March of Dimes moves to A-State campus

On April 24, 2014

Arkansas State University will host its first ever March of Dimes March for Babies 5K this Saturday beginning in front of the Student Union at 10 a.m.

The March for Babies is an annual fundraiser for the March of Dimes, an organization that raises money for premature birth awareness.

Zumba, bounce houses, food and other entertainment will be available to 5K participants and other supporters of the cause. Registration is free but donations are encouraged.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a national partner of March of Dimes organization, will also perform a step show at the event.

The event was held at Craighead Forest Park in previous years, but the move to A-State was “ideal” for the community, according to Holly Proffitt, chair of the office of recruitment for the March of Dimes.

“We wanted a more stroller friendly place since it’s a family friendly event,” Proffitt said. “We thought that this would be a great opportunity for students to get involved and would also be another way to showcase campus.”

Rachel Guerin, Northeast Arkansas division director for March of Dimes said the move allowed the organization to reach a different segment of people it has never reached out to before: the students. She added there are several new teams.

“This event is the bread and butter of March of Dimes all over the nation,” Guerin said. “It’s the national March for Babies Day, and hundreds of thousands of people will walk or donate for babies that were lost or born prematurely.”

According to the March for Babies website, the money raised supports programs in the community that helps moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies, and funds research to find answers as to why premature births happen.

“The event is held to raise money and to remember those who maybe didn’t make it or are still struggling with the effects of (losing a premature child),” Proffitt said.

Over 180 teams have worked to raise money for the event.

“We have raised almost $35,000, and that is just the money we have in hand,” Proffitt said.

Teams turn in all of the money raised at the 9 a.m. registration Saturday morning.

“We are expecting to raise about $125,000,” Proffitt said. “The overall goal is to raise $175,000, and we have the entire year and a lot of campaigns throughout the year to raise money for that goal.”

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity has also helped with the event and fundraising.

“We are setting up the foundation of what it is here and establishing the first time it has ever been here,” said Lance Smith, Alpha Phi Alpha member and board member for March of Dimes. “We are basically helping raise money and show awareness for premature children.”

Registration for the event begins at 9 a.m., and the 5K begins at 10 a.m. Supporters can go to marchforbabies.org to preregister, register a team or donate money.

“We are really excited to get ASU students involved and hope to have the event at ASU for years to come,” Proffitt said. “It is really cool to see the students come together. I just want people to know it’s a universal thing, and supporting March of Dimes is supporting each other and our future generation.”

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