March Of Dimes Release: America Lights Up In Pink And Blue To Help Save Babies

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Major landmarks across the country will be lit tonight in pink and blue to mark the second annual Prematurity Awareness Day by the March of Dimes, which cites premature birth as the number one health risk for America's newborns.

(PHOTO: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041119/NYF015 )

The March of Dimes designated November as national Prematurity Awareness Month to draw attention to the growing common, costly and serious public health problem of premature birth.

Families, volunteers, and celebrities will join together for a "moment of hope" for premature babies at major buildings, bridges, and other landmarks, including:

   * Niagara Falls, Buffalo, New York
   * New York City -- The ConEd Building
   * Chicago -- Palmolive Building, LaSalle-Wacker Building & Towers
   * Philadelphia -- Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Strawberry Mansion Bridge,
   * CIGNA World Headquarters
   * Washington:  Freedom Plaza, John A. Wilson District Building
   * Miami -- Bank of America Building (designed by I. M. Pei)
   * Springfield, MA -- The Basketball Hall of Fame
   * Milwaukee --U.S. Bank Building
   * Oklahoma -- State Capitol Dome
   * Wyoming -- State Capitol

In the nation's capital, a jazz singer, an entertainment reporter, and a lawyer will join March of Dimes dignitaries at a rally at Freedom Plaza to describe their experiences with a baby born prematurely and to call for increased federal funding for research into this national health crisis.

They will also ask the public to visit http://www.clicktosavebabies.org/ to sign an online petition to Congress for increased research funding, or connect with other families affected by premature birth. Also throughout November, Motherhood Maternity stores will offer a free gift bag and health pregnancy information from the March of Dimes.

Partnering with the March of Dimes are the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN).

Corporate sponsors of the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign are CIGNA, FedEx, and the Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute. Media sponsors include American Baby Group and Working Mother Media.

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a five-year campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. For more information, visit the March of Dimes Web site at marchofdimes.com or its Spanish Web site at nacerano.org.

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041119/NYF015AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN13PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.comMarch of Dimes

CONTACT: Beth Rowan, +1-914-997-4269, Cell phone: +1-914-843-6281, orTodd Dezen, +1-914-997-4608, Cell phone: +1-914-843-1068, both of March ofDimes

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