March for Babies is Aug. 23

Aug 19, 2014
Alderman Zeb Smathers

Local business leaders have joined March for Babies to raise funds to prevent preterm birth and give more babies a healthy start in life. A Canton native and attorney, Alderman Zeb Smathers has taken on the role of March for Babies chair.

Smathers invites those interested in joining him in his efforts to come to the Haywood-Jackson March for Babies on Saturday, Aug. 23, at Lake Junaluska. This family fun event will include a “Jail and Bail,” a K-9 demonstration, bounce house and fun for kids and music provided by DJ Todd Dionne of Spinfire Entertainment.  Residents can sign up today at and start a team with co-workers, family and friends. For more information about the walk call March of Dimes at 258-1234.

March for Babies is the largest annual fundraising event for the March of Dimes. Nearly 4 million babies are born in the United States each year, and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one through 75 years of research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs.

“I am humbled to be working with an organization that leads the way in finding real world solutions to improve the health of babies and their families,” said Smathers. “The strength of our future communities and children will be determined by what we do presently. I challenge our community’s citizens and civic organizations to join me in leading this March for Babies campaign effort by stepping up and helping in any way possible.”

As chair, Smathers plays an integral role in raising awareness and funds to advance the scientific research and educational programs at the core of the March of Dimes effort to find causes and preventions for preterm birth, birth defects, and infant mortality. Known throughout Haywood County for his dedication to the community, Smathers will bring added leadership to March for Babies by recruiting a team of high impact volunteers whose focus will be raising new dollars for the event.

This year’s March for Babies ambassador is Kenna Jane, daughter of Waynesville native Amber Aldridge.  Jane was diagnosed with Heterotaxy Syndrome just after birth, a rare birth defect that involves the heart and other organs.  She has endured two open heart surgeries and will require many more throughout her life.

“Today, I am grateful that March of Dimes was there making a difference in my daughter, Kenna’s life,” said Aldridge. “The steps you take at the March for Babies will be making a difference for babies and families like mine.”

The 2014 March for Babies is sponsored by Mission Children’s Hospital, ConMet, Pepsi, First Citizens Bank of Waynesville, the Tye Blanton Foundation, Haywood Pediatrics, Clay Dangerfield Insurance, Smathers & Smathers Attorneys at Law, Haywood County Sheriff’s Office and Lake Junaluska. Nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, Macy’s, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Famous Footwear, Actavis, Mission Pharmacal, and United Airlines.