Suzy Whaley Tees Off to Support Healthy Babies

March of Dimes
Monday, 7 July 2003

Suzy Whaley, the first woman to qualify for a PGA tour event since 1945, is joining the fight to ensure every baby is born healthy. For all remaining 2003 tournaments in which she plays, including her history-making appearance at the Greater Hartford Open in July, Whaley will demonstrate her commitment to the March of Dimes and its new Prematurity Campaign with the use of a special golf towel. The towel will be emblazoned with the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign's theme: "PREMATURE BIRTH: The answers can't come soon enough." More than 476,000 babies (one of every eight births) are born prematurely in the U.S. each year, making it the leading cause of infant death during the first month of life.

As an additional component of Whaley's support of the March of Dimes, "FORE SUZY" buttons will be sold at the Greater Hartford Open, July 21-27, 2003 at the TPC at River Highlands, Cromwell, CT, with all proceeds benefiting the March of Dimes.

"As the mother of two babies born healthy and full-term, I know the importance of babies getting a healthy start," Whaley said. "And with a sister who delivered twins prematurely, I've experienced the consequences of premature birth, too. That's why I am so pleased to support the March of Dimes and its efforts to make sure that no parent has to suffer the trauma of a baby born too soon or too sick."

In January 2003, the March of Dimes launched a $75 million, five-year national campaign devoted to the issue of prematurity. With this campaign, the March of Dimes seeks to increase public awareness of the growing problem of prematurity, commit additional funding to research, and ultimately decrease the rate of premature birth in the U.S. Since 1981, the rate of premature births has increased by 28 percent.

"We're thrilled to have Suzy's support in the March of Dimes fight against prematurity and its potential long-term consequences," said Jane Massey, chief operating officer for the March of Dimes. "With the help of committed volunteers like Suzy, babies can have a fighting chance."

Whaley is a Class A member of the LPGA Teaching and Club professional division, Class A member of the PGA of America, Director of the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf of Avon, and head professional at Blue Fox Run in Avon, CT. She qualified for the Greater Hartford Open by winning the Connecticut section PGA championship. She has two daughters, Jennifer, 8, and Kelly, 5.

The Greater Hartford Open, New England's premier sporting event, is one of the PGA TOUR's most well-attended events, typically drawing more than 300,000 spectators each year. The Tournament has raised more than $23 million for Hartford area charities since its inception in 1952.

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a five-year campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. For more information, visit the March of Dimes Web site at www.marchofdimes.com, its Spanish Web site at www.nacersano.org, or call 1-888-MODIMES.

For more information, or to contact March of Dimes, see their website at: www.marchofdimes.com

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