March for Babies chairman sets higher 2013 fundraising goal

  • Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:10 a.m., Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:11 a.m.
Easton Linker, 2, and his mother, Sarah, listen as Meredith Repik, executive director of the March of Dimes Lowcountry division, recognizes donors Tuesday during the March of Dimes kickoff for its March for Babies campaign. The event was held at Trident Medical Center in North Charleston. Linker and his brother Thomas and sister Kelsey were born prematurely and are the poster family for March of Dimes this year. Buy this photo

The Lowcountry division of the March of Dimes is trying to raise even more money during its annual March for Babies fundraising campaign.

In 2012, the drive raised about $410,000. This year, Todd Gallati, CEO of Trident Health and a chairman for March for Babies, called on teams in the greater Charleston area to raise $450,000.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the March of Dimes organization.

“We’re trying to raise a little bit more than last year because we have more need,” Gallati told other organizers at a Tuesday kickoff event at Trident Medical Center in North Charleston. “We want to make more of an impact.”

The proceeds from the March for Babies are used to help fund research to prevent birth defects and assist families with premature babies.

The campaign will culminate with a 3-mile walk starting at 9 a.m. April 27 in Cannon Park.

Meredith Repik, executive director of the March of Dimes’ Charleston office, encouraged team organizers to set strategic goals.

“It is very hard to achieve a goal when you don’t know what that goal is,” Repik said.

During the 2012 March for Babies fundraising campaign, Publix grocery stores contributed more money than any other local team, raising more than $97,000 during a three-week period in March. Other top local contributors included the Medical University of South Carolina, Bosch, Kmart and Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

During the campaign kickoff, several team organizers pledged to raise more money than last year.

Tim Thomas, district manager for Publix, said their team plans to raise $110,000.

“We’re just very humbled to be here and to be able to serve the March of Dimes,” Thomas said.

Harbor National Bank pledged to raise $5,000 — double its 2012 goal. Gallati said Trident Health could raise at least $18,000 to rank among the top five local contributors.

For more information about the campaign, visit marchforbabies.org.

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