March for Babies walk to be held on Saturday
March 22, 2011 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated March 21, 2011 at 10:22 p.m.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: March of Babies Walk
WHEN: Saturday-Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., walk will begin promptly at 9 a.m.
WHERE: Riverside Park. Starting point will be at the intersection of Red River Street and Memorial Drive.
COST: Free. No pre-registration is necessary for participation.
DONATIONS: Please make the donations toward the Top Ladies Victoria team at the event or online via the March of Dimes website.
For more information on the event and March of Dimes, log onto www.marchforbabies.org.
FACTS ABOUT PREMATURE BABIES:
Preterm birth is defined as a live birth before 37 completed weeks gestation.
In 2007, one in seven babies (13.36 percent of live births) was born preterm in Texas.
Between 1997 and 2007, the rate of infants born preterm in Texas increased more than 13 percent.
The rate of preterm birth in Texas is highest for black infants (18.5 percent), followed by Hispanics (13.4 percent), Native Americans (13.3 percent), whites (12.6 percent) and Asians (11.3 percent).
Compared with singleton births (one baby), multiple births in Texas were about five times as likely to be preterm in 2007.
Two Victoria service groups are working to raise money for premature babies.
The Victoria chapters of the Top Ladies of Distinction and the Top Teens of America are the organizers of the 2010 March for Babies event, which will take place Saturday.
The event is the largest nationwide fundraiser for the March of Dimes, a national organization that seeks to prevent premature births, birth defects and infant mortality.
March for Babies is in its 41st year
"It's a foundation that has touched every single one of us, even if we don't realize it," said Angi Rhoden, community director for the Texas Chapter of March of Dimes. "When you make a contribution, you are investing in our future."
The Victoria Chapter seeks to raise at least $2,000 in donations.
Participants will walk 3.2 miles in Riverside Park.
Top Ladies of Distinction member Kay Hayes said the group was inspired to organize the local walk, which had been defunct for a number of years because of the Yancey family.
Jodi Yancey, 35, gave birth to her now 8-month-old twins, Journie and Jordan, at 27 weeks gestation.
"I thank God for those who pounded the pavement before me," said Yancey, whose family is the local March of Babies ambassadors. "Now, babies born at 27 weeks are born alive and stay healthy. Years ago, that was unheard of."
Hayes hopes that at least 500 Victorians will come out and participate.
"If it were not for March of Dimes, we wouldn't know those darling two babies," she said.