both of Ohio's NFL teams made a commitment to help the March of Dimes raiseawareness about premature birth- the number one killer of newborn babies. Inhonor of Prematurity Awareness month both the Browns and the Bengals agreed toalter their exterior lighting and illuminate their stadiums in pink and bluethroughout the month of November. "Having buildings like Paul Brown Stadiumand the Cleveland Browns Stadium lit in pink and blue symbolize the type ofcollective leadership in raising awareness about premature birth that weadmire in Ohio," says John Banchy, Executive Director of the March of DimesOhio Chapter.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071218/CLTU077-a )

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071218/CLTU077-b )

The Browns return this November for their second year participating in thePrematurity lighting campaign, and the Bengals join the March of Dimes fortheir first year lighting up. Even Hamilton County, owner of Paul BrownStadium, demonstrated their support and provided for all of the lightingadjustments and associated costs for the illumination. While both teamssupport the organization in many faucets throughout the year, this year theyreally hit hard in honor of Prematurity Awareness month. In late October theLady Browns, wives of Cleveland Brown players, joined with the March of Dimesand focused their annual initiative to benefit the families with prematurebabies at the MetroHealth Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Cleveland,OH. Within the fun-filled afternoon the Lady Browns and NICU families paintedrocking chairs to be donated to the NICU and Browns players participated inMetroHealth's own Daddy Boot Camp - an all male seminar in which expectingfathers can discuss concerns with regards to their new responsibilities, gainhands-on experience with newborn babies, and learn the tools of the trade fromseasoned fathers.

During the Bengals Bash, held on the Friday of Prematurity Awareness Week,the Bengals partnered with Pampers on Fountain Square in Cincinnati to rallysupport for the upcoming home game while benefiting the March of Dimes.Bengals wives Jessica Hall, Khai Jones and Diane Livings joined the players todemonstrate support from the player's wives and families. Both Jones andLivings spoke to the audience about their commitment to the March of Dimes.Fans were able to pose for a photo with their favorite players whilevolunteers holding buckets collected coins during the Bash to be donated tothe March of Dimes.

Thirty-six other buildings throughout Ohio joined the Bengals and theBrowns in the Ohio Prematurity lighting campaign including Fountain Square(Cincinnati), Toledo Children's Hospital, Akron Children's Hospital, MiranovaCondos (Columbus), St. Elizabeth's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, BoardmanHospital, Salem Community Center, Trinity East and West, Hawken Lower School(Cleveland), National City Bank (Dayton), Central State University, KetteringMedical Center, Miami Valley Hospital, Kettering Tower, West Gate Building(Toledo), Hylant Building (Toledo), UBS Toledo, March of Dimes Central Ohioand Miami Valley Offices, ProMedica Perrysburg, Baker Center (OhioUniversity), Nationwide Arena, all Sorority Houses and RPAC building (The OhioState University).

Nationally, as part of the November observance, everyone was invited toshare their baby's unique story with others by visitinghttp://www.marchofdimes.com/everybaby . On this web site, an interactive mapallows families and friends to connect through activities across the country,all to celebrate babies. Read others' stories and join a community thathonors the babies in your life.

The March of Dimes Prematurity C
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