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Event brings attention to infant mortality





Ashad Ruff slept right through his big moment.

The 8-month-old didn't realize Saturday's celebration was all about healthy babies, and about making sure more infants reach Ashad's age.

Lavenus Hill understood, though. She wheeled her child along the sidewalk lining Washington Road, from Camellia Park to the Thomson-McDuffie County Library, and back again.

Saturday's Infant Mortality Awareness Event was exactly that.

Debra Griffin of Enterprise Community Healthy Start works year-round to educate young mothers and mothers-to-be about nutrition and all the complexities of raising healthy children. On Saturday, Griffin, clients and friends worked to educate the community.

Mayor Ken Usry joined in the celebration in the park beneath the city's main fire station. He read a proclamation, in which he supported Healthy Start's mission. The group then set off for the library, as a Thomson Police escort guarded the shoulder of the highway.

In front of the library, 43 onesies flew from a clothesline. Each tiny, empty garment represented a baby who has died in McDuffie County in the past 10 years. Each called attention to the need for prenatal care and proper nutrition during pregnancy.

Back at the park, the group enjoyed games provided by Amerigroup.

Lady Bug the Clown was on hand to paint happy faces.

Hill played one of the games, successfully answering questions about child care and earning an entry into a raffle. She won a Pack 'n Play baby crib.

Griffin's organization works to educate young mothers about sudden infant death syndrome, and an array of related health topics.

The office is in Thomson Plaza on West Hill Street, between Family Dollar and Thomson IGA. Call Enterprise at (706) 840-5986.



Web posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011













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