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'Jailbirds' to raise money to fight birth defects

Alexandria business and community leaders are preparing to "do time" for the March of Dimes and Minnesota babies will benefit.

Their efforts are on behalf of the community fundraiser, "Jail and Bail." The event will take place on Tuesday, August 26 at Bug-A-Boo Bay, starting at 11 a.m.

Participants - also known as "jailbirds" - are challenged to raise their "bail" by asking for donations from friends, family and business associates.

They can collect it beforehand or by cell phone while at the event. Upon entering the mock-jail site, they are booked, fingerprinted and, donned in prisoner garb, have their mug shots taken.

Anyone interested in serving as either a jailbird or an event volunteer is invited to sign up by calling the March of Dimes at (320) 252-1156 or by contacting Paula at

Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

To achieve its mission, the March of Dimes funds research, community services, education and advocacy. A key initiative is addressing prematurity, the leading killer of newborn babies in Minnesota and nationwide.

Currently in Minnesota, the March of Dimes funds nearly $1.9 million in healthy-baby programs. Since 2001, the organization has funded more than $500,000 in services for babies and families in the state.

Any Minnesota group that provides services to pregnant women and babies can apply for a March of Dimes grant. Information can be obtained by contacting the chapter at (952) 835-3033.

For more information about the March of Dimes, visit