march for babies blog
Niki Taylor with her family and newborn son.
Internationally famed model, Niki Taylor, proudly announces her participation in March of Dimes March for Babies to help raise awareness and critical funds for stronger, healthier babies. Taylor will join the March of Dimes in kicking off the walk in at Tropical Park in Miami, FL on the morning of Saturday, April 28th.
“As a mom of four healthy children, I am grateful to know the March of Dimes is tireless in their fight to improve the health of all babies. My family and I are supporting the March for Babies walk so that we can help other moms give their babies the healthiest possible start,” said Taylor who will be joining the opening ceremonies and leading the walk in Miami, close to where she grew up.
Herself a mother to a five month old son, a three year old daughter, and two 17 year old twin boys, Taylor connects with the cause and the need for people to sign up for the walk and fundraise. “I am proud to bring my own young ones out to be part of this event. Together we will walk for healthier babies, and for those born too soon and need our help.”
President Barack Obama poses with the 2012 March of Dimes ambassadors and their families in the Oval Office, Feb. 7, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Kieran Wittstruck, the March of Dimes 2012 National Ambassador, has been on a whirlwind tour to promote the 2012 March for Babies. Since January he and his parents have visited 17 states, and even celebrated his 6th birthday with the March of Dimes. The Wittstrucks are traveling the country this year to share their very personal story related to preterm birth, and to raise awareness of the mission of the March of Dimes.
At the ripe age of 6 Kieran has already met the CEO of United Airlines, Jeff Smisek, fed a Beluga Whale it’s dinner, sang the National Anthem on the court of a pro basketball game, and received a bear hug from President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. Despite all of the exciting opportunities he’s had, he and his parents agree that the most rewarding part of traveling the country is to share their story with those who want to support the mission of the March of Dimes.
This year Kieran will be attending March for Babies events around the country in the last weeks of April and the first weeks in May. If you see him at your walk, make sure to stop by and say hello!
To read more about Kieran’s March of Dimes adventure feel free to follow his blog at http://kieranstravels.marchofdimes.com/
March of Dimes 2012 National Ambassador Kieran Wittstuck (age 6) and 2011 National Ambassador Lauren Fleming (age 8 ) were joined by their families and Mr. Gary Dixon, member of the March of Dimes national Board of Trustees, for a private meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House yesterday.
These special volunteers represented the March of Dimes Foundation and the more than half a million babies born prematurely in the United States each year. This visit continues a 66-year tradition of bringing March of Dimes National Ambassadors to the White House. National Ambassadors have met with every U.S. President since President Harry S. Truman. Follow our National Ambassador’s March for Babies® season travels at Kieran’s Blog.
In photo: (Left to right) Gary Dixon of Dallas, Texas, member of the March of Dimes national Board of Trustees, was joined by the March of Dimes 2012 National Ambassador family (Shalini, Shane and Kieran Wittstruck of Seattle, Wash.) and the March of Dimes 2011 National Ambassador family (Nikki and Densel Fleming (holding son Corbin), Ambassador Lauren and her little sister Erin, of Charlotte, N.C.)
Photo Credit: March of Dimes
The 2011 National Ambassador, Lauren Fleming, has been very busy so far this year! She visited 18 states and 46 cities since January 1 and she is only 7 years old. While she had a little time to rest she is already back in action. She attended the 105th Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. Anniversary Convention in Chicago, IL where her father Densel Fleming is a very prominent and respected member.
During the same week Lauren traveled to Los Angeles, CA and on Friday, June 24th she and her mother Nikki attended the Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures event, which honors individuals who have significantly impacted the African American community. This beautiful evening was hosted by one of the March of Dimes sponsors Farmers Insurance, and chaired by Faye W. McClure, the Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Farmers Insurance. Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds performed and Garcelle Beavais and Hill Harper will host.
The following week Farmers Insurance again supported the March of Dimes by hosting Farmers Be A Hero for Babies day. The day began with a telethon and ended with a fun carnival full of delicious food trucks and activities for all to participate in. There was a car display of NASCAR driver Mark Martin and Go Country broadcast live from the event! Lauren had so much fun.
Thank you to Farmers Insurance for always being a hero for babies!
Remember to cheer on NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin in the FedEx #11 car dedicated to March of Dimes in support of our 2011 March for Babies! Denny will race this special car tonight at the Texas Motor Speedway. Look for the purple and black scheme designed by eight-year-old twin brothers, Josh and Jake Aron of Dallas, TX!
Jake and Josh, serving as special ambassadors for March of Dimes Texas chapter, will enjoy special VIP access to the race along with their Dad Jaime, Mom Lori, and big brother Zack. The Arons have been an active family team since shortly after the twins were born at 23 weeks weighing less than one pound each. The Aron family is thrilled to be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity!
