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Decked out in blue (jeans)

Staff Writer

On Friday, many Pike County residents will be wearing jeans as a means of raising money and awareness for the March of Dimes.

That date has been set as "Blue Jeans for Babies" Day, not only here, but in 19 other counties, as well.

This year’s event is already bigger than last year with Pike Countians surpassing the goal by buying more than 1,000 shirts and raising over $12,000, said Dianne Smith, who is coordinating "Blue Jeans for Babies."

Smith said 600 "Blue Jeans for Babies" shirts were sold in Pike County last year and the goal, this year, was to sell 1,000. And, throughout the 20-county Central Division, 11,000 shirts were sold.

"I’m very pleased with the number of people who are participating in ‘Blue Jeans for Babies,’ this year," Smith said, adding those who are participating are helping babies get a healthier start in life.

When one considers more than 10 of every 1,000 babies born in Alabama will die before celebrating their first birthday, the cost of a button or t-shirt is nothing, Smith said.

For that reason, the March of Dimes is fighting against birth defects, low birth weight babies and infant death through events like Blue Jeans for Babies and the annual WalkAmerica event.

Wearing jeans or casual clothes to work is great way to help the March of Dimes and save babies, Smith said.

Sponsors for the event include; WSFA, Pike Manor Health Care Center, Southern Springs and Luverne Nursing Facility.

One of country music’s most famous, Wynonna, knows "love can build a bridge" and that is why she is this year’s national celebrity spokeswoman for March of Dimes Blue Jeans for Babies.

"Being a mother of two healthy and terrific children is one of the greatest joys of my life," Wynonna is quoted as saying in the brochure for the event. "That’s why I want everybody to join Blue Jeans for Babies, so that every baby can get the chance for a healthy birth ­ and every mom can have the wonderful experience that I’ve had."

Of the money raised through Blue Jeans for Babies, 75 percent goes right into research and programs that bring awareness to preventing birth defects.