Story Bus Blog 2007

We’ve cleared away the cobwebs from this blog to announce some exciting news. There have been some big changes here at the March of Dimes–some of which you may have noticed.

First, the Story Tour is over! We collected almost 700 stories on the bus–some stories were happy, some sad but we were overwhelmed and honored that so many people came out to tell their stories. You can search the Story Map by the tag “storybus” to see them all.

Second, we changed our logo and colors! Do you like them?

Third, we added some new features to the Every Baby website. Including a streamlined registration and story-telling feature and, most importantly, the quilt! The quilt uses some really cool interactive features to display the stories in a unique way. Signing up for the first time? You can upload your quilt photo in Step 2. A returning user? You can log into your account and click on the “Edit Your Story” button from your Story Page.

As always, if you run into trouble, you can always drop us a line at

Our baby bus strolled to Indianapolis to meet and greet ABBA fans outside of the Murat Theatre for a performance of Mama Mia!. This was our first Indiana stop and we couldn’t be happier to be in Colts territory. As the night progressed attendees graced the bus to share their story before they entered the theatre. Even the cold night couldn’t keep the crowds from impressing us with their favorite dresses, and ties.

 The following morning we headed out for our second Indiana event at the Metropolis Mall. This time the March of Dimes partners were there and provided free child Id’s, and other great goodies. The turnout was amazing, and the sunshine was with us through out the morning event.

One of the special things about this stop was the fact that our bus drivers wife and exchange daughter came out to visit for the day. His wife is a travel agent and has been helping the staff with vehicle reservations from the beginning out of kindness. She even took the time to bake us cookies and other fattening goodies. Both ladies spent the morning and afternoon helping out with the event, loading stuff in and out of the bus, and smiling while they did it. They were key in helping to make this mall stop the best to date. Thank you!

Chicago, what can I say about our stop there minus the fact that there wasn’t a lot of time to take it all in. We had yet another 4am wake up call and four events through the course of the day, yikes. 
Our first stop was at MCI headquarters. Now for those of you who don’t know what MCI is it stands for Motor Coach Industries and they are responsible for donating the bus we use for the tour. Yes that’s right, they donated the entire bus for FREE! At this stop we got to meet the incredible men and women who aided in the success of the tour. Without their help and support this tour wouldn’t be possible. 
Next up was Sears headquarters. At this remote location the staff meeted and greeted some of the heavy hitters and people responsible for helping out the tour. Everyone we met was extremely nice, including the FedEx camera crew that came by to film the rest of the day with us. 
After the shmoozing was over we hit up RUSH hopspital and met some amazing kids and parents. The event was equipped with a face painter, snacks, and other freebies from local companies. One of the moments that touched me was when a woman came to share her story about her grandson that died before birth at 9 months. Even though he was only in this world 9 months, he’s given the family strength to share his story and to help others out there. It was truly a touching moment for me, and one I will carry with me. 
Our last event of the night was the Chicago Chef’s auction at the Sheraton hotel. Seeing all of the March Of Dimes employees, and supporting families dressed up and ready to bid was spectacular. Although it was chilly it didn’t stop the curious from wandering inside to warm up and learn about the March Of Dimes. 
Chicago was busy, yet fun. We met a lot of new friends, and enjoyed ourselves in the process.

St. Louis, our first really cold stop on the tour. We were all waiting for it and it finally bit us in the bottom on the morning of the 6th when we stepped outside our hotel. Our first stop was at a local health clinic called LaClinica. Armed with jackets, mittens, and boots the staff began setting up for the mornings event. It was here that the March Of Dimes held a press conference to celebrate the baby bus. A lot of local political figures and non-profit supporters were in attendance. FOX news shot video of the bus and the crowd piled in to check out the interior of the bus.

Later on we did some street promotion that landed us literally on the streets of St. Louis. We drove the baby bus into the financial district in order to attract an alternative crowd. We had our target on people who weren’t familiar with the March of Dimes. This would help spread education and awareness of the organization and what we were doing. Despite the cold residents made their way from work to the bus to check out what all the commotion was about. Overall we got a great response and would like to thank St. Louis, the local Farmers Insurance reps, and the local MOD chapter for all of their assistance. With out them this wouldn’t have been possible, thank you!

4:30am - wake up call5:30am - check out of hotel

7:00am - arrive at Denver, CO airport

8:35am - depart for Kansas City

11:30am - arrive in Kansas City

11:30-12:30am - baggage, rental car check in, depart for event in Olathe, KS

1pm - execute Olathe, Kansas March of Dimes event

3pm - drive to St. Louis, MO

And repeat …

This may seem like a hectic schedule, but it’s nothing unusual for the Every Baby tour staff. Early mornings, late nights, reports, and long nights seem easy when you see the smiling faces of the children at events like the one we had today in Kansas. The local chapter came armed with food, balloon artists, and magicians to entertain the kids before they entered the bus. The event was only scheduled for an hour and a half (making it one of the shortest stops on the tour), yet the turnout was phenomenal. Thank-you to the chapter for creating a one of a kind experience for families and visitors. It was short but sweet Kansas, and you will be missed.

