(ALTON, IL, July 7, 2011) – Metro East Bikers for Babies will follow the Great River Road this year as more than 200 riders will lead the way for healthier babies. 

“This 50-mile ride covers a route along the Mississippi that everyone loves,” said Kary Smith, chair of the Metro East Bikers for Babies event. “Ted’s Motorcycle World in Alton is a great place to start the ride, and you can’t top the Hawg Pit for the finish and post-ride party,” Smith added.

This ride on Saturday, July 30, will be the ninth Bikers for Babies in Metro East, an event that raises funds for March of Dimes research and programs that help all moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

Same day registration begins at 10 am, with the ride starting at noon. The post-ride music and party at the Hawg Pit will begin at 1 pm. The cost is $30 for each rider and passenger. Those who sign up in advance online at bikersforbabies.org pay only $25.

The Metro East event is one of two Bikers for Babies in the St. Louis area. St. Louis Bikers for Babies is Sunday, Oct. 9, at St. Louis Union Station. Those who register and raise funds for both events will receive a discounted hotel room and admission to the Oct. 8, pre-party at the St. Louis Hilton at the Ballpark.

Premature birth is the leading cause of death for newborns. One of eight babies in Illinois is born prematurely; in Metro East it’s about one in seven.  March of Dimes invested more than $5 million in research programs in Illinois last year.  It has launched a campaign against scheduling of deliveries before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy unless there is a medical need.  Five hospitals in Illinois are leading this initiative, including St. Elizabeth’s.

Sponsors for Metro East Bikers for Babies include Simmons Employee Foundation, The Telegraph, Ted’s Motorcycle World, The Hawg Pit.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. . Find us on Facebook.

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