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    Annual BALTO effort aids March of Dimes NICU Family Support

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, September 25, 2012 —

    The March of Dimes Oklahoma Chapter will be the 2013 beneficiary of Edmond North High School’s annual fundraiser, Bring a Light to Others (BALTO). All dollars raised will stay in Oklahoma to help the families of babies who endure a stay in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) through the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program.

    BALTO Week is a week-long fundraiser put on by students at Edmond North High School and has been extremely successful since its origin in 1995.  BALTO is North's most significant tradition and is held in high regard as the most exciting and meaningful event of the year. Not only is this a week full of fun and excitement, but it is an opportunity for the school to give back to the community. Serving as co-chairs this year are Allyson Cain, Sally Bock, and Evan Page.  

    The March of Dimes, celebrating a 75 year track record of success, works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.  March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program provides information and comfort to families of premature babies and other critically ill newborns being cared for in a Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

    “Preparing for a new baby is a time of great excitement,” said Belinda Rogers, State Director Programs & Government Affairs, March of Dimes Oklahoma Chapter. “Families don’t expect anything to go wrong, but nearly 1 in 10 newborns wind up in a NICU because they are born too soon or too small. The experience can be overwhelming for families. NICU Family Support aims to make the journey through newborn intensive care smoother and less traumatic for families.” added Rogers.

    This year’s fundraising proceeds will go specifically toward funding new NICU Family Support Programs in Oklahoma and increase local efforts.  “Currently, Oklahoma has only one NICU Support Program. Our efforts will enable more families to receive support by opening new NICU programs across the state,” the Co-Chairmen said.  “Our efforts are important because having a baby in a NICU can be a frightening and confusing crisis for these families.” added the Co-Chairmen.

    The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.

    For more information on BALTO or how to donate, visit www.baltoweek.org.

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