On a side note I’d like to take the time out to share something important with all of the readers. There are four staff members on the Every Baby tour that travel to all of the stops and help execute the day to day activities. This can be especially tiring on days like today. Fortunately for us we have a fifth member of the tour staff that goes unnamed and underappreciated during most stops of the tour. His name is Mark. Mark drives the tour bus from place to place each day. This is especially important because the bus IS the event. Every day Mark rolls up his sleeves and helps set up, and break down, the Every Baby bus. He’s often been seen carrying luggage, organizing the inside of the bus, and sometimes even helping set up the pop up tent. No driver is required to help do any of these tasks, in fact Mark does it out of kindness. Every day he shows his fatherly concern for us asking how our drive was, if we got enough sleep, enough food, etc. He has become part of the Every Baby staff and I would like to share our appreciation for him with all of the March of Dimes staff, volunteers, and families. Without him events like the one in Kansas wouldn’t have been possible. We love you Mark.

“Oh my! I can’t believe the bus is real and not just a PDF file! I’m going to cry”

That was the response the local MOD staff had about the Every Baby bus upon arrival at FlatIron Crossing in Denver, CO. It was here we met up with Austin, one of the local ambassador children, who actually has his photograph featured on the side of the bus. His family was there bright and early, along with local news stations, to witness first hand the Every Baby bus. Grandparents, parents, and fans showed their support and told stories during the event. There was even a balloon artist that accompanied us for the day that created butterflies, basketballs, and even a lobster for the bus attendees. The turnout was amazing thanks to the organization and execution of the local MOD chapter.

Next up was an appearance at the Denver Nuggets game at the Pepsi Center. Before fans boarded the bus there was a short but sweet ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the momentous occasion. Fox 31 shot video, and children lined up to play with the toys on board. Parents eagerly awaited to enter the story rooms so they too could share their unique stories with the world, and get one of those lovely FedEx “free swag” gift bags.

Denver truly showed their hospitality and the staff was sad to leave. Thank you to the local March of Dimes chapter (especially Becky) for making this stop a memorable one.

I saw this story about Kenyon Martin (Denver Nuggets player) on the Fox 31 website in Denver. We will be visiting the Denver Nuggets game tomorrow night so I thought I’d share this with everyone.

Denver Nugget Kenyon Martin has a passion outside of basketball, and it has to do with his kids. All of them were born very early, and he’s supporting the March of Dimes to raise awareness about premature births. You can see the video of Kenyon Martin at this link:

Look what I found on the website! 

‘Every Baby Has a Story’ tour stopping here


St. Louis — “Every Baby Has a Story,” a March of Dimes integrated media project celebrating babies, is coming to St. Louis. The traveling motor coach tour is collecting memorable and humorous baby stories from family members.

The coach will be parked along the Gateway Mall on Ninth Street, between Market and Chestnut streets, on Tuesday. People may also tell stories via webcam or keyboard between 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Child ID kits will be provided. For more information, go to

Something that we always find so amazing is the bravery of parents to share their stories whether, they are of triumph or tragedy! While in L.A. a very brave father shared the story of the love he has for his premature son that passed on from this life very early. You could not help but feel the extremely strong love this man has for his son! His bereavement is still so strong you can see as well as feel it! It just makes your heart so full! I strongly believe that not everyone is meant to be here for the same amount of time. But, in no way does this mean their lives do not leave a big impact. This child passed in such a short period of time but, he has done more in his short life than many have after living for 40 or more years! His strong presence has inspired not only his immediate family but, so many more! His legacy will live on for many years to come as he continues to inspire & touch the lives of various people. I applaud the love & devotion his family chooses to share with the world! This is truly what this tour is about & it makes all the sleepless nights & 20 hour days so worth it!

We also had the pleasure of having the winner of the 1993 Miss Universe pageant Dayanara Torres join us on the bus!  This young multi-talented mother takes multi-tasking to a whole new level! Not only was she most gracious & kind she is a noted humanitarian that has helped out the disadvantaged the world over! She has been an ambassador for UNICEF, created the Dayanara Torres Foundation, worked with the Children’s Hope Foundation, Fundacion Sonrisa & many others as well as March of Dimes! We really appreciated how wonderful & kind she was. Dayanara definitely made our bus & day that much brighter!

We traveled on to the Farmers Insurance HQ! What a treat! I was quite the event very beautifully set up! There is nothing better than people lining up to share their stories of LOVE for their children. We always have mom’s at the forefront to share but, here we had quite a few extremely proud papa’s patiently waiting to share! The Farmers employees were so excited to share stories of their babies! Almost as excited as we were to discover that Farmers Insurance was donating a  4.5 MILLION DOLLAR check to the March of Dimes! WOO HOO! That will help so many babies! Dare I mention that this was not the check that will be given to the March of Dimes for every story told?! That’s right the most generous Farmer’s Insurance is also donating $20 for every baby story told on our bus! How cool is that?!

It was a great day yet, not over!

We then went to the Santa Monica promenade to get even MORE baby stories! That’s right! We strived on into the night street teaming the walkways trying to recruit as many stories as possible to help save as many babies as we can! We even had a team member’s father working for us helping to recruit story tellers! What a Joy! It can not be stated too many times how much we appreciate & enjoy those that HELP us along the way! In no way can we do it all, its just the 5 of us! We can only do so much in a day! The help that others provide us is invaluable & immeasurable!


Our good friends from Farmers Insurance Group are at many stops on the Tour. In addition to the $20 Farmers is donating for every story told, they’re entertaining our pint-sized visitors with crayons and coloring books, helping their folks with Child ID kits and home inventory how-to’s. You can tell from the smiles that people are just lovin’ it all!

Farmers3 Farmers2 Farmers4 Farmers5 Farmers6 Farmers7

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