PICKENS COUNTY—The effort to save babies is back on in 2013.
March of Dimes recently launched its 2013 campaign with a kick-off event at FATZ Café in Easley on Tuesday. Erin Reid, March of Dimes coordinator in Pickens County, was met with a check for $25,000 to get the fundraising started..
“Since 1970, people all across the country have been walking for babies,” Reid said. “In 2012, Pickens County raised more than $105,000 during the March for Babies campaign. When we come together we take steps toward a healthier future for our babies and our community.”
Best Chevrolet of the Upstate and Best Kia of the Upstate got the fundraising going with quite a large donation. In addition to the $25,000 gift, the two dealerships announced they will face off against each other in the “Fill the Front campaign,” which will collect donations for the cause.
“A little friendly competition really inspires people to do their best, and March of Dimes and the kids it helps deserve no less from us,” said Pete Mirante, owner of Best Upstate. “At Best Chevorlet of the Upstate and Best Kia of the Upstate, we are proud to stand behind this cause and help it do its work. I’m sure everybody out there joins me in wanting to see March of Dimes continue making sure babies get the best start possible.”
Baptist Easley CEO and 2013 March for Babies Chairman Roddey Gettys said there is a great cause behind all of this.
“The March of Dimes is inspired by all babies,” Gettys said. “They are the millions of reasons behind our urgent mission and why everyday March of Dimes is fighting for the babies in our lives. The healthy grandchildren, the neighbor born too soon or too small or the friend whose child didn’t survive. We raise money so that one day every parent can experience the joy of a healthy baby.”
March of Dimes, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, seeks cures for a wide array of birth defects and diseases, and it sponsors programs that help parents beore and after the birth of their child.
“While we are proud to announce that we have seen a decrease in premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality, we still have a lot of work to do,” Gettys said. “Each minute, another child is born too soon in our country.”
Last year, Shaw Industries was the team that raised the most money for March of Dimes, bringing in $11,600. Gettys said a lofty goal has been set for this year’s fundraising.
“The March of Dimes Pickens County goal for March for Babies 2013 is $118,000,” Gettys said. “That’s $118,000 to offer hope and solutions for all babies.”
The fundraising concludes with a walk to celebrate in April. This year, the walk will be held at Old Market Square in Easley.
“One day, all babies will be born healthy, but we have to walk to get there,” Gettys said. “Let’s get out there on April 27th, the day of March for Babies, and walk.”
To learn more about March of Dimes, visit www.marchofdimes.com/southcarolina.