Remarks on the March of Dimes Campaign

February 22, 1985

The President. Ladies and gentlemen, this little gathering here is because this is Kristen Ellis, the March of Dimes Poster Girl, who was here on December 6th with her mother and father, who I think are probably around -- there they are. Well, they brought us the gift of Lucky\1\ (FOOTNOTE) at the same time.

(FOOTNOTE) