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March for Babies kicks off
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

March of Dimes kickoff for the 2012 Forsyth County March for Babies will begin at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday at Northside Hospital-Forsyth’s Bennett Education Center in classrooms A and B. The event is free, but guests are asked to R.S.V.P. by Monday to Wendy Wyatt at (706) 372-5527 or wwyatt@marchofdimes.com.

What does one in eight mean to you?

That’s the question representatives of the March of Dimes will ask Tuesday during a kickoff event for this year’s March for Babies.

Wendy Wyatt, a March of Dimes community director for north Georgia, said the question relates to the organization’s focus.

“Our theme, of sorts, is what does one in eight mean to you,” she said. “Most people probably don’t know … one in eight babies born in the state of Georgia is born premature.”

The March for Babies is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, held at various sites nationwide.

The Forsyth march will be May 5, Wyatt said, beginning at Otwell Middle School. The event will include a 4-mile walk, as well as a number of family-friendly activities.

“It’s a good family time to come out,” Wyatt said. “We’ll have things like bouncy houses, clowns and music. It’s a really good time for a good cause.”

Tuesday’s kickoff, which will be held at Northside Hospital-Forsyth’s Bennett Education Center, will give people information about the March of Dimes, which Wyatt said encompasses more than many may know.

“Our objective is to make sure all babies are given the chance to be born healthy,” she said. “That includes preventing prematurity, which most people think of when they think of March of Dimes, but also a lot of other things like working toward ending birth defects.”

Wyatt said the kickoff will include an introduction of this year’s Forsyth ambassador family, the Fields. 

Mark and Kelly Fields delivered twin sons, Bennett and Brooks, on Nov. 22, 2011, at Northside-Forsyth.

They were born at just 32 weeks gestation, or eight weeks premature. Kelly Fields also spent 32 days in the hospital prior to their birth.

The Fields, who also have two older sons, Connor, 13, and Carter, 8, will share their story Tuesday.

There will also be presentations from Lynn Jackson, administrator of Northside-Forsyth, and representatives of the hospital’s Women’s Center.

“We’ll also be giving out packets for anyone interested in leading a team during the March for Babies,” she said.

Wyatt said this year’s fundraising goal for the march is $117,000.

As for participants, she said she’d just like to see “as many as possible.”