Nov. 20, 2017 – Celebration Pointe, north central Florida’s premier mixed-use development located prominently and conveniently along I-75 in Gainesville, and the Greater Gainesville Market of March of Dimes, today announced that the 2018 March for Babies event will be held at Celebration Pointe on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
“We are very pleased to host next year’s Alachua March for Babies, which is the forty-eighth year the walk will be held in Gainesville,” said Sean McIntosh, Senior Vice President of Asset Management at Celebration Pointe. “November is Prematurity Awareness Month, so it’s perfect timing to remind the public of the essential mission of March of Dimes to prevent birth defects, infant mortality, and premature birth, and how people can help in a fun and healthy way.”
Founded in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt, the March of Dimes conquered its initial goal of stamping out polio and since that time has played a vital role in understanding and preventing birth defects and infant mortality. Since 2003, the organization’s fight to save babies has been strongly characterized by its Prematurity Campaign. The rising incidence of premature birth has demanded action, and the March of Dimes has responded by initiating an intensive, multi-year campaign to raise awareness and find the causes of prematurity.
“I am very excited about this new partnership with Celebration Pointe as our Signature Sponsor, and hosts of AlachuaMarch for Babies,” said Luana Huffman, Senior Development Manager, Alachua March for Babies, expressing her excitement for the 2018 Campaign. “This partnership has brought so much energy and enthusiasm to the 80thAnniversary celebration of the March of Dimes, and the 48th Anniversary of Alachua March for Babies, that we already have more sponsors than we have had in many years. I am so grateful for the continued support and partnership of our previous sponsors, and pleased about the many new sponsors for the new era of Alachua March for Babies.”
The new Celebration Pointe route will be less than five miles. Registration starts at 7am on Saturday, April 14, with kickoff at 8:55am for runners and 9am for all other participants. Visit https://www.marchforbabies.org/Event/Alachua for more information.
The 2017 Alachua March for Babies had approximately 3,500 participants and raised more than $450,000 for the March of Dimes’ critical mission. With all the excitement of the move to Celebration Pointe, and new sponsors joining the lineup, the organization anticipates about 5,000 participants for the 80th Anniversary celebration.
The nation’s first March of Dimes walk – Walk America – was held in 1970, with the Gainesville region holding its first walk one year later, according to previous Greater Gainesville Market March of Dimes Executive Director, and now volunteer, Lynda Knight. The March of Dimes’ Greater Gainesville Market has grown to cover a nine-county area with walks in Alachua, Marion, Putnam, Lake and Columbia Counties.
The 2018 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart; Famous Footwear; Macy’s; Cigna; and HCA. It is sponsored regionally by Publix Super Markets, Inc., and by our local sponsors: Celebration Pointe; UF Health; CAMPUS USA Credit Union; Gator Domino’s; Almond Oil Company; North Florida Regional Medical Center; Santa Fe College; North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care; Info Tech; Sun Country Sports Center; Gainesville Regional Airport; Davis Gainesville Automotive Group; and D&C Foods. March for Babies is also supported by media partners FOX 51; Frankel Media Group; CBS4; Gainesville Sun; KISS 105.3; HOME Magazine; and Giggle Magazine. There will also be approximately 25 local restaurants joining the festival at Picnic Park.