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March of Dimes hosts annual fundraising awareness campaign

Premature births, birth defects, and infant mortality most prevalent in African American community

By Jason Lewis | 5/1/2014, midnight
It was bright and sunny this past Saturday morning, and the weather made it perfect for the March of Dimes ...
OW Photo courtesy of Jason Lewis

It was bright and sunny this past Saturday morning, and the weather made it perfect for the March of Dimes to raise funds for research to prevent premature births, birth defects, and infant mortality.

Thousands of supporters participated in the three-mile walk/run, which started and finished in Exposition Park. The March of Dimes created this event in 1970, and since then, they have raised more than $1.7 billion to ensure that more babies are born healthy.

Nearly 56,000 babies are born prematurely every year in California, and the rate of premature births in the African American community is nearly double that of the White community. According to the March of Dimes, more than 5,400 (or 14.3 percent) African American babies born in California are born prematurely, which is higher than the state's rate of 9.9 percent for all babies.

Because of the great need within the Black community, the March of Dimes partners with a number of community organizations. The March of Dimes works with community-based organizations to provide public health-focused services, distribute maternal and infant health information and scientific research.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. Across the country, the organization conducts marches to bring about awareness and to raise funds.

Some people ran the course, but most enjoyed the weather and company of other people working to raise funds as they took a leisurely stroll around the surrounding areas of USC and Exposition Park.

It is not too late to donate to the March of Dimes, as most of the donations are given online. To find out how you can support, visit their website at www.marchofdimes.com