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Thousands March For Babies At Annual March Of Dimes Walk

About 500,000 Babies Are Born Pre-Term Each Year In The U.S.

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The annual March Of Dimes March For Babies walk stepped off from Lincoln Center on Sunday morning.

As WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported, 8,000 marchers took part in the annual walk.

The March For Babies is the signature event of the March Of Dimes, whose focus is fighting to find causes and solutions to premature births.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning led the march.

“We’re marching for stronger, healthier babies,” Manning told CBS 2′s John Elliott and Vanessa Murdock. “Supporting all babies that are born.”

Manning said this is his sixth year working with the March of Dimes. He said he’s aiming to raise $3 million for the cause this year.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt founded the March Of Dimes in 1938 to help find a cure for polio.

March Of Dimes president Dr. Jennifer Howse said the mission is ongoing.

“Half a million of our babies are still born pre-term every year. So we’re still fighting on behalf of children to ensure that they have a healthy beginning and a healthy future,” Howse told Diamond.

Crowd at March For Babies walk, April 28, 2013. (credit: Tim Scheld/WCBS 880)

Crowd at March For Babies walk, April 28, 2013. (credit: Tim Scheld/WCBS 880)

As CBS 2′s Vanessa Murdock reported, Paulina Levine and her husband are the top fundraisers for the fourth year in a row for the March For Babies.

“What we’ve found in the seven years that we’ve been raising money is that we are there to help women and families who have lost babies and to let them know not to give up, there is hope,” Levine told Murdock.

She said she and her husband lost their twin babies in 2006 when she went into premature labor.

“We’re at $47,000,” Josh Levine told Murdock.

CBS 2's John Elliott and WCBS 880's Pat Farnack lead pre-march event at March For Babies, April 28, 2013. (credit: Tim Scheld/WCBS 880)

CBS 2′s John Elliott and WCBS 880′s Pat Farnack lead pre-march event at March For Babies, April 28, 2013. (credit: Tim Scheld/WCBS 880)

Team Levine had about 50 participants in the walk on Sunday.

Marchers are expected to raise $109 million this year.

WCBS 880′s Pat Farnack and CBS 2′s John Elliott hosted the pre-walk festivities Sunday morning. WCBS 880 and CBS 2 were sponsors of the event.

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