For the second year, a Litchfield Township family is raising funds for a national organization that works to improve the health of newborn babies.

The Dolan family raised $1,500 for the March of Dimes in advance of the 2012 March for Babies walk, held locally each year at Troy's Alparon Park. This year, the family has set a loftier goal, aiming to raise $5,000 in the next two months toward the prevention of birth defects, premature births and infant mortality.

The March for Babies aims to raise money for research, education and medical testing for mothers, as well as the March of Dimes' other projects, according to information from the organization.

The March of Dimes is a cause close to Jennifer Dolan's heart - her daughter, Mackenzie, passed away in infancy in April 2010. The Dolans' March for Babies team is called "Marching in Memory of Mackenzie."

Dolan had a normal, healthy pregnancy, but said she felt odd two days after her due date. "Things just didn't feel right," she said.

The next day, Dolan's doctor wasn't able to find the baby's heartbeat. Dolan said an autopsy did not reveal the exact cause of Mackenzie's death, but doctors discovered a sizable blood clot in Dolan's stomach. Doctors later determined that Dolan had a clotting disorder.

"I call her my little angel," Dolan said of Mackenzie. Without the discovery, "who knows what would have happened to me?" she said.

The family first participated in the walk last year, selling T-shirts, rubber bracelets and raising money via Facebook to meet their goal. Dolan said she plans to make T-shirts again this year, sell candles and hold fundraising events to raise money for the cause.

Dolan said she and her family, now including a son who will be two years old next month, plan to participate in the walk each year.

So far this year, Dolan said the team has raised about $120 through online donations and sold around 10 T-shirts. Cutouts are also being sold at Patton's Country Store in Athens Township, Image Salon in Sayre and Wilson Supply in Wysox.

Dolan said she is also looking at other ideas, including a possible Zumba fundraiser, breakfast or purse party, to raise money for the organization.

"We can try to help others and hope no one has to go through the same thing we did," Dolan said. "Things happen for a reason."

Those interested in participating in this year's three-mile walk, scheduled for May 11, or donating to the cause can email Dolan at jenny_kepner_1@hotmail.com or visit the team's website at www.marchforbabies.org/jnddolan100.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: arenko@thedailyreview.com.