SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Several community members and families came out Wednesday evening for the March for Babies kickoff event downtown.
Emceed by News 3 Anchor Tina Tyus-Shaw, the event on the rooftop of the Bohemian Hotel gave women, including Tyus-Shaw as well as Shelly Harrell, senior vice president of business development at Memorial Hospital, an opportunity to share their own stories of giving birth to children ahead of schedule.
One guest said in 1992, her babies came at 34 weeks, and the premature delivery left her hospitalized for eight-and-a-half weeks.
“But they’re great now!” she told the audience, adding that one of her sons now has two little ones of his own.
Kickoff attendees enjoyed food and refreshments at Rocks on the Roof while learning about how they can get involved with fundraising efforts this year, including getting the word out on social media and recruiting family and friends to walk with them in April.
2020 marks 50 years since the March for Babies began.
It’s all to raise support, awareness and funds to help keep mothers and their babies healthy.
Two babies die every hour in the United States, according to the March of Dimes, while about every 12 hours, a woman loses her life as a result of complications from pregnancy.
The Orr family, who were selected to be the 2020 ambassadors for the March for babies, were among the fortunate ones.
“[Our daughter] Charlie is a NICU survivor, she was born at 25 weeks back in 2017,” Paula Orr told News 3.
“Every chance we have to raise money for the March of Dimes is just tremendous,” Orr said. “Anything that we can do to bring awareness to premature births and help healthy moms deliver healthy babies is a great opportunity.”