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March of Dimes prepares for next years fundraiser
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Breakfast for Babies

  • When: 8-9 a.m. Thursday
  • Where: The Longstreet Clinic, 725 Jesse Jewell Parkway
  • Contact: To RSVP, contact Jana Dover at 706-499-3425 or jdover@marchofdimes.com

Not wasting much time resting on their laurels from a successful March for Babies in May, local March of Dimes supporters want to get teams interested in next year’s event.

Breakfast for Babies is set for 8-9 a.m. Thursday morning at The Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville. The clinic is a presenting sponsor of the annual Gainesville-Hall County March for Babies, also known as WalkAmerica.

The March of Dimes is dedicated to "improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature births and infant mortality," according to the group’s Web site.

The organization was born in January 1938 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt, himself a victim of polio, established the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.

Dr. Jonas Salk, who discovered the polio vaccine, received funding from the group to assist his research. The group officially changed its name to the March of Dimes in 1979.

Thursday’s breakfast is aimed not only to raise awareness about the March of Dimes’ biggest fundraiser, but inform people about how to start a local team and what’s involved in fundraising. The official event kickoff will be in January.

"We’re preparing for 2010 and this is kind of a recruitment event to bring in new teams for fundraising," said March of Dimes community director Jana Dover. "It is a rally to inspire new interest."

She stressed that people can attend Thursday’s breakfast if they just want to learn more about the event. Volunteers will not have to commit on Thursday to having a team or raising funds. Those interested in attending Thursday’s breakfast should RSVP by calling Dover.

This year’s event, held in May, drew hundreds to walk the 4-mile route near the clinic. Dover estimates that event will end up raising $115,000.

Some of the money raised will stay in Hall County, such as grants that go to Northeast Georgia Medical Center to provide carts stocked with books for parents to read to their infants in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital.

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