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Clemson community comes together to support March of Dimes

Contributed by Katherine Peden
March of Dimes 2/3

Members of the Clemson community will have the opportunity to lace up their running shoes to make sure that some children get the chance to take their first steps.
The second annual Tigers for Babies will raise money for the March of Dimes, a national nonprofit whose mission is to “prevent premature birth, birth defects and infant loss” and to improve the health of babies, the organization’s development manager Katherine Peden said.
This year’s Tigers for Babies event will be held on Nov. 19 and will feature a 5K race and an awards celebration hosted by The Esso Club. 
According to the March of Dimes, about 9.6 percent of all babies born in the United States, or 380,000 annually, are considered premature — which is defined as at least three weeks before a full, 40-week pregnancy. South Carolina has one of the nation’s highest premature birth rates, with 1 in every 9 babies being born premature.
Individuals who are born premature “often have lifelong health problems, including cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, chronic lung disease, blindness and hearing loss,” according to the March of Dimes website.
Beth Clements, Clemson University’s first lady, will serve as the honorary chair of Tigers for Babies. Peden says Clements has been “involved in all levels of helping us make this our biggest and best year yet.”
Peden added that Clements has also acted “somewhat [as] the face of the campaign,” opening a lot of doors for March of Dimes and further instilling the involvement of the university.
“Tigers for Babies has had somewhat of a presence at Clemson for the past five years, [but] last year the event raised more than double than what it had ever raised before,” Peden said.
More than $20,000 was raised at last year’s event. Peden said this year’s goal is to raise $30,000.
Raising awareness is a focal point for their organization because “not a lot of students are aware of how important the March of Dimes is, and that we’re the only organization that is focused on premature birth,” Peden said.
Over the course of the next two months, there will be various opportunities to learn more about the March of Dimes mission. Tigers for Babies, the official Clemson club, will be tabling on Library Bridge and putting on fundraisers and small awareness events on campus. A food truck pep rally will be hosted by March of Dimes on Nov. 10 for Prematurity Awareness month.
To register for the 5K race, go to
To get involved with the March of Dimes, email Katherine Peden at [email protected].

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