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March for Babies kickoff on Tuesday
Informational event at conference center
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

* What: March of Dimes Kickoff for 2014 March for Babies

* When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

* Where: Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd.

* Cost: Free

* Also: Those who cannot attend the kickoff but would like more information about taking part in the march can contact Michele Beal at (678) 793-0391 or mbeal@marchofdimes.com.

CUMMING — The public is invited to help raise awareness about the March of Dimes at this year’s March for Babies kickoff.

The event is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

The 2014 Forsyth County March for Babies, a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, will be April 26 at Otwell Middle School.

Lindsey Shadburn Simpson, chairwoman of this year’s march, said the kickoff is open to anyone interested in learning more about how to get involved or just more about the organization’s mission.

“Many people aren’t that familiar with the March of Dimes and all the good work of the organization,” Simpson said. “We want to help educate the community and to get more people involved.”

The March of Dimes’ primary mission is to ensure all babies are born healthy and to help those who are born premature get the care they need. Over the years, the organization’s researchers have developed many practices and medications that help.

“Every week in Georgia there are approximately 375 babies born premature,” Simpson said. “So that’s nearly 20,000 babies every year.

“Getting involved with the March for Babies is a fun and easy way for people to help ensure all those babies survive and go on to become healthy children.”

For the past several years, the kickoff event has been held at lunchtime.

“A lot of people are working during the day and aren’t able to get to a luncheon, so we wanted to hold it in the evening to hopefully draw some new people,” Simpson said. “This way, people can stop by, pick up materials and hear from our speakers on their way home.”

Attendees will hear personal stories of families whose lives were made better through the organization’s efforts, as well as doctors who care for premature babies. They will also get advice on how to build a successful fundraising team.

The 2013 march drew about 500 walkers and raised $165,000, well beyond the $135,000 goal.

“We don’t have a specific goal [this year], we just want to increase our numbers,” she said, noting that there is a monetary goal of at least $170,000 for the event.