Family Team News

Register for March for Babies at

Friday, March 29, 2013

Announcing the Current Top Ten March for Babies Teams:

1.       BGE, Greater Baltimore: $16,541

2.       Inova Fairfax Hospital, Fairfax County: $11,240

3.       IBM, Washington, DC: $11,0237

4.       Prince William Hospital, Prince William County: $10,238

5.       IBEW – HQ, Washington, DC: $9,574

6.       One Main Financial, Greater Baltimore: $7,817

7.       FBLA/PBL – National Center, Fairfax County: $7,225

8.       NOVECHELPS, Prince William County: $7,100

9.       Cassidy Turley NOVA, Fairfax County: $5,850

10.   Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Eastern Shore: $5,520

Thinking about another baby after premature birth

Your risk may be a little higher, but just because you’ve already had a premature baby, it doesn’t mean your next baby will be born early.

Your health care provider may not have been able to tell you why your baby was born early. Sometimes labor just starts early without any warning. Other times doctors have to deliver a baby early if a mother’s health or the baby’s health is in danger.

There may be things you and your doctor or midwife can do to help you stay pregnant longer. It’s best to have an open conversation about these things before you get pregnant again. When you decide you’re ready to get pregnant again, talk to your provider about seeing a specialist who is trained to care for women who are likely to have pregnancy complications, including premature birth. These doctors are sometimes called maternal-fetal medicine specialists, or perinatologists. Your doctor or midwife can help you find a specialist.

There are some risk factors that make a woman more likely to have her baby too early. Some risk factors are things you can’t change, such as already having had a baby born too early. But other risk factors are things you can do something about, such as quitting smoking. Click on this link to read about different risk factors and what you can do about them.

What can you do about preterm labor? Learn the signs of preterm labor (labor that begins before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy) and what to do if they happen to you.

If you’d like to talk to other women like you who are thinking about pregnancy after having a premature baby, visit the discussion group “Pregnant? On Bedrest? Trying Again?” in the March of Dimes online community Share Your Story. You’ll be able to connect with lots of women who are or have been in your shoes.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Top Ten Tips for Fundraising!

We’re so happy that you’re walking with us in March for Babies! Now is the time we put our hearts and efforts together to raise money for our lifesaving cause. We can’t do this alone. We really need your help, so we’ve put together some advice to help you. As you reach out to family and friends, here are top tips to make your fundraising easy, exciting and successful!


#1 Fundraise online

The winning way to fundraise. We know how busy you are. Online fundraising is faster and brings in 3 times more money.

#2 Make your own donation

There’s a lot of value in setting a great example and showing how much you care.

#3 SOCIAL-ize

Post your reason for walking, status updates, pictures, etc., to Facebook and Twitter to create a fabulous fundraising network. Don’t forget to include your personal fundraising link.

#4 One-stop fundraising

From the Dashboard on your personal fundraising page, you can upload photos to personalize badges for your emails, website or blog; or create funny, friendly eCards.

#5 Stay connected

Your Dashboard also lets you: download iPhone® and Android apps so you can conduct your campaign from the palm of your hand; download our Facebook app; or easily spread the word with the social media share buttons.

#6 Double your donations

Asking your donors if their company has a matching gift program is a terrific way to raise twice as much.

#7 Call on colleagues

Talk about the walk face-to-face, leave notes around the office or hang posters in your workspace and on bulletin boards.

#8 Outside the box

Beyond work, reach out to a ready and caring audience: your children’s school, an organization you belong to, a place of worship.

#9 Quick way to $250

Couldn’t hurt to give this a try! Make a $25 donation. Ask three friends to match it; two family members for $20; four colleagues for $15; a neighbor for $10; your doctor for $25; and a local merchant for $15. You did it!

#10 Remind and thank

Don’t miss an opportunity to help babies. Send reminders to those who expressed interest but haven’t yet donated. Please thank everyone genuinely and enthusiastically for supporting you and remind them how special they are.

*One more for good luck!

A special tip to honor our 75th anniversary — Take the Be Your Best for Babies challenge and ask others to join you in raising their goals and growing their teams this year!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy 75th Birthday To March of Dimes

This spring, we’re going to celebrate the unique bond between Moms and their babies with Mommy & Me Mini-Sessions!

The mini-sessions will be held on Saturday, April 13th from 9am-12pm, with a total of six time slots available. 100% of the proceeds from this fundraiser will go directly to the March of Dimes! All sessions will be held at Green Springs Garden in Alexandria, VA. Your donation includes a 20 minute session, 5 digital images and one spring Facebook timeline cover (donated by The Hummingbird Press) sent via instant download, a print/internet release so you can share your photos, and access to a secure, password-protected online gallery so you can purchase prints directly from my lab.

Your donation to the March of Dimes helps fund programs and research that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. If you can’t attend the mini-session event, please consider making a donation to our team! You can visit our page here:

To purchase your mini-session, please use the button below or contact me today!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Skyler's Gift NFL & Friends Bowl-a-thon

On May 4th, Skyler’s Gift will host their first major fundraising event, a bowl-a-thon at Lucky Strike in Washington, DC. The event will feature Stephen Bowen as well as other NFL players.
Sat, May 04, 2013 6:00PM to 10:00PM
Hosted by
Stephen & Tiffany Bowen

Washington, DC

Click here to register

Both lane buy-outs and single tickets for attending and bowling are available.

The event features bowling and billiards with NFL lane captains. Play with your favorite NFC East players including:

Stephen Bowen, Washington Redskins Defensive Captain
Barry Cofield-Washington Redskins Defensive Captain
Trent Williams-Washington Redskins Offensive Captain
Brian Orakpo-Washington Redskins
Jarvis Jenkins- Washington Redskins
Doug Worthington-Washington Redskins

Demarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys Defensive Captain
Jason Hatcher- Dallas Cowboys
Miles Austin- Dallas Cowboys
Derrick Dockery- Dallas Cowboys

And more!

The evening starts at 6 PM and will feature bowling with NFL lane captains, billiards, open bar, and food. There will also be a silent auction.
Skyler’s Gift Foundation was founded in 2011 in memory Skyler Bowen, the son of Tiffany and Stephen Bowen – Washington Redskins defensive end. Skyler passed away in 2011 from complications from premature birth. Skyler’s Gift was created to provide financial support to other families in need who have lost their premature infants. The Bowens believe no one should have to face this loss alone and especially without the needed resources in place.

While many services are in place for families during hospitals stays in the NICU, after a loss the support is no longer there. That’s where Skyler’s Gift steps in. Skyler’s Gift raises funds to support families in need of mortuary and burial costs as well as providing families the financial support to access to grief counseling and support groups.

We hope that you will consider joining us in providing hope and healing to families in need. The exclusive sponsorship opportunities below are available to a select number of businesses for two weeks before being opened to the general public. We hope that you will consider this mutually beneficial opportunity to highlight your business while supporting a great cause.
For more information or to select a sponsorship opportunity please order online or contact Tiffany Bowen at or by phone at 202-903-0783.

Drum roll please... Here are this week's chapter-wide Top Ten March for Babies Teams:

#1 – BGE, $10,716 – Greater Baltimore
#2 – IBEW HQ - $8,789 – Washington, DC
#3 – Northrop Grumman ES, $8,632 – Greater Baltimore
#4 – Inova Fairfax Hospital, $7,311 – Fairfax County
#5 – FBLA/PBL National Center, $7,040 – Fairfax County
#6 – NOVECHelps, $7,025 - Prince William County
#7 – Peninsula Regional Medical Center, $5,440 – Eastern Shore
#8 – Capital Women’s Care, $5,297 – Frederick County
#9 – Meritus Health, $5,035 – Washington County
#10 – Capital Petroleum Group, $5,025 – Washington, DC

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Trenton's Trotters Family Team Sponsorship Success!

