Thomas C. Dandridge, president and CEO of the Regional Medical Center, will serve as chair for the 2012 Orangeburg and Calhoun counties March for Babies.
The 2012 March of Dimes' March for Babies will be held April 14 in Edisto Memorial Gardens.
"When you participate in March for Babies, you give hope to the more than 9,000 babies born too soon each year in South Carolina," Dandridge said. "The money you raise supports programs in our state that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies.
"I'm serving as the 2012 chair for March for Babies because I believe if we can give a child a healthy birth, we have a positive impact on their future quality of life. I challenge Orangeburg and Calhoun County businesses and families to join me in raising critical funds so more families will know the joy of having a healthy baby."
Amanda DuPre, community director at the March of Dimes, said the organization is honored to have the leadership of Dandridge and support of the RMC.
"When our local businesses and families come together for March for Babies, they show the whole community the value of volunteer service and community involvement, and they impact the lives of babies and families in Orangeburg County, Calhoun County and throughout our state," she said.
Premature birth affects more than half a million babies each year, with the number growing every day. Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have disabilities.
Each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests more than $1.5 million in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community services. Through these services, the March of Dimes works to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina's premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care, and educate men and women about having healthy babies.
For more information, email DuPre at email@example.com or visit marchofdimes.com/southcarolina.