The United Motorcoach Association (UMA) together with the March of Dimes, announced the Miles for Babies campaign at UMA Motorcoach Expo 2009 held in Orlando, Fla., on January 22. Participating UMA members are pledging to donate 10 cents for every mile driven by their fleet on September 24, Miles for Babies Day. All proceeds will benefit the March of Dimes.
Operators were urged to sign up to become an official sponsor of the campaign.
Miles for Babies gives each UMA member, and the entire motorcoach industry, the opportunity to support the March of Dimes and become a champion for babies, by raising urgently needed funds to help prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
In addition to the 10 cents per mile pledge, participating operators will work with their local March of Dimes chapter to donate an auction package to their local March of Dimes special event. UMA board members helped to pilot the auction program in 2008, raising more than $12,000 in the effort to give every baby a healthy start in life.
During the UMA Expo's annual Vision Awards ceremony, Joshua Hoffman, age 6, thanked attendees for their support and the March of Dimes for saving his life. Joshua told the attendees about his recent ride in a motorcoach, remembering that “the seats were so fluffy.” Joshua went on to thank “everyone at the United Motorcoach Association for believing in the March of Dimes and for helping them give all babies a healthy start." Joshua was born 17 weeks early at only one pound eleven ounces and spent 111 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. His mom Melanie credits his survival to the March of Dimes as well as the healthy birth of her second son, Alexander, thanks to life saving research and education from the March of Dimes.
“Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death, and our organization is committed to reducing its toll and ensuring that every baby has a healthy start in life,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President of the March of Dimes. “Through Miles for Babies Day and the help of organizations like the United Motorcoach Association, we hope to reach the day when all babies in our community are born healthy.”
To take part in Miles for Babies, UMA operators should visit www.milesforbabies.org and download the registration form. Registration provides an opportunity for operators to promote their business; meet new March of Dimes donors, volunteers and corporate contacts throughout the community; and engage employees, customers and travel partners in this vitally important cause.
Everyone within the industry can participate by visiting milesforbabies.org and clicking the “donate now” button.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies. For the latest resources and information, visit www.marchofdimes.com or www.nacersano.org.