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March of Dimes partners with local businesses to support World Prematurity Day

by jmaloni
Thu, Nov 17th 2011 02:05 pm

Donations from purchases at Prima Pizza and Pasta and Fantastic Sams to fund prematurity prevention efforts

Two local businesses are doing their part to raise prematurity awareness and fund programs to improve the health of babies. Prima Pizza and Pasta and Fantastic Sams have partnered with the March of Dimes, the leading organization for pregnancy and baby health, to support the first ever World Prematurity Day on Thursday, Nov. 17.

Prima Pizza and Pasta, located in downtown Buffalo on the corner of Chippewa and Pearl streets, will donate a portion of its proceeds to the March of Dimes beginning Thursday and Friday. The restaurant will contribute $1 for the sale of each pizza pie, $.50 for the sale of each lunch special, and $.25 for the sale of each pizza slice.

"Everyone loves pizza and everyone loves babies, so this is really a win-win," said Kevin Lake, general manager of Prima Pizza and Pasta. "We hope that people will find an excuse to have it on Thursday and Friday knowing that their purchase can help save a baby's life."

Fantastic Sams is also doing its part to raise prematurity awareness. Salons across Erie and Niagara Counties will donate $5 from the sale of each purple hair extensions, feather extensions and hair flares on Thursday.

"Since these hair additions are such a hot trend right now, we hope anyone considering getting one will come to a participating Fantastic Sams on Thursday, Nov. 17," said Fantastic Sams Regional Director, Ellen Levine Loffredo. "Not only will you be up-to-date with the latest fashion, but you'll be supporting a valuable cause that is helping improve the quality of life for babies worldwide."

In addition to local partnerships, the March of Dimes is sparking global collaboration as well. Groups throughout Africa, Europe and Australia are joining forces with the March of Dimes to call attention to the issue of preterm birth through the observance of World Prematurity Day.

According to an October 2009 March of Dimes report on the global toll of preterm birth, an estimated 13 million babies are born preterm and of those, one million die as a result of their early birth.

"The March of Dimes strives to raise awareness about these imperative issues and is devoted to changing these heartbreaking statistics," said Shawn Stover, WNY division director of the March of Dimes. "We hope that World Prematurity Day will help address this global problem and give people the resources they need to improve the health of babies everywhere."

Currently, the March of Dimes supports nearly $350,000 in national research grants with the University at Buffalo, as well as $30,000 in community program grants with organizations such as the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. These funds help reduce racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes for the city of Buffalo and Erie County.

To further support World Prematurity Day, several regional landmarks in Western New York will shine in a purple light on Thursday to symbolize hope for a healthy start for more babies. These landmarks include Niagara Falls, the Peace Bridge, and the Larkin Exchange building.

In addition, organizations around the world are asking people to help change the status of preemies by changing their status on Facebook to include a prematurity awareness message on Nov. 17. Details can be found at www.marchofdimes.com/ny

About the March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is the leading non-profit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. On Nov. 17, the March of Dimes and its global partners will observe the first-ever World Prematurity Day to raise awareness that preterm birth is a serious problem worldwide. For the latest resources and information, visit www.marchofdimes.com/ny or www.nacersano.org. Visit the March of Dimes Western New York Division on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marchofdimeswny.  

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