SAN DIEGO MARCH FOR BABIES TO DRAW THOUSANDS

San Diego, CA | Thursday, March 28, 2019

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Thousands of families and local business leaders will join together on Saturday, April 27 at Balboa Park in San Diego, CA for the 2019 March of Dimes San Diego March for Babies® presented by Jack in the Box. March of Dimes gives 4 million babies born each year the best possible start. Nearly half a million of them are born prematurely or with birth defects. Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributors to infant death in the U.S. and pregnancy-related death has more than doubled over the past 25 years. March for Babies bands communities together to raise critical funds to support the March of Dimes’ mission: to fight for the health of all moms and babies.

From start to finish, March for Babies celebrates families with special moments. The 2019 March for Babies San Diego Ambassador Family is the Schweitzer Family. Son Ryley was born at 26 weeks gestation weighing just 2lbs. After staying in the NICU for 93 days, parents Donna and Michael were able to bring Ryley home on Christmas Day. Eighteen years later, Ryley is an amazing young adult who is gearing up for his senior prom, graduation, and is excited to attend college in the fall. The Schweitzer family is dedicated to sharing their story to inspire others to help give every baby, and every family, a brighter start.

This year, San Diego March for Babies is thrilled to have Jack Box, the popular spokesperson for Jack in the Box, as honorary chair. “March of Dimes is a great organization that has done so much over the years to improve the lives of babies and their moms,” said Jack in the Box Inc. CEO Lenny Comma. “We’ve been proud supporters of the March for Babies for 15 years. Our employees really enjoy participating, along with their families, friends, even their dogs. It’s especially flattering that March of Dimes has named Jack as this year’s honorary chairman. We’re all looking forward to lacing up and raising a lot of money for a great cause.”

Leading this year’s San Diego March for Babies fundraising campaign and serving as the “official” San Diego March for Babies chair is healthcare and community leader, Alethea Arguilez, Executive Director of First 5 San Diego. “I am both personally and professionally inspired by the work of the March of Dimes,” said Ms. Arguilez. “As we were preparing for the birth of our first daughter we didn’t anticipate that she would arrive 3 weeks early.  As a result, we experienced the NICU team preparation and anticipation of our daughter’s potential needs. I am grateful to the medical team for their sense of urgency and ensuring the health and well-being of our daughter, Isabelle, who will turn 20 this summer.”

Ms. Arguilez continued, “From a professional perspective, I had the blessing to work with pregnant women as a perinatal home visitor.  I witnessed several of my families experience preterm birth and how it impacted them in welcoming their new baby.  Even more amazing was the journey of support they received for their children and their families.  I’m excited to be a part of this event that brings our community together to raise funds and awareness to make a huge difference for moms and babies.”

First 5 San Diego has been a sponsor of March for Babies since 2014. They are a special commission developed to fund education, health, and childcare programs that promote early childhood development from the prenatal period to age five. The county Board of Supervisors created the specific San Diego commission of First 5 after the statewide commission was introduced in 1998. The County of San Diego has been raising funds and marching in March for Babies for nearly fifteen years. A variety of county offices support March for Babies, from Public Safety to Land Use, and of course, Health and Human Services.

“When you March for Babies, you make a statement about the world you want to live in -- one in which healthy moms and strong babies are a priority for us all,” said Annie Blake, March of Dimes Regional Vice President Market Leader and Development. “It is a day for everyone. Together we hope for the day when all moms and babies are healthy. We remember those babies we lost. We celebrate every baby.”

San Diego March for Babies on-site registration begins on Saturday, April 27 at 7:00 a.m. in Balboa Park. This beautiful, family-friendly walk will kick off at 8:00 a.m. and will meander through Balboa Park.  Prior to the start of the march, children can take part in the Superhero Sprint, complete with a purple cape. Pre-registration for the Superhero Sprint is required; there is NO fee to participate. Before and after the 3-mile march, the Festival Zone will be filled with music, sponsor booths, free Jack in the Box tacos, and face painters.  Everyone can enjoy healthy snacks and refreshments.

San Diego residents can sign up today at marchforbabies.org to start a team with co-workers, family or friends; or make a donation to help more babies get a healthy start in life.

The 2019 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Famous Footwear, HCA, and Cigna. In our community, the San Diego March for Babies is sponsored by Signature Sponsor: Jack in the Box; Gold Sponsor: Big 5 Sporting Goods; Silver Sponsor: First 5 San Diego; Media Partners: ABC10.

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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.