I have walked in the March of Dimes walk since I was in middle school.  I walked on teams and as an individual.  I took a break from the walk during my college years and never really got back into until I experienced the effects of the March of Dimes fundraising efforts first hand.  In 2008, I gave birth to my first child, Trenton, 7 weeks before his due date.  Doctors tried to hold off my labor, but it was too late.  I was transferred to Christiana Hospital to give birth since they were equipped with a level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  For a premature baby, he was large weighing 5 pounds 6 ounces.  Doctors and nurses assured me that he would be leaving the hospital with me within 3 days. However, Trenton was unable to maintain his temperature and he was not released from the NICU for 23 days.  My story of premature birth is much less intense than others that I know or have the pleasure of meeting along the way.  I grew close to many families during my stay, one of which had a baby girl in the NICU who had been there for 4 months, weighing just a little over one pound at birth.  
We were over 1 hour and 30 minutes away from home, but did not want to leave our baby boy.  We stayed in near by hotels for the entire duration of Trenton's stay in the NICU and spent most of our time by his side.  During our stay, March of Dimes representatives were in and out of the NICU on a daily basis, offering training sessions on how to care for your premature baby, dinners for parents and families of infants in the NICU and support groups where parents could share their stories with each other.  I saw the March of Dimes fundraising efforts put to great use as a support for families suffering through the worries and fears that come with having a child born prematurely or with birth defects.  When Trenton was released from the hospital in March, I decided that I wanted to help this great organization more than I have in the past.  I formed a team, Trenton's Trotters, in honor of our son.  Within a month, I had formed a small team who was able to raise over $5000.00 for this worthy cause.  We have been at it ever since!  In the meantime, I have given birth to two other beautiful children, who were also at risk for being born prematurely.  I took progesterone shots to prevent preterm labor. While researching this topic on the Internet, I found that the March of Dimes website had an informational page on the topic.  Yet another way our fundraising efforts are working to help ensure that all babies have a healthy start!  Last year, our team hit its highest fundraising mark yet, at over $7000.00 raised for the March of Dimes.  As an individual I would have never been able to make such an impact, however getting the word out there helps people get involved!  Getting a few people on your team will allow them to connect to several other people that you may not know.  Use your team members strengths to help think of other fundraising opportunities that your team can conduct.
Set your goals high!  Remember if you aim for the moon, even if you miss, you will land among the stars!  

What made you participate in the Family Team Sponsorship program for March for Babies?
Every year that we have participated in March for Babies, I have asked local businesses to sponsor our team. I always had the business names printed on our Trenton's Trotters shirts.  Therefore, this opportunity worked well for our team!  

What tyupes of companies did you ask to sponsor your Family Team?

We ask local businesses in our county, especially businesses that we frequently visit.  We also ask local non profit organizations like my church, the Ruritan and the American Legion.  

How did you ask potential sponsors? Personal visit, email, phone calls?
Most of the time we make a personal visit, however after the initial sponsorship, we usually send a thank you card with our total raised from last year and request a sponsor within that card.  

 How many potential sponsors did you approach and what were their reactions to the program?

We approached about 14 to 16 potential sponsors.  Most of the sponsors were very receptive to the program.  For businesses that seemed unsure or had to approach their owners, we just left a form that they could fill out and send in on their own time.  

What information besides the reply form (if any) did you supply to your sponsors?

I talked about our team and why it was created along with the mission of the March of Dimes.  

Did you get turned down from any potential sponsors and how did you handle it?

We did get turned down, but we just thanked the business for their time and consideration.  

How much did your team rais through the Family Team Spnosorship?
We sold 12 signs at $100.00 a piece, however some businesses donated more than $100.  So I would estimate that we made around $1700.00 from team sponsorship.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Download Your Registration and Fundraising Guide!

Looking for a quick guide to help you reach your March for Babies fundraising goals? Check out this one page guide that shows you how to get started! You can download it as an image here or download it as a PDF file here.

Have more questions? Reach out to our online fundraising team here.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Personalize Your Fundraising Page!

Watch our youtube video on how to personalize your Fundraising Page!


Once you register for March for Babies, one of the first things you’re going to want to do is personalize your fundraising page! This tells people why you’re walking and why they should donate to support you as you walk for babies. You can share a photo, a story, and more! Watch the video for some helpful tips!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Upcoming Team Fundraisers for Southern Maryland


·        Email me your teams fundraising events, in a similar format to below, and I’ll help you advertise.

·        NOW through March 15, 2013 – Kelly’s Kids -; (Party #12997) ALL consultant commission to the MOD.  (Mom’s Club of California, 563-581-4325)

·        NOW through March 22, 2013 -  Lia Sophia - Get up to 4 items 50% off when you purchase 2 items (least expensive) at regular price. NO LIMIT!!! ; 10% of all will go to MOD (Braedee’s Ladies, 301-861-6305)

·        NOW through April 30, 2013 - Tastefully Simple - ;(Shop then check out - USE Host First Name “MacKenna’s” Last Name “Marchers”; State “MD”); 30% of all product sales go to MOD.  (Mackenna’s Marchers, 301-884-4972)

·        March 5, 2013 - Papa John’s - Solomon’s - 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 20% for Carryout and 10% for Delivery to March of Dimes (MacKenna’s Marchers, 301-884-4972)

·        March 12, 2013 - The Greene Turtle - La Plata – 11:00 a.m. – midnight.  10% all day will go to the March of Dimes, no flyer necessary, just eat!  Featuring the Sam Grow Band! 50/50, Silent Auctions, Raffle, Support bracelet sale (Braedee’s Ladies, 301-861-6305)

·        March 12, 2013 – Chick-Fil-A – California -  5:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. 10% of all sales (minus gift card sales) will go towards the MOD.  Prize wheel indoors (Moms Club of California, 563-581-4325)

·        March 17, 2013 - Paintball for Babies - Southern Maryland Paintball – Newburg - Come out and paint the field to help March of Dimes. 10% goes to the March of Dimes. For those that are not into paintball, there is a Miniature golf course also.  (Braedee’s Ladies, 301-861-6305)

·        March 20, 2013 – Chick-Fil-A – LaPlata – 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 10% of all sales (minus gift card sales) will go towards the MOD (Sigma Gamma Rho)

·        April 2, 2013 – Papa John’s - Solomon’s - 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 20% for Carryout and 10% for Delivery to March of Dimes (MacKenna’s Marchers, 301-884-4972)

·        April 4, 2013 – Three Brother’s - Prince Frederick - 5:00PM – 8:00PM 10% to March of Dimes (MacKenna’s Marchers, 301-884-4972)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Meet the Love Family

In January of 2007, after spending 6 weeks on medications and home monitors, Amy Love was air-lifted to the University of Maryland Medical Center due to preterm labor.  Amy and her husband Marty, along with big brother Joey, welcomed twin boys Matthew & Dylan into the world just one day shy of 31 weeks. Matthew weighed 3 pounds 5 ounces, and Dylan weighed 3 pounds 10 ounces.

Besides Dylan being on a ventilator for the first 24 hours of his life, both boys were relatively healthy. They stayed in the NICU for 5 weeks. It was so exciting and overwhelming for the Love family to bring them home because they were still so tiny and still on apnea monitors to monitor their breathing.

In June 2007, the Loves were devastated when they lost Matthew to SIDS. Today, Dylan is almost 6 years old and is doing well. In June 2012, the Loves welcomed another son, Noah, to the family. Noah was born full term and healthy. 

The Love family supports the March of Dimes because they believe every baby deserves the best chance.  Every baby deserves 40 weeks. The only way to make that possible is to raise awareness and raise the money needed for research. Every family deserves a happy, healthy baby!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sickle cell disease and the March of Dimes

Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder in which round red blood cells take on a characteristic abnormal, curved “sickle” shape. African-Americans and others from tropical sub-Saharan Africa are most susceptible to this disorder, which can cause intense pain, high blood pressure, stroke, damage to vital organs, and the risk of serious infection. March of Dimes research involvement into the causes and prevention of sickle cell disease dates back to the polio era, when the chemist Linus Pauling discovered that the disease results from an abnormality in molecules of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Dr. Pauling’s finding that sickle hemoglobin differs in a measurable way from normal hemoglobin introduced the idea that heritable changes in the structure of a molecule could lead to improper function and result in disease. Dr. Pauling received one of the earliest basic research grants from the March of Dimes, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. His work laid thegroundwork for techniques used in newborn screening and the diagnosis of sickle cell disease today.

After the March of Dimes changed its mission to birth defects prevention in 1958, sickle cell disease again came to the forefront of concern as a significant, but treatable, genetic disorder. The Foundation supported several lines of research: one was a medication that prevents red blood cells from “sickling;” another was giving daily antibiotics to affected infants and toddlers to prevent life-threatening bacterial infections; a third was bone marrow transplantation, used to cure other genetic blood disorders as well as severe sickle cell disease. The Foundation helped to establish one of the first pediatric clinics in the U.S. to care for infants and children with sickle cell disease at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City in the late 1970s. This center provided medical services, social and psychological support, genetic counseling and education needed by children with sickle cell disease as well as their families and communities. March of Dimes researchers investigated the effectiveness of innovative drug treatments and a multi-disciplinary team approach to caring for infants and children affected by the disease.

