ALEXANDRIA, La., June 24 – Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital set a goal of $25,000 for this year’s March of Dimes fundraising campaign – and surpassed it by raising more than $31,000!

The money was raised by departments from Rapides Regional Medical Center and Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital, along with individual staff members who believe in the March of Dimes mission.

“For years, RWCH has been a great supporter of the March of Dimes,” said Denise Cross, who has helped lead the hospital’s March of Dimes campaign for several years. “For the last three years, we’ve watched the campaign exceed our expectations – and this year was no exception.  We began with the simple goal of wanting to bring the mission of March of Dimes to all employees at RRMC.  Together, we have managed to do that and so much more!

Staff members decided to change up their fundraising efforts this year by holding a March of Dimes Carnival in the RWCH Atrium in early April. The event, which kicks off the MOD fundraising campaign on campus, gave employees and visitors a chance to buy raffle tickets, jewelry, stuffed animals and carnival-type goodies while donating to a good cause.

“The event was held on a Friday afternoon and we filled the Atrium,” Cross said. “One of our neonatologists, Dr. Robert Schroeder, allowed us to borrow a sno-cone machine, popcorn machine and cotton candy machine for the afternoon – which meant all we had to do was learn how to use them!”
The Carnival brought in over 100 people.

Another popular fundraising item this year was the RWCH March of Dimes “Walk for Babies” team T-shirt. The royal blue shirt featured girl frogs and boy frogs, with the slogan, “Growing by Leaps and Bound.”

“We sold over 400 T-shirts,” Cross said. “That’s more than we’ve ever sold before. I’m sure it’s because the design was different and very cute.”

But one of the biggest – and most unique – fundraising project was RWCH annual “Cutest Kid/Cutest Baby Contest.” Employees were allowed to enter their child in the contest for $20 and then, people could vote for the “cutest” contestant by donating $1 per vote.

“Our Cutest Kid/Baby Contest brought in $4,100,” Cross said. “It was so popular that we had employees without children ask if we would do one for the Cutest Pet – so we did, and brought in over $1,000  more.”

Of course, that’s not all. The hospital staff also made personal requests for donations, participated in numerous bake sales, nacho sales, stuffed animal sales, candy sales – and the list goes on.

“Our employees have proven themselves, time and time again, to be most generous in their donations, and also in their time and talents. There is no way we could have raised the amount of money we did without the support of our administration, our managers and most of all, our employees and the community.  Many have already begun future plans for March of Dimes involvement.

”We look forward to continuing to spread March of Dimes mission in preventing prematurity to even more staff members as well as in our community.  I can’t wait to see what they have in mind for next year!”