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Celebrities Lead One Million Walkers and Urge Public to Support March for Babies(R)
Date:6/4/2009

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Celebrity volunteers who led more than one million people in March for Babies this spring are urging the public to continue to help the March of Dimes raise urgently needed funds for programs that help moms and babies.

"As a mom who had a premature child, I know firsthand the toll that premature birth can take. Give hope to babies and families by joining me in supporting the March of Dimes," says Sherri Shepherd, co-host of "The View" and National Spokesperson and California Chapter March for Babies Chair. Ms. Shepherd led the walk in Los Angeles on April 25.

The March for Babies raises funds to support research to find answers to the serious problems that threaten babies and community-based programs that bring comfort and information to families whose babies were born sick or prematurely.

The March of Dimes is making a special effort now to raise another $10 million so that all of the lifesaving research grants recently approved by an expert committee can be funded. Ms. Shepherd, along with fellow celebrity volunteers, is urging the public to visit marchforbabies.org to make a donation today.

Joining Sherri in Los Angeles were actress Camille Winbush, of the ABC Family series "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," the newest March of Dimes Team Youth volunteer, and longtime local volunteer and Latina superstar Dayanara Torres. This year, Nancy O'Dell, co-host of "Access Hollywood," and a group of Hollywood Moms appeared in a public service ad to support March of Dimes March for Babies.

Kicking off the Miami walk on April 25 was singer, actress and mother Jennifer Lopez, Honorary Chairperson of March for Babies. Ms. Lopez also joined the March of Dimes and sanofi pasteur in a national public awareness campaign to help protect the health and wellness of adults and infants called "Sounds of Pertussis."

Celebrities also joined the Nashville, Tenn., March for Babies event on April 19 with Grammy(R) Award winner Kelly Clarkson and Academy Award(R) winner Nicole Kidman inspiring walkers and volunteers. Ms. Clarkson, March of Dimes National Team Youth Ambassador, walked with her own team as part of her ongoing support of the foundation. Ms. Kidman, a first-time volunteer, spoke from the stage to thank all walkers and families for their dedication to the mission of the March of Dimes.

In New York City, NY Giants Quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning walked on April 26 along with Division leaders. Mr. Manning is the New York City Celebrity Honorary Chair and helped generate more than $100,000 in new sponsorship for March for Babies.

Former Washington Redskins player Brian Mitchell and Olympic Gold medalist Kerri Strug walked in Washington, D.C., on April 26th. Mr. Mitchell, a March of Dimes national celebrity volunteer served as the National Capital Area's Honorary Celebrity Chair for March for Babies this year. Ms. Strug has been active with year-round March of Dimes National Team Youth volunteer initiatives, as well as March of Dimes events in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.

In Baltimore, Greg Gumbel, CBS sportscaster and Honorary March of Dimes Trustee, spent his birthday, May 3, walking alongside March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer Howse. The Hall Family, March of Dimes 2009 National Ambassador Family, helped kick off the event, along with many dedicated volunteers.

The Boston March for Babies on May 9 got a boost from the participation of New England Patriots running back Laurence Maroney and Boston Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis.

Join these dedicated celebrities and walkers by getting involved in the March for Babies and other upcoming March of Dimes fundraising events. Every donation counts. Visit marchforbabies.org to make your donation today.

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. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.


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SOURCE March of Dimes
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