For over 50 years the March of Dimes has focused on treatment of sickle cell disease in its quest to prevent all birth defects. In 1982, March of Dimes grants led to the development of a safe and accurate prenatal test for the disease, and even today our grants support cutting-edge medical research. We hope to understand the molecular pathways of cellular development, to determine the risk factors inherent in the disease to prevent other infections, and to explore innovative gene therapies to eliminate the risks of leukemia in those affected by the disease. These are just a sampling of some of the ways we strive for “stronger, healthier babies” in our 75th anniversary year.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Soar to greatness for babies! You could win airline tickets by revving up your online fundraising!

In celebration of the March of Dimes 75th Anniversary, for every $75 you raise online between Tuesday, March 5th and Wednesday, March 20th, your name will be entered into a drawing for two (2) United Airline tickets.  Airline tickets are good for domestic travel in the US.

Fundraising will be tracked from midnight on March 5th to midnight on March 20th. For every $75 you raise during that time period, you'll receive on entry. Raise $300 and you'll have 4 entries, and so on. Any money raised prior to March 5th will not count toward this particular challenge.
For more information and details on the contest, please contact your local March of Dimes office.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Join us for a Kids art Activity at the Torpedo Factory!

Please see the invite below for a free kids’ art activity this Sunday, March 11 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria.  The activity serves as one of the events during the month of March that the Target Gallery is hosting to highlight its joint fundraiser for the March of Dimes.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  The March of Dimes will be there, and we’d love to see you and the family!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sign Up for March for Babies and Use Our Helpful Facebook App to Help You Fundraise!

Did you know that March for Babies has a Facebook application where you can send messages, fundraise, and more?

How it works:

Visit the app on Facebook and login with your March for Babies information. If you haven’t created an account, you can also do that on the app!

From here you’ll be taken to your fundraising dashboard – your one stop shop for fundraising! You can:

• Invite people to join your team
• Post to your own wall
• Post to Friends’ walls
• Tweet about your fundraising page
• Send emails

But that’s not all! By visiting the other tabs including tools, my walk, and Q&A you can get resources to help you with your goals, information about your local walk, and answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Folic Acid: not just for neural tube defect prevention any more

Taking a folic acid supplement daily, one month before becoming pregnant and throughout the first trimester, is one of the easiest and most effective steps women can take to prevent birth defects. This simple step, taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, can reduce the chance of having a neural tube defect by 50-70%.

Last week, additional good news about the benefits of folic acid were announced in a study from Norway that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In the study, pregnant women filled out a questionnaire reporting their use of folic acid from 4 weeks before to 8 weeks after the start of pregnancy. Over 85,000 babies born to these women between 2002-2008 were followed for an average of 6 years. Over the course of the study, 270 children were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD): 114 had autistic disorder, 56 had Asperger syndrome, and 100 had pervasive developemental delay – not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). The study found that children whose mothers reported taking folic acid were almost 40% less likely be diagnosed with autistic disorder than those whose mothers did not take it.

This is good news for women who want to do everything they can to prevent autism. Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental condition with impaired social interaction and communication. More research is needed to better understand its cause(s), which likely have both genetic and environmental contributions. But in the meantime, preventing autism is yet another benefit to taking folic acid.

Read more and see our video on folic acid at this link.

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Siobhan Dolan, Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an attending physician in the Division of Reproductive Genetics at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein, in New York City. She is co-author of the new March of Dimes pregnancy book, Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Moms Day Out!

Posting Text: Come to MaGerk’s Pub and Grill in Bel Air on March 9th from 2pm-4pm to have some fun with local moms and help benefit the March of Dimes. Ticket cost is $30 and includes appetizers, domestic drafts and house wines. Vendors on site: thirty-one, Scentsy, Tastefully Simple, Arbonne, and The Pampered Chef. We will be raffling off exciting gifts and “mom” themed baskets. Hosted by March for Babies team Sanzone Twins.