March for Babies held Saturday at Tropical Park
Updated On: Apr 28 2013 11:05:12 AM EDT
Thousands of participants packed Tropical Park for the annual March for Babies on Saturday.
The event raises money and awareness for stronger, healthier babies.
Local 10's Laurie Jennings was this year's Master of Ceremonies. Supermodel Niki Taylor was also scheduled to attend as this year's celebrity mom.
In 2006, Laurie gave birth to extremely premature twin boys, weighing just about 1.5 pounds each. Today, they are both happy and healthy.
Last year, more than 9,000 people walked, raising more than $1.6 million.
The three mile walk got underway at 9 a.m. It was followed by an afternoon of activities for families and children.
Every year, one-in-nine babies is born prematurely in the U.S. In Florida, 576 babies are born too soon, and 32 will not survive to see their first birthday.
In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th Anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life. Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive. Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects.