Hundreds of families and local business leaders will join together on Saturday, April 29  at Zoo Knoxville for the 2017 March for Babies, the nation’s oldest fundraising walk, which helps more babies survive and thrive.

This year’s Knoxville Ambassador Family is the Vaughan Family. Ben and Rosalynn Vaughan were already informed they were categorized as a high risk pregnancy with twins.   Adaline and Harper were born at 33 weeks at UT Medical Center.  The twins have far surpassed the progress they were expected to have being born prematurely.  The girls were given surfactant which is a March of Dimes funded agent that allowed the twins to now be able to breathe on their own.   17 days after being in the NICU, almost 2 months early, the twins were able to go home.  Ben and Rosalynn share their story to support those families walking in their path, to help raise awareness of the mission of the March of Dimes and to give every baby a healthy start!

On-site registration and festivities will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the 2-mile walk stepping off at 10:15 a.m.  After the walk festivities are over, walkers are welcome to enjoy the Zoo at their leisure throughout the day.   Knoxville residents can sign up today at to start a team with co-workers, family or friends; or make a donation to help more babies get a healthy start in life.

“March for Babies is also a memorable and rewarding event for the whole family,” says Susie Racek, Executive Director of Market Development.   “We celebrate children and parents who experienced the NICU or special care nursery.  We’ll recognize these families throughout the day who have experienced good outcomes, as well all the little ones we’ve lost.”.

Premature birth is the leading cause of death among babies in the United States. It affects about 380,000 babies – that’s 1 in 10 – born each year. Funds raised by March for Babies in Nashville support March of Dimes programs that provide comfort and support for moms and babies as well as innovative research to find the unknown causes of premature birth and birth defects.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites and If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The 2017 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Famous Footwear, Macy’s, Cigna, HCA, and regional sponsor Publix Super Markets, Inc. In our community, March for Babies is sponsored by our presenting sponsor, ATLC/CNS, Clayton Homes, Pilot/Flying J, BlueCross Blue Shield, South College, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Tennova,  UT Medical Center, Regional Neonatal Associates, Amerigroup,  Kimberly Clark,  Planet Fitness, Mayfield Dairy, Dunkin Donuts,  Star 102.1 and WATE-TV6.