The third annual Delaware River March for Babies walk is planned for Sunday, Sept. 30 in Matamoras. Both donations and walkers are welcome, to help in the fight against birth defects. A local organizer of the event has been honored by the March of Dimes for the success the walk has been in the Pike County area. Joseph R. Biondo spoke about the event at the Pike County Commissioners’ meeting Sept. 19. He said that his own family was affected by the loss of a premature baby boy, Lorenzo, five years ago. The baby was the son of Joseph P. Biondo (Jr.) and wife Sari. Since that loss, Joseph (Jr.) and Sari became involved with the March of Dimes. The organization is dedicated to preventing preterm birth, improving the health of babies and providing education for parents. They worked with the Northeast Division to start the Delaware River March in 2010. His father beamed, stating that the March of Dimes has recognized his son. A March of Dimes press release states that Joseph (Jr.) will serve as the National Family Teams Co-Chair for the 2013 March for Babies. This distinction, he said, recognizes that in the first year, the Delaware Valley March of Dimes raised $60,000. The next year, they raised $57,000. This year, they have a goal of $75,000 and 400 walkers. The walk takes place at Firefly Field at Airport Park in Matamoras. Registration starts at 10 a.m. and the 3.5 mile walk will start at 11 a.m. the day’s events will include team introductions, refreshments, lunch and music, for the whole family. The Mesnick Family has been chosen as the walk’s Ambassador. The Commissioners passed a resolution recognizing the event and encouraging individuals to starting a team with friends or family, or joining one of the teams already scheduled to march. Biondo (Jr.) is Chief Investment Officer of Biondo Investment Advisors in Milford. His father is founder of the firm and Chief Executive Officer. The walk is held in 778 communities across the country with more than 7 million people participating annually. Preterm birth is a serious health problem that costs the nation $26 billion annually, according to a 2006 Institute of Medicine report. Following three decades of increases, in 2010 the United States saw the first four-year decline in the preterm birth rate, to just under 12 percent. Despite the improvement, nearly half a million babies are born too soon each year and babies who survive an early birth face the increased risk of life long health challenges such as such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and others. For more information, visit online at www.marchforbabies.org or call the Northeast Division of the March of Dimes at (610)814-7000.