April 12, 2013

Werner Braun: Beaulieu supports March of Dimes’ ‘imbornto’ national campaign


— It’s finally spring, which I suppose is pretty apparent with all the fickle weather we’ve been having.

As it finally starts to turn warm, there’s evidence all around that the season for spending time outdoors is again upon us. People are out walking and jogging in greater numbers, folks are tending their yards and gardens, and sports enthusiasts like me are back to scheduling tee times on the golf course. It’s a great time to be alive.

Probably the most universal signs of spring are the greening of our landscapes, the greenish-gold leaves budding on the trees, and the reemergence of daffodils, tulips and other perennials. These universal birth and rebirth symbols are a great reminder of the millions of new lives that come into this country each year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some four million babies are born in the U.S. each year. But while most of them are born healthy, about 1 in 8 births is the result of a premature delivery and 1 in 33 infants is born with a birth defect. Still others, particularly those with birth defects or those who are born prematurely, won’t make it to their first birthday.

It’s a shame for the youngest among us to not have the chance for a long, healthy life or the chance to experience dozens of springs, summers, falls and winters.

The March of Dimes does all it can to prevent birth defects, premature births and infant mortality. For almost 75 years, this nonprofit organization has had as its mission to improve the health of mothers and babies. Begun by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 with an emphasis on eradicating polio, the organization was nicknamed the March of Dimes back in the 1930s when children were asked to contribute a dime to the annual fundraising event.

The March of Dimes now focuses on all aspects of maintaining healthy pregnancies and promoting baby health.

It’s a cause worth supporting, and Beaulieu of America has taken this cause on as one of its major service projects by being a sponsor of the March of Dimes’ “imbornto” campaign for 2013.

It’s a year-long endeavor, but most of Beaulieu’s support will come in late spring and early summer, around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. In May and June, Beaulieu will donate 50 cents for every yard of its new Bliss Indulgence brand carpet sold.

My guess is that that will add up to be a whole bunch of shiny silver dimes.

Beaulieu joins a number of other brands in supporting this cause. Kmart, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Farmers Insurance, ProFlowers and other well-known brands will be the “official sponsors of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day” with their support of this March of Dimes annual fundraising drive.

“Beaulieu’s participation with our Bliss brand will be featured throughout this national campaign in USA Today and Martha Stewart Living ads, as well as transit advertising in major U.S. cities,” said Gary Fisher, executive vice president of marketing for Beaulieu of America. “We will also promote this cause with our Bliss dealers nationwide.”

Chad Royal-Pascoe, March of Dimes vice president for national partnerships and cause marketing, has praise for Beaulieu’s participation.

“March of Dimes has benefited the lives of families with continued advancements in our research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs, and we are thrilled that Beaulieu will add Bliss to our efforts and support of the imbornto campaign,” he said.

At the Carpet and Rug Institute, we take pride in all of the philanthropic activities that our members undertake and congratulate Beaulieu for taking on such a worthy cause.

We look forward to seeing the return on this investment in the coming months.



Werner Braun is president of the Dalton-based Carpet and Rug Institute.