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Westbury to lead local March of Dimes group

A new leadership team and local support group has been chosen to take Colleton’s March of Dimes fundraising and health campaign to its new 2019 goals.
Rilee Westbury has been selected as the new chairperson for the March for Babies 2019 Colleton County team. “As a mother of three, I can’t think of a more important cause,” said Westbury, in a written statement. “When you March for Babies, you make a statement about the world you want to live in – one in which healthy moms and strong babies are a priority for us all.”
Under Westbury’s leadership, the Colleton County team will work to raise $71,000, which is their 2019 fundraising goal for Colleton County. The Colleton community raise shortly less than $68,000 for the March of Dimes during the recent 2017-2018 fundraising year, according to Laura Tregner, spokeswoman for the greater Charleston area of the March of Dimes.
The March of Dimes is a national organization that focuses on improving prenatal care and on lowering the prenatal fatality rate for children born in the United States. The group also advocates for healthier pregnancies and educates pregnant women on better lifestyle choices while pregnant and nursing.
In addition to Westbury being selected as a local team leader, Tregner says several other new people have been named to the Colleton County fundraising team. Those team members are: Holly Mardell, who represents the Veterans Victory House; Cliff Warren, who works for the Colleton County School District; Jimmy Hiott, who represents Colleton Medical Center; Valerie Ancrum, with Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative; Audrey Brown, who works for the Colleton County Department of Social Services; Christy Martin, with Walterboro OB/GYN; Courtney Araneo, with Walterboro OB/GYN; and Colleton County residents Brandy McGhie and Rachel Smith Odum.
Mardell was the prior chairwoman for 2018, leading into the change for the coming 2019 year. Warren was also a prior chair member in 2017, and Hiott served as a prior chair for the local organization in 2014.
“We’re so excited to have Rilee and this leadership team on board,” said Tregner. “They share our commitment to moms through every stage of the pregnancy journey, even when everything doesn’t go according to plan. March for Babies is a day for everyone to join together to hope, remember and celebrate at our walks nationwide.”
Tregner says the former chairs will serve as leaders for the planning fundraising events, which will help Colleton County to reach their fundraising goal, she said.
There is already planned April 13th kick-off event for Colleton County’s 2019 fundraising efforts. This will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Colleton Museum and Farmer’s Market.
“The new local members have been with us prior, or they just show an overall passion and love for our organization,” she said.
In addition to the new team being announced, the Colleton County chapter will also soon be launching a new Group Prenatal Care program. This is a new program funded through a March of Dimes grant, which has been awarded to Walterboro OB/GYN. “It works for moms to come together and get support as a group, and it also holds them accountable to get their one-on-one vitals,” said Tregner.
As a part of the organization’s announcement about the new local leaders, the March of Dimes leaders are also asking the Colleton community and its businesses to help them launch local fundraising efforts. “The number of babies born prematurely here in South Carolina and nationwide is just not acceptable,” Westbury said. “March of Dimes is empowering families with programs, knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies.”
According to Tregner, the March for Babies community “bands together to fight for the health of all moms and babies.”
“We raise funds and awareness so that we can solve even the toughest problems. Every March for Babies participant is a leader who has the power to make a huge difference for families,” she said.
For more information on the organization, or to get involved locally or pre-register for the April event, go to marchforbabies.org. “Start a team with your company, family or friends. You can also donate directly,” said Tregner.

Heather Walters (1411 Posts)