(1/04/10) - Marie Segars, Senior Vice President and Administrator of McLeod Regional Medical Center, will serve as Chair for the 2010 March for Babies®, the March of Dimes' biggest fundraiser. Through the partnership between McLeod Health and the March of Dimes, Segars says the effort will support March of Dimes research and community programs to help mothers sustain full-term pregnancies and help babies to begin healthy lives. She is committed to helping reach the event goal of $81,000.
The 2010 March for Babies® takes place on Saturday, May 1 at the Florence Rail Trail and McLeod Health & Fitness Center.
"My family, like many others, has experienced firsthand the impact of prematurity," Segars said. "In these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever for Florence and Darlington County businesses and residents to participate in helping the March of Dimes to continue its important work for babies in our area and across South Carolina."
"We would not want the March of Dimes to have to cut back on research and community education programs that save babies' lives," Segars continued. "I challenge Florence and Darlington County business leaders and families to join me to raise the critical funds so that all babies have the chance to be born healthy."
Known throughout Florence for her extensive work and leadership as Senior Vice President and Administrator of McLeod Regional Medical Center, Segars serves as an ambassador for the March for Babies by recruiting a team of high impact volunteers to raise new dollars for the event. Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone has already joined the effort.
"We are honored to have Marie Segars lead the way," said Toy Nettles, CEO of Pee Dee Electric and 2009 March for Babies Chair. "When our leaders publicly stand with a cause they support, they show the whole community the value of volunteer service and community involvement."
"I'm serving as the 2010 Chair of the March for Babies because I believe that this is a wonderful opportunity to bring visibility to the cause," says Segars. "If we can give a child a healthy birth, we've had a positive impact on his or her future quality of life."
The most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. today is premature birth. It affects more than half a million babies each year, including more than 18 percent of Florence and Darlington County babies. The March of Dimes is committed to reducing the number of premature births by funding research and providing comfort and information to families who are affected.
In 2009, the South Carolina March of Dimes invested 1.5 million dollars in program services, including research grants and local community services. Through these grants, the March of Dimes is seeking ways to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina's increasing premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care, and educate men and women about having healthy babies.
In Florence, March for Babies® is sponsored by McLeod Health, the Morning News, and The Messenger of Hartsville.
With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies®, the March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.