Feb 9, 2014

2014 March for Babies Ambassadors part of Early Bird family

GREENVILLE – The Official Ambassadors for the local 2014 March for Babies campaign are two precocious 9-year-olds from Union City, Ind. Sylaris and Kalam are the daughters of Shannie Denney, production manager at The Early Bird. AngelĂ© Price, March of Dimes community director, made the announcement at the campaign Kick Off luncheon Feb. 6 at Wayne Hospital.

“To say they are a bit precocious,” Denney said, smiling, “is an understatement.” The twins were born Feb. 8, 2005, seven weeks early. “Syli at 6:12, Kali at 6:13. Syli never lets us forget who’s the oldest.” When Syli (Sylaris) was born she had to be resuscitated. They got her to breathe and put her on a breathing machine for 12 hours. Kali (Kalam) was born just fine. Both had to be treated for jaundice and were kept in enclosed incubators for two weeks.

“AngelĂ© and I were talking after she made her presentation here (at the Early Bird),” Denney said. “I told her I had premature twins. She suggested I apply for them to be the local 2014 Ambassadors.”

The March of Dimes goal for this area is $110,000, an increase of $4,000 over 2013. It is spearheaded by Shawn Daugherty, Greenville Federal Bank, with the assistance of Price and March of Dimes Division Director Jackie Allen. The walk will take place on the Darke County Fairgrounds April 26. The goal? To improve the health of babies through research and education.

Denney’s twins were due April 1. Their early arrival was not unusual where twins are involved. They tell their mom it’s their “ultimate April Fool’s joke.” The trials started much earlier for Denney. She was on bed rest for three weeks. Then she was taken to Miami Valley hospital and placed in intensive care for three days. They gave her steroids so the lungs of the babies would develop. Finally, they took her off anti-contraction medications and a little over an hour later the girls were born by Emergency C-Section.

Today they are “super-healthy” nine-year-old third graders who are at the top of their class.

Seventy-five years ago Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a victim of polio, asked the nation to send a dime to the White House to fight the disease. Millions of dimes were sent. Today there is a vaccine and polio has been eradicated. Since then the March of Dimes has expanded its goal to help people like Denney and the other 500,000 families impacted by premature birth each year.

Bill LaFramboise, Greenville Technology, Inc. covered a variety of ways his company got employees involved. Darke County Municipal Judge Julie Monnin and Daugherty did the same. Top individual fundraiser in 2013, Kenneth Knapke, told how he was able to raise $3,520.

“We as a society are very giving,” said Daugherty. “It’s what makes us a great community. And Darke County is the best I’ve ever seen.”

March for Babies has noted its “best practices” for 2014: the multi-channel approach – online, social media, in person, letters and vendor outreach; increase use of online and social media; recruit more walkers; and register every team and family member individually. To register a team or request additional information contact Price in Dayton at 294-3330.

Local sponsors for the 2014 March for Babies walk are Greenville Technology, Wayne HealthCare, Greenville Federal and Second National Bank.

Kalam, left, and Sylaris turned nine on Saturday. They were due seven weeks later on April 1, so they tell their mom it was the “ultimate April Fools joke.”

Kalam shortly after birth.

Sylaris shortly after birth


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