14,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the state of Ohio. Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney and City Auditor Kristal Spetnagel are working to change that as the newly-named Co-Chairs for the 2018 Scioto Valley March for Babies.
The march is April 22nd, starting at Chillicothe's Yoctangee Park, with registration at 9am and the walk at 10am. The fundraising and awareness education event is open to anyone in the region, wanting to participate.
“As a father, I can’t think of a more important cause than the March of Dimes mission to prevent birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality,” says Mayor Feeney. “The money raised by March for Babies gives more babies a fighting chance at a healthy start in life.” Mayor Feeney will be asking local businesses and community leaders to join him in support of March for Babies. “The number of babies born prematurely here in Ohio and nationwide is just not acceptable,” he says. “It takes leaders of our community working together to ensure that more babies are born healthy.”
Last year in Scioto Valley, March for Babies raised more $60,000, a figure both Co-chairs want to surpass in 2018. More than 20,000 companies nationwide are participating in 2017 March for Babies, which will take place in about 500 communities.
“We’re so excited to have Mayor Feeney and City Auditor Spetnagel on board to serve as our local March for Babies Co-chairs,” says Paulette Burks. “Their passion and commitment to helping moms and babies will be a tremendous factor to drive the success of our event. March for Babies raises urgently-needed funds to provide comfort and information for the families of sick and premature babies as well as innovative research.”
Scioto Valley residents can sign up today at marchforbabies.org, start a team with co-workers, family or friends; or donate to help more babies survive and thrive. Last year, more than 300 people attended the annual event, which will be held this year on Sunday, April 22 at Yoctangee Park.
March for Babies is sponsored locally by Adena Health System.
About 380,000 babies are born too soon in the United States each year - that’s one in 10. Premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) is the leading cause of death of babies in the U.S. Babies who survive an early birth often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays. In addition to the human toll, premature birth accounts for more than $26 billion annually in medical and societal costs, according to the National Academy of Medicine.