March for Babies…“Walking Together for Stronger, Healthier Babies”. That just about says it all, doesn’t it? The Jackson County March of Dimes is gearing up for the organization’s 75th Anniversary in the fight against premature births and deaths in newborns.

This year Jackson County’s March of Dimes Children Ambassadors are Madison Morris, daughter of Amy Morris and Tracy Morris; Reese Keiffner, son of Brad and Melissa Keiffner and Zeke Church, son of Jillian and Dustin Church. Melissa Gann, Regional March of Dimes representative, presented the program updating the group on research advancements and news within the organization. She also distributed fundraising tools and literature. Reminders were given that every baby receives a polio vaccine developed with funding by the March of Dimes. Children in Arkansas are vaccinated against 14 diseases. Further, that each year approximately 150 babies in Arkansas receive lifesaving surfactant therapy developed with funding by the March of Dimes. This year’s Jackson County March for Babies will be held at Lockwood Park in Newport on Saturday, October 5, 2013. Registration will be open at 9:30 a.m., with the Walk beginning at 10 a.m. Walking teams are being recruited now. March for Babies Chairman Stacy Wagner, at Merchants and Planters Bank, may be contacted for more information. The Rubber Duck Race will begin at noon. Ducks are $5 each or 3 for $10 and are currently on sale. The Newport Fire Department will be on hand Race Day to dump hundreds and hundreds of yellow rubber ducks into the lake and start their propulsion toward the finish line. Parks Director Johnny Long will serve as Official Racing Judge. This annual event would not be possible without the strong support and commitment from the City of Newport, Newport Police Department, Newport Fire Department, Newport Parks and Recreation, Mayor David Stewart and Jackson County Judge Jeff Phillips. Farmers Electric Co-op in Newport is also involved in this annual fundraiser. Margaret Goodman, Race Chairman, may be reached at Harris Hospital and Clinic for further details. Following the Rubber Duck Race, a "Duck N Run" 5K will be held at 5 p.m., along the scenic banks of the White River at Jacksonport State Park. Committee Member Stephanie Baxter is looking for runners and corporate sponsors. Stephanie may be reached at (870)834-3532 or online at for more information.