SOURCE: R Baby Foundation

March 29, 2007 09:31 ET

Kelly Ripa to Be Special Guest and Speaker at the Newly Established R Baby Foundation's Fundraising Event

R Baby Event to Honor Boomer Esiason for Philanthropic Work

New York CW11's Mr. G to Attend as Honorary Board Member of R Baby Foundation

Musical Performances by Aaron Lewis of Staind and Chris Barron From the Spin Doctors

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to Give Remarks

R Baby Now Supported by Over 50 Sponsors and Partners

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 29, 2007 -- R Baby Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to reducing the high level of infant mortality in the United States, announced today that Kelly Ripa, star of the popular morning talk show, "Live with Regis and Kelly" and "Hope & Faith," will be the special guest and speaker at R Baby's fundraising event.

The R Baby event will take place on May 15, 2007, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City and will include a cocktail party, silent and live auctions, dancing and additional entertainment. The theme of the night is "The Best Things in Life Come in Small Packages." Proceeds from the event will enable R Baby to roll out a number of programs that will provide critical education and research designed to improve medical care for infants. In addition, funds raised at the event, and through ongoing campaigns, will go towards a grass-roots effort to organize parents in their communities to better equip emergency rooms and clinics to accurately diagnose and treat very young infants.

R Baby announced today that the Foundation will honor former NFL quarterback and current TV/radio analyst Boomer Esiason for his significant philanthropic work at the May 15th event. Other honored speakers and event participants include New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and CW11 News at Ten weather expert Mr. G. Guests to the event will enjoy musical performances by two Grammy-nominated artists: Staind frontman Aaron Lewis and Chris Barron of the Spin Doctors.

R Baby is also pleased to announce that in addition to Boomer Esiason and Kelly Ripa, Camille and Kelsey Grammer, Alan Houston, Matthew Modine, and Shaquille O'Neal have also joined the Honorary Board of Directors of R Baby, which also includes John J. Mack, CEO and Chairman of Morgan Stanley, and Mr. G.

R Baby Foundation is extremely grateful for the significant support it has received from over 50 sponsors and partners. These include Commerce Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Marathon Asset Management, MAREX Financial (Diamond Sponsors); Bear Stearns, Citco, Paul Hastings, The Sidley Austin Foundation (Platinum Sponsors); Bank of America, Bingham McCutchen LLP, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, JPMorgan, KattenMuchinRosenman LLP, Lowenstein Sandler, Morgan Stanley, The Quellos Group, Inc., RBS Greenwich Capital, Rothstein Kass, Schulte Roth & Zabel, Seward & Kissell LLP, Westcom (Gold Sponsors); The Abacus Group, Capital Royalty L.P., Citigroup, Crestline Investors, Inc., Durst Organization, EIM Management, Inc., Fischer & Company, Jefferies, Sandalwood Securities, Inc., Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Troutman Sanders, Two Sigma Investments LLC, UBS (Silver Sponsors); and many others. R Baby's Major Partners include Bottle King, Cartier, Divalysscious Moms, Fiji Water, Go-smile, Harry Winston, Marqui Jets, Preston Bailey, Skip Hop, Techno Source and Uncommonly Cute. The Foundation's Entertainment Partners include Monday Night Magic, Untouchables Events, comedian Jessica Kirson, Kenneth Cole and Cold Flavor Repair band. Founding sponsors include Richard Fleischman & Associates, Birds Nest Productions, and Brunswick Group.

"The infant mortality rate in the U.S. remains extremely high -- higher than in a number of nations in the developing world. R Baby is focused on providing access to appropriate pediatric evaluation and emergency care, upgrades to equipment, and more adequate training. We believe that these efforts will make a real difference in reducing mortality rates," said Andrew Rabinowitz, co-president of R Baby. "Our goal is to reduce the infant mortality rate in the U.S. by more than half in the next five years."

Co-president, Phyllis Rabinowitz, continued by saying, "We would like to thank the many individuals and organizations that have provided contributions to R Baby. Their valuable support will also help ensure that our fundraising event on May 15 is a success. We are certain that it will be a fun and exciting night, all in support of this great cause -- saving as many infants' lives as possible."

FACTS ON INFANT MORTALITY

Following are some facts on the disproportionately high rate of infant mortality in the United States:

--  Babies born in the U.S. are twice as likely to die than those born in
    many other developed countries, including Sweden, Japan and Spain; the U.S.
    is ranked 36th among 196 nations.(1)
--  1 in 141 babies die in the U.S. each year. Babies within the first 28
    days are twice as likely to die as older babies. (2)
--  There are approximately 20,000 newborn deaths within their first month
    of life and close to 30,000 in the first year.(3)
    
ABOUT R BABY FOUNDATION

R Baby Foundation was established in 2006 by Phyllis and Andrew Rabinowitz, who lost their daughter Rebecca Ava Rabinowitz when she was nine days old as a result of a viral infection that was not diagnosed or treated. The aim of R Baby is to organize and fund efforts to improve the outcomes of medical care for infants, particularly those who contract certain viral infections. R Baby is dedicated to helping newborn babies, primarily in their first month, with often misunderstood viral infections and other infectious diseases, receive the highest quality of care and service through supporting education, research, treatment, training, and life-saving equipment. R Baby is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit charitable organization.

For more information about R Baby Foundation or to donate, please visit www.rbabyfoundation.org. For ticket inquiries to the May 15th event, please email info@rbabyfoundation.org.

(1)  WebMD
(2)  Center for Disease Control
(3)  World Health Organization

Contact Information