March of Dimes honors Publix, ERA Grizzard, individuals involved in March for Babies fundraiser

Publix was touted as the No. 1 national corporate partner for March of Dimes, and 22 Publix stores in Lake and Sumter County took part in the recent March for Babies fundraiser geared to improve the health of all moms and babies.


The grocer was joined by several businesses and individuals in raising over $103,000 from the May 4 March for Babies at The National Training Center in Clermont. Organizers say funds are still coming in towards the March of Dimes’ $115,000 goal.


“The March of Dimes is a cause close to my heart,” says Buddy Raney, chairman of the 2019 March for Babies and owner of Raney Construction, Inc. “The March for Babies gives hope to the babies born too soon each year. The money that you raise supports programs in your community that helps moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies, and it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies.”

Buddy says online donations are being accepted through June 30.

“We continue to raise funds for 2019,” he adds. “Teams like Central Florida Health, Lake County Clerk of Courts, Raney Construction, to name a few, are committed to continue raising funds through December 2019 to give a fighting chance for every baby.”

During the March of Dimes’ appreciation luncheon hosted June 17 at Lake-Sumter State College, Mimi Williams, master of ceremonies, praised local businesses and individuals. Publix was praised being a valued partner of the March of Dimes for 24 years.

“And in that time, Publix has raised more than $80 million dollars to help in the fight for the health of all moms and all babies,” says Mimi.

She added ERA Grizzard Real Estate contributed $17,932 in 2019, and since 2005, the local real estate firm has raised over $90,000 for the March of Dimes.


Barb Roland was credited as the top individual in raising $2,656 for the March for Babies. “Barb, as an individual, has raised over $21,800 since 2009,” Mimi said.

Jean Martin was noted for bringing in $2,500, and Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell raised $2,228.

Kirklin’s Kids was the top family team at the March for Babies, raising $1,879; and the top non-family teams were Lake County Clerk of Circuit Court, $4,342; Lake County Sheriff’s Office, $4,273; and ERA Grizzard Real Estate, $3,965.


The top 10 teams participating in the March for Babies were Raney Construction, Inc., Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller; Publix 0763, Publix 0004, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Publix 1275, Central Florida Health, LSSC Lakehawks, Publix 1269, and Publix 0862.

Gary Cooney, Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, was announced as the March for Babies Chairman for 2020. The next march will be May 2, 2020 at the National Training Center in Clermont.

“We will be working together to make sure every baby has a fighting chance,” says Mimi. “Together, we are impacting more than four million families each year in our country. We know that you and your team care about these families as we do, because they are your employees, they are your customers, they are your partners.”

Mimi adds the March of Dimes will have a Signature Chefs Auction on Nov. 14, and World Prematurity Day on Nov. 17. March of Dimes activities can be viewed on Facebook @marchofdimesflorida.