On Sunday, May 3 at historic Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, hundreds of families and business leaders will join together at March for Babies—the March of Dimes walk honoring babies born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive. Funds raised help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, neonatal intensive care unit family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies. 

   Leading the festivities will be Megan and Benjamin Lynn of Watertown, along with their three-year old daughter, Harper, and one-year old son, Hunter. They will share their family’s story of loss and hope, thank walkers for their commitment to the March of Dimes mission to give all babies a healthy start, and lead the walk with their team, “The Harper Frances Fan Club.”  Since 2012, their March for Babies team has raised over $10,000.

   In the summer of 2011, Megan and Benjamin were looking forward to the October birth of their twins.  But in July, at just 23 weeks pregnant, Megan’s water broke with “twin A.”  Two weeks later, twins Harper and Benjamin Jr. were born at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and weighed just 1 lb. 12 oz., and 1 lb. 13 oz. respectively.  Just two days after delivery, Benjamin (Benny) passed away.

   “I went into labor at 25 weeks, lost my son and live every day with no real answer as to what went wrong.  I walk every year to raise funds to help fight prematurity and research the causes.  I walk to raise awareness,” said Megan.  “No one should ever have to go through what we went through.”

   Each year in Connecticut nearly 40,000 babies in Connecticut are born, 1 in 10 babies are born too soon, and 1 in 7 infant deaths is attributed to a birth defect.  The mission of the March of Dimes is to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality through research, education, advocacy and community programs.  March for Babies is the organization’s largest fundraiser, raising $1.3 million in Connecticut and nearly $100 million nationwide.

   Participants will enjoy food, a live DJ, bounce house, face painting, and other fun activities for kids. Families who would like to take advantage of all the rides and attractions at Quassy after the walk, can buy a “Carload Special” for $35 online by visiting quassy.com and using promo code BABIES ($5.00 from each one sold will be donated back to March of Dimes).

   Quassy Amusement Park is located at 2132 Middlebury Road in Middlebury. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the event at 11 a.m.  To register, visit marchforbabies.org/event/greaterwaterbury. Participants can also register on-site on May 3.  All walkers who raise $200 or more will receive an event t-shirt and those raising $350 or more will have the choice of a Macy’s or Kmart gift card.  

   Greater Waterbury March for Babies is sponsored by Quassy Amusement Park, Chemtura, NBC Connecticut, Comcast, Lamar, and Kidtivity.  March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Macy’s, Famous Footwear, Cigna, Mission Pharmacal, and United Airlines.

   For more than 77 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs.  Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at marchforbabies.org. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org.  Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.