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2011 News Releases

Longwood students help lead the Farmville March for Babies

February 3, 2011

Sarah Ott and Britney Myers
Sarah Ott (left) and Britney Myers (right) will serve as co-chairs of the Longwood University March for Babies Leadership Council

The Central Virginia Division of the March of Dimes announces that two Longwood University students, Sarah Ott and Britney Myers will serve as co-chairs of the Longwood University March for Babies Leadership Council for the 2011 Greater Farmville Area March for Babies to be held Sunday, April 3.

Sarah Ott, 19, is a freshman nursing major. A graduate of Loudoun County High School, Ott has been an active community volunteer since childhood, having worked everything from food and toy drives, to helping the local fire and rescue squads. Active in numerous high school organizations, Ott served as the secretary of her high school Latin Club for two years, a quartermaster and a section leader in the marching band, and helped with the Loudoun County Relay for Life event. Sarah is the daughter of Roy and Becky Ott of Leesburg.

Britney Renee Myers is a 19-year-old sophomore at Longwood University studying social work with a minor in psychology. She is a 2009 graduate of Lee-Davis High School, where she was actively involved in Student Class Council, Pride Club, Interact Club, Competition Show Choir, and cheerleading. Britney is the daughter of Frank Myers and Michelle Aigner and resides in Mechanicsville.

The Sunday, April 3 March for Babies will begin at 1 p.m. with registration. The program and walk will begin at 2 p.m.  Longwood students and staff can visit the March of Dimes table during the Volunteer Fair, to be held Tuesday, February 8 from 2-4 p.m. in Dorrill Dining Hall, to gather more information about the event, sign up to walk, or volunteer for the event.

Centra Southside Community Hospital is the event's presenting sponsor and will also host the activities on its grounds at 800 Oak Street in Farmville. The hospital will also host a community picnic following the walk. Longwood nursing students will coordinate a Children's Festival during the event. Local bands and performers will entertain on center stage both before and after the five-mile walk.

The Farmville March for Babies event draws participants from eight Central Virginia counties including Prince Edward, Nottoway, Lunenburg, Amelia, Appomattox, Charlotte, Cumberland and Buckingham. In addition to walkers and teams from Centra Southside, Longwood and the Town of Farmville, current active participants also include students and staff from Southside Virginia Community College, Prince Edward High School's GEAR UP Service Club, and Hampden-Sydney College's Circle K. Employees at nine branches of Citizens Bank and Trust are also raising funds for the campaign. Visit www.MarchforBabies.org to register as a walker or a team now.

The March for Babies raises money to fund research, education, community programs and advocacy to help give all babies a healthy start in life. Begun in 1970, the March for Babies (formerly Walk America) was the first charity walk in the United States. This year, more than seven million people will join their family, friends and colleagues in 900 communities across the nation for the 2011 March for Babies walk season.

The money raised by the March for Babies supports programs in the Farmville community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. Donations also fund research to find answers to the problems that threaten mothers and infants.

Some of the ways donations have been invested in Virginia are:

  • The University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University were awarded national research grants totaling more than $1,346,000 in 2010.
  • The Virginia Chapter awarded $146,888 in local community grants to fund Centering Pregnancy programs, a model of prenatal care which has proven to improve birth outcomes.
  • In 2009, legislation was passed to ban smoking in restaurants thanks to the advocacy efforts of March of Dimes staff and volunteers.
  • The Virginia Chapter has two licensed Family Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) Family Support Project: one at Henrico Doctors Hospital in Richmond; and another at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, the March of Dimes' first military NICU partnership.

The March of Dimes, a non-profit organization, funds research, education, community programs and advocacy for the prevention of birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  The March of Dimes works for the good health of all babies.

For more information about the Farmville March for Babies, contact Betsy Rhodes at 804-968-4120 or brhodes@MarchofDimes.com