GREENFIELD — The annual March for Babies returns to Greenfield-Central High School next month with a goal of raising $30,000 for infant medical research.
Since 1999, the tri-county walk serving Hancock, Henry and Shelby counties has raised nearly $350,000 for research to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
“We get great community support from everybody involved,” said Derek Nutty, senior community director for the Indiana chapter of nonprofit March of Dimes, which organizes the annual walk.
The initial focus of March of Dimes, founded in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was to fund research to cure polio.
Following the development of a vaccine that effectively ended the polio epidemic, that mission shifted to preventing birth defects and infant mortality.
The campaign to end premature birth ramped up in the early 2000s.
Premature birth is considered the most urgent infant health problem in the nation, affecting half a million babies across the country each year, according to the March of Dimes.