Milford Sisters Honored with March of Dimes Connecticut Chapter 2013 “Junior Humanitarian Award”

Ellie (center left) and Anna Malin are pictured with Jonathan Shapiro, March of Dimes CT Chair and Deb Fafard, State Director.
Ellie (center left) and Anna Malin are pictured with Jonathan Shapiro, March of Dimes CT Chair and Deb Fafard, State Director.

Anna (age 12) and Ellie Malin (age 10) of Milford were honored with the 2013 “Junior Humanitarian Award” by the March of Dimes Connecticut Chapter at its Franklin Delano Roosevelt Spirit of Giving Celebration at the New Haven Lawn Club on January 25.  The evening celebrated the Chapter’s volunteers, donors and sponsors, and honored 14 individuals and organizations as “2013 Volunteers of Excellence.”

Together Anna and Ellie are the heart and leaders of team Anna’s Angels for March for Babies.  Both girls were walking with their parents, Crystal and Martin, as early as they can remember.  Crystal had been an active participant in her employer’s WalkAmerica (now March for Babies) team, and when just three years apart both Anna and Ellie were born too soon (at 31 and 34 weeks respectively), and spent weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital.

In 2005, at her company’s WalkAmerica kickoff event, Crystal recalled how Anna had raised $900 that year “because she was helping babies stay in their mommies’ tummies until they were ready to be born!”  The event became an annual family tradition.

In 2006, the family prepared for the birth of their third child, their son Lucus, who despite every precaution by Crystal and her doctors, came into the world just over seven weeks early.  Tragically, Lucas passed away due to an infection, and while Ellie at the time was very young to understand, Anna was devastated.  As the time again came for the walk, Anna told her story to friends, family, classmates and her drive to help babies became even stronger.  With the support of her kindergarten class, the Malin’s formed their first family team – Anna’s Angels – and that year Anna raised $11,000, becoming the top youth walker in the state.

Together Anna and Ellie have been leaders for Anna’s Angels and each year educate their teachers, classmates, and friends about the March of Dimes and how they can help make a difference.  As walkers, the girls have raised over $27,000 over the years, and collectively Anna’s Angels has raised nearly $40,000.

“Anna and Ellie, work so hard and are so dedicated to our mission. We are very pleased to honor them with the 2013 Junior Humanitarian award,” said Deb Fafard, state director, March of Dimes Connecticut Chapter. 

In 2013 the March of Dimes celebrated its 75th anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life.  Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive.  Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects.  About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefitted from March of Dimes lifesaving research and education.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.  Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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