In addition to the super slick black and purple scheme, FedEx had both Josh and Jake’s actual footprints at birth enlarged and placed on the back to help push the #11 car to victory. Denny and his team say the car shows up great on the track!
Many thanks to March for Babies national sponsor FedEx, Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing for the creating this once in a lifetime experience for two March of Dimes mission ambassadors. Let’s hope it brings good luck tonight! The race begins tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Look for coverage on FOX Sports.
You can also check out footage of the Aron twins designing the car with Denny Hamlin in these two special videos:
Today, November 17th, is Prematurity Awareness Day. Today we release our Premature Birth Report Card, an interactive map that shows how your state compares to other states and to the country as a whole.
Eight states earned a better grade on the 2010 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card and 32 others and the District of Columbia saw their preterm birth rates improve.
Following three decades of increases, in 2008 the nation saw the first two-year decline in the preterm birth rate, a 4 percent drop from 2006. The 2008 preliminary preterm birth rate dropped to 12.3 percent, from the 2006 final rate of 12.8 percent. The March of Dimes says 79 percent of the decline was among babies born just a few weeks too soon.
Overall, the United States received a “D” on the report card, when national preterm birth rates are measured against the Healthy People 2010 goals. The United States has a high rate of preterm birth compared to top scoring states and, notably, most industrialized countries.
Find out more and find out what you can do by visiting our Prematurity Awareness Web site at MarchofDimes.com/Fight.
Say Cheese! Looking for volunteers in Connecticut area, to be in next March for Babies campaign photoPosted by Linda
Adults and young adults, between the ages of 18 and 44, are needed to pose as parents, family team members, and corporate/CEO team captains.
Volunteers must be able to attend a photo shoot in New Canaan, Conn., for about 6 to 8 hours one day during the first week or two of August.
Specific location and date TBD. Volunteers must provide their own transportation.Parking and park facilities on the premises.
Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and use the subject line: MFB Adult Volunteer and include your name, current photo and your contact information.
The March for Babies Creative Team
This Thursday is Be a Hero for Babies Day. March of Dimes partner Farmers’ Insurance will challenge agents and employees to raise more than $2 million for healthy babies in a single day!
We will be sharing stories of Farmers’ Agents who are heroes for babies throughout the week and invite you to share your own.
Today’s spotlight is on Jimmy Gary, a Farmers’ agent from Dallas, Texas.
Jimmy was born with a birth defect and, on top of that, contracted polio when he was just 6 years old. As a young boy in the 1950s, he and his mother went door to door collecting funds for March of Dimes.
In 2008, Jimmy and his agency started a March of Dimes Chili Cook Off. Through the event, he has raised more than $50,000 for the March of Dimes! Jimmy also walks in March for Babies. And every year, he’s among our top walkers. In 2009, he was the #2 walker for Fort Worth. So far this year, he’s up to $15,000!
Jimmy’s whole family gets behind the mission. His wife Margo is on the local March of Dimes board. They have lobbied at the Texas capital in Austin, and take part in Fort Worth’s March of Dimes Signature Chefs event.
Jimmy is driven to help promote research and education to improve the chances of premature babies. He always reminds friends and co-workers that long-term volunteers do not get involved to grow their personal agenda/business, but to better the people and the community.
Thank you, Jimmy – and all the Farmers’ agents who are heroes for babies! For more information on Be a Hero for Babies Day or to make a donation, please visit marchofdimes.com/farmers.
Head on over to the Johnson’s ® Baby YouTube page and watch the nine finalist videos and vote for your favorite! There are great cash prizes for the first and second place winners and the grand prize winner gets $10,000! Remember:
– You can vote everyday until July 27th
– For every video viewed during the voting phase, Johnson’s ® Baby will donate 5 cents to the March of Dimes (up to $5000)
Don’t forget to check out the official rules and happy voting!
Is this your first March for Babies, or are you a seasoned veteran? When it comes to fundraising, I think most of us can use some new ideas.
- Tell your story – Nothing inspires people to give like your personal story. Tell your potential donors who you’re walking for, how they can help and how much that would mean to you.
- Ease into it – Ask your family first, and your closest friends. Once you feel confident, reach out to your coworkers, doctor, your kids’ teachers, etc.
- Set your giving options – Did you know you can customize the gift amounts people see on your fundraising page? A higher suggested gift may encourage people to increase their donation.
- Go offine – Raising money online is the most effective and easiest way to increase your goal. But there are probably people you know who are not on your Facebook, or who you have no e-mail for. Do ask in person, and use our printable badges.
Now it’s your turn. Thousands of new family teams are walking in March for Babies for the very first time this year. What advice can you give them? How do you raise those dollars?