News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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February 22, 2013

Team captains gather to prepare for the annual March of Babies

TERRE HAUTE — Volunteers slid through icy streets to prepare for a big march in a springlike April.

About 40 team captains gathered Thursday evening inside the Hulman Center amid snow turning to sleet. Preparations for the annual March for Babies in Terre Haute are under way, and organizers said it’s not too late to join.

Nikki Simpson, division director for the March of Dimes, said this year’s walk has been scheduled for April 27 at the Indiana State University Memorial Stadium.

“We’re hoping to raise $185,000,” she said.

Inside the Hulman Center’s downstairs conference room, pizza and cake were on tables surrounded by volunteers. Simpson said the kickoff party coincides with the organization’s 75th birthday. Displays outlined the organization’s contributions, from the times of polio through today.

   “We have 99 teams confirmed right now,” she said, predicting the group will have about 170 by April.

   This year’s March for Babies is expected to draw more than 7 million participants in 900 U.S. communities. Funds raised by the March of Dimes support research and care for premature babies. Since 1970, more than $2 billion has been raised on behalf of children, according to information provided by the organization.

Heather Dalton Miklozek, co-chair of this year’s walk, said she’s been involved in the program seven years, ever since her first child was born prematurely.

   “It’s a personal connection for me,” she said, explaining how heightened her family’s awareness has become to the issue of pre-natal health.

   Team captain Stacey Hutchison, likewise, said her family’s involvement stems from the home. Her 11-year-old son was seated there with the rest of the family as part of the Boot City team. An employee of the store, Hutchison said she’s been organizing a fundraising team for the March of Dimes for eights years.

 “Because he wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that,” she said, when asked why.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or brian.boyce@tribstar.com

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