Kickoff luncheon Feb. 11 in Decorah
FAYETTE, IOWA (February 6, 2008) - The March of Dimes has taken off its walking shoes, put on marching shoes, and renamed WalkAmerica, its largest fundraising event, to March for Babies. "The new name makes a clear connection to what the March of Dimes is all about-the health of all babies," said Nancy Keedy, division director for the Northeast Iowa March of Dimes.
The annual Northeast Iowa March of Dimes (MOD) March for Babies will be held Saturday, May 3, 2008, beginning at Decorah Senior High School, where Upper Iowa University students, faculty, and staff will join the hundreds of others who will walk to raise money in support of MOD.
Upper Iowa University will again be the HERO Sponsor for this year's campaign. Knife River and Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center have signed on as Champion Sponsors. Media partners are KCRG-TV and KDEC 100.5 FM.
"As a HERO sponsor, Upper Iowa University plays an important role in bringing awareness of prematurity to communities in Northeast Iowa," said Keedy. "All babies in our communities, and across the country, are counting on us. The money that is raised through March for Babies will support lifesaving research, services, education and advocacy that help babies get a healthy start."
The March for Babies kick-off luncheon will be Monday, Feb. 11 at Country Inn and Suites in Decorah beginning at noon. This year's Northeast Iowa ambassador family is Daren and Kristi Holien and their daughter, Keira, who was born at 33 weeks with a heart defect. Keira spent two months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) before getting to go home. Thanks to state-of-the-art facilities and amenities made possible through MOD fundraising, Keira has a healthy heart, although she still faces a variety of issues related to Down Syndrome.
Kristi will join Nikki Menson, a Dubuque preemie mom, as they tell their stories at the kick-off luncheon. "People really have no idea what a family goes through after a premature birth, where the child has to spend a long period of time in the NICU," said Keedy.
To find out more about the March of Dimes organization or the events listed above, contact Keedy at 563-583-3755 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.marchofdimes.com.
For more information about Upper Iowa University, go to www.uiu.edu.