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Craig Dexheimer of Maple Grove, MN was selected as the Greater Twin Cities Division’s Outstanding Fund-raising Volunteer of the Year. He will be recognized at the 2007 March of Dimes National Staff Meeting to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in July. Volunteers highlighted contribute in many ways through mission, communications and fundraising. Dexheimer meets all of these criteria with his passion and commitment to the March of Dimes and the fight against premature birth and other threats to infant health.

Sharing the story of his son’s premature birth is the driving force behind Dexheimer’s passion for the March of Dimes. Born 16 weeks early, William Arthur Dexheimer entered the world on June 19, 2004 weighing only 1 pound, 3 ounces. After 112 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and many procedures and treatments, Will went home to his family in November 2004. Still today, as he approaches his 3rd birthday, he still struggles to catch up and to overcome obstacles due to his premature birth. Will is one of more than half a million babies born too soon each year. Many of these babies die. Others suffer lifelong consequences like cerebral palsy, blindness, chronic lung disease and mental retardation.

Craig and his family have seen the turmoil of premature birth first hand resulting in their commitment to the March of Dimes in thanks for the medical breakthroughs that helped save Will’s life. In addition, they continue with hope, perseverance and the belief that their story will inspire others to help so that no other family has to feel the pain and uncertainty of having a child born too soon and too small.

“Craig has certainly made an impact in Minnesota” stated Bob Gustafson, State Director. “Since 2005, Craig and his Strong Will Dex team have raised over $25,000 in Minnesota and Wisconsin through our WalkAmerica”. “This national recognition comes as no surprise as we honored him at our 2006 Minnesota Celebration of Volunteers as the Minnesota Chapter Volunteer of the Year in Fundraising.” In addition to his WalkAmerica Team involvement, Dexheimer serves as chair of the Minneapolis Revenue Committee, a member of the Chapter Mission Family Committee and in 2006 coordinated the United Health Group Corporate System Golf Tournament that raised over $100,000 for the March of Dimes. Dexheimer is currently the Director of Consultant Services for Salo, LLC based in Minneapolis.

The March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For more information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org for Spanish.