March of Dimes to Honor Mrs. Judi Gatson and the Gatson Family with 2014 African American Achievement Award

| Wednesday, October 8, 2014

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Columbia, South Carolina, —

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Adriene Pressley-Tyler, (803) 403-8531 or
Atyler@marchofdimes.org

                                  March of Dimes to Honor Mrs. Judi Gatson and the Gatson Family
                                               with the 2014 African American Achievement Award

 (COLUMBIA, SC, October 8, 2014) —The March of Dimes South Carolina Chapter is pleased to announce that they will honor Mrs. Judi Gatson and the Gatson Family with the 2014 African American Achievement Award. Mrs. Gatson and the Gatson Family will receive the award at the organization’s luncheon event, on Thursday, November 20th at the Brookland Banquet and Conference Center.  A committee of past award recipients chose to honor Mrs. Gatson and her family for their outstanding contributions to the African American community and significant impact on the state of South Carolina, as well as their efforts to increase the awareness, understanding and investment of the African American community in the mission of the March of Dimes.

Networking and coffee begin at 11:30 a.m., with the luncheon and award program starting at 12:00 noon. Individual tickets are $100 each and sponsorships start at $1,000. “Fund The Mission” donations, which are 100% tax-deductible, may also be made in the Judi’s honor. For additional information, please contact Adriene Pressley-Tyler at (803) 403-8531or ATyler@marchofdimes.orgKiss 103.1 FM is the radio sponsor of the event and Millennium Magazine is the magazine sponsor.

The Gatson family has a personal connection to the mission of the March of Dimes.

“Our family is honored to partner with the March of Dimes in the fight for stronger, healthier moms and babies,” Judi said. “We know the challenges families face in dealing with infant mortality and premature births, and want to do all we can to make sure every baby in South Carolina gets the healthy start in life they deserve.”

South Carolina has one of the highest premature birth rates in the country, with nearly 9,000 babies affected each year. Premature babies struggle to survive, and may face lifelong health consequences. November, is Prematurity Awareness Month and the March of Dimes hosts the African American Achievement Award to bring attention to the problem of premature birth.

African American babies are nearly twice as likely to be born prematurely as Caucasian babies and African American mothers have the highest rates of inadequate prenatal care compared to other maternal race categories.  Infant mortality rates are twice as high for African American babies as for Caucasian babies. The African American Achievement Award was established in 2003 by the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes to bring awareness to these racial disparities and to recognize the commitment of those positively impacting the African American community.

Each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community services. Through these program services, the March of Dimes continues working to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina’s premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care and educate healthcare providers and women about having healthy babies. 

 The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, 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.org/southcarolina.  Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.