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Helping to birth more healthy babies

Teams are forming to take part in the Starlight Stroll, a WalkAmerica event to raise money for the March of Dimes. The event will begin at Long Park in Farmington April 27 and include a walk through downtown that totals about one and a half miles.

U S Bank is sponsoring the local event. Other businesses who wish to take part are asked to call Co-Chairman Mary McEntire at 747-2074. Sponsorships are available at various levels from $50 to $1,000.

The group hopes to raise $35,000 this year and have 35 teams participating.

&#8220My whole family is involved,” said co-chairman Mary Forest. &#8220You can have a team of any size – from one person to as many as you can get. One of the things we are trying to focus on this year is family teams. I’ve always felt the March of Dimes is for families.”

To sign up a team, call McEntire.

Since 1921, the March of Dimes has been working to improve the health of children. First, through polio vaccinations. Now, through education that can help prevent premature births. Between 1981 and 2003, the rate of premature births rose from 9.4 percent to 12.3 percent. Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns.

Money raised through the March of Dimes helps fund research into finding out why premature births happen and how they can be prevented. It also goes to educating women about the signs of pre-term labor and what to do if they have them.

The Commerce Bank team is already raising money through the sale of beanie babies at its branches in Farmington and Desloge.

A team captain rally is planned April 4 with the time and location to be announced later.

Registration for the walk will begin at 5 p.m. with the stroll set to start at 6 p.m. There will also be activities for children.

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