Salem raises money for March of Dimes

Shawn Nowlin

Marvin and Melissa Manigault and their daughters Kyiah (seven) and Savannah (four) traveled from North Carolina to be a part of Saturday’s event.

One out of every ten babies are born prematurely in the United States. Research conducted by the World Health Organization revealed that “approximately 450,000 babies in the United States alone are born too soon every year.”

March of Dimes is an organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies. Franklin D. Roosevelt, America’s 32nd President, founded the non-profit organization when he contracted Polio in 1932. Said President Roosevelt in January 1938, ”during the past few days bags of mail have been coming, literally by the truckload, to the White House. In all the envelopes are dimes and quarters and even dollar bills – gifts from grown-ups and children – mostly from children who want to help other children get well.”

When she was pregnant with her twins, Kimberly Fudge asked a friend if he knew of any support organizations that she could join. The first words that came out of his mouth were “March of Dimes.” It’s now been six years since Fudge first got involved in the organization. Today, she encourages as many mothers as possible to join.

“I didn’t know much about March of Dimes when I first got pregnant, but I have come to love everything that they stand for,” Fudge said. “It’s important for mothers to have a safe space, especially those who give birth to a micro-preemie baby, and this organization provides just that.”

On October 26, approximately 50 mothers gathered at the Salem Civic Center at 9 a.m. to partake in a 3.1-mile celebration. Over the next four hours there was food and music in addition to prizes following the Walk for all Champions. Samantha Janney participated in Saturday’s event to honor her daughter Ava who was a micro-preemie at birth.

“I had her at 23 weeks gestation weighing just one pound and one ounce. We put a team together in honor of Ava’s journey and all she’s accomplished to join us in the 5k walk. The team included me, her sister Alexis Crowe, her aunt Amy Zicafoose and her grandmother Ruth Hodges,” Janney said. “I am so thankful for everyone who has helped and supported Ava in her fight and battle with prematurity. She is now a happy and healthy two-year-old that loves her family and going swimming.”

Said Development Manager Joyce Loving on why she loves March of Dimes: “When people join, they stand with thousands of people across the country who share their commitment to building a brighter future for us all. They raise money to expand programs and educate medical professionals to make sure that moms and babies get the best possible care. Over $3,000 were raised today which is just awesome.”

For more information about the organization, visit

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