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Bonnier’s Carol Evans Rings the Opening Bell with a View
By Carol Evans
As many of you know, I am passionate about babies and because of that, and because my eldest, my son Robert was born six weeks premature, I became one of the many devoted supporters of the March of Dimes Foundation. March of Dimes has raised millions of dollars for research into the causes of prematurity among babies, the neonatal care they receive, and for the support of moms and families. It funds research that saves millions of infant lives and services for pregnant women and moms in local communities.
How lucky am I to be part of such a great organization! As Vice Chair of the March of Dimes Board of Trustees, I am very proud to kickoff this year’s March for Babies. I was joined at the New York Stock Exchange by Sherri Shepherd, co-host of The View, and mom to a preemie, just like me! We stood on the podium overlooking the trading floor and rang the Opening Bell. What fun! We shouted and applauded all to remind everyone how important the March for Babies is to so many families, and especially to many working moms. For a working mother, the difference between a healthy newborn and an unexpectedly early newborn who may need weeks and months of special care can mean the difference between a standard maternity leave and no paycheck.
It was a pleasure to share the podium with Sherri Shepherd, Emmy Award Winning co-host of ABC’s The View and March of Dimes celebrity spokesperson, who told us, “March for Babies helped fund research that saved my son, Jeffrey, who was born three months too soon.” And she added, “as the mother of a premature child, I know first-hand the toll an early birth can have on a family.”
Why did we come to the heart of Wall Street? Easy. Here at the world’s most important financial exchange, I think it’s appropriate to ask corporate America to get involved. Corporate philanthropy is critical to improving the health of babies. It helps fund the research to give us healthy, full-term babies and this can help to reduce everyone’s health care costs. And a good healthy pregnancy will allow moms to work full-term and return to work knowing their babies are healthy.
Each year, about 20,000 companies get involved in March for Babies. Even in last year’s difficult economy, these company teams raised $70 million. Seven major companies are top national sponsors — Kmart, Farmers Insurance, CIGNA, Continental Airlines, Famous Footwear, FedEx, and Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group. We hope many more will join them.
Most March for Babies events will occur April 24 and 25, 2010. You can find a local event, sign up, and raise money online, at marchforbabies.org. Or visit any Kmart store to make a donation.