Jail for babies fundraiser raises $12K

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Convicted of kindness, dozens people raised money for Minnesota babies this week at a March of Dimes jail in Austin. The jailbirds served their time behind bars Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Torge’s Live in Austin.

The only way for inmates to get out was to raise big bail. That money raised at the Austin Jail and Bail will provide funding for the mission of the March of Dimes to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature births and infant mortality.

The jailbirds raised more than $12,000. That total includes money raised online to date and money pledged to jailbirds from friends, family and co-workers. One jailbird, the city’s Human Resources Director Tricia Wiechmann, raised more than $1,000.

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Jailbirds who raised more than $500 include: Chris Grev, John Kirby, Josh Lowe, Cindi Marquardt, Dan Miner and David Shipler.

Money will go to fund research, education, advocacy and community programs to help moms and babies. Nearly half a million babies are born too soon in the U.S. each year. In Minnesota, one in 10 babies is born premature.

Preterm babies are born at a higher rate in the United States than in 130 other countries of the world, including many poorer nations, according to the report Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth. Preterm birth (birth before 37 weeks completed gestation) is the leading cause of newborn death in the U.S. Babies who survive an early birth often have breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, and other lifelong problems. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. In addition to the human costs, preterm birth also has high economic costs: more than $26 billion annually, according to the Institute of Medicine.

For the latest resources and information, visit www.marchofdimes.com or www.nacersano.org.