March of Dimes team leaders discuss fundraising

LAWRENCEVILLE - March of Dimes team leaders gathered Friday afternoon to register, share team fundraising goals and learn tips on increasing donations for this year's walk.

While registering for online fundraising, Brenda Sanders, an administrative coordinator at Publix Supermarkets, said this year their goal is to raise $5,801.

As the No. 1 March of Dimes fundraising team in Georgia for five consecutive years, it's safe to say they'll probably reach their goal again this year.

"You'd be surprised how much people give," she said. "I don't ask customers at the cash register if they'd like to donate a dollar. I just ask if they'd like to donate and sometimes they give you $5." Sanders said some cashiers have been given $100 before. It just all depends on the day and the customer.

The March of Dimes organization has been around since the 1920s but its initial mission was to find a cure for polio. Once its fundraising efforts helped find a cure, the organization focused on premature births, which occur in almost 12 percent of births each year.

Sanders said the March of Dimes has been her favorite charity since she was a child.

"I remember being at school when the polio vaccination came out and we took it on sugar cubes," she said. "I've done (March of Dimes fundraising) for seven or eight years. I like what is stands for - helping babies."

About 1,000 are expected to take part in this year's four-mile walk at Lake Lanier Island on April 22. The event will feature breakfast, a warm up area and a fun area for kids. March of Dimes spokeswoman Heather Hodges said the group's had a good response so far.

This year their focus is on getting teams to participate in online fundraising, which means e-mailing people and creating a Web site with a Pay-Pal component.

"The average walker raises $104 but the average online fundraiser is $300 so we encourage that," Hodges said.

For more information or to get involved, visit www.walkamerica.org or call Heather Hodges at 678-546-0023.