NEW YORK, April 26, 2016 — Two-time Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning, kicked off the 2016 March for Babies charity walk in Manhattan on Sunday, April 24. Manning joined over 6,000 New Yorkers who came out to support March of Dimes largest annual fundraiser. The 3.5-mile walk started at 65th St. and Broadway and finished at 26th St. and Madison Ave. “It is an honor to support the important work March of Dimes is doing to improve the health of children,” said Manning, who has served as Celebrity Chair of the NYC event for the past 8 years. “March for Babies gives everyone in our community the chance to make a difference in the lives of millions of babies.” The event is expected to raise $2.3 million.
March for Babies Premier Sponsor is Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. The March for Babies Platinum Sponsor is Greenberg Traurig and Gold Sponsors include Davis Polk; Innisfree M&A Inc.; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; Viacom; and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Toyota is the Official Vehicle of March for Babies. Media partners are CBS2, WLNY10/55, WCBS Newsradio 880, fresh 102.7, CBS FM 101.1, and WFAN Sports Radio. National March for Babies sponsors include Kmart, Famous Footwear, Macy’s, Cigna, United, and Mission Pharmacal.
Rising to the Battle
The March of Dimes was founded in 1938 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States. He led the country from a wheelchair polio had put him in. The polio epidemic during its height in 1952 in the United States killed 3,145 and left 21,269 with paralysis. The original name of the March of Dimes was the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, and its original purpose was to fight and cure polio. In 1955, Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio using money donated to his research by the March of Dimes. By 1962 the number of U.S. polio cases had dropped from 45,000 to 910,
Marching in Time
According to the the March of Dimes, its current name originated from comedian Eddie Cantor who coined the phrase using a pun of the then-popular “March of Time” newsreel. He used the rationale that anyone could spare a dime. The first March of Dimes fundraising campaign raised over 2.8 million dimes that were sent directly to the White House.
Continuing to Save Lives
After polio was all but eradicated from the Western Hemisphere in the late 19th century, the March of Dimes mission focused on birth defects, and then it evolved to its current status of preventing premature births and helping sick infants. Its slogan is “working together for stronger, healthier babies.” The organization raises money for research and education to improve the health of babies.
The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Dimes carries out this mission through community services, advocacy, research, education and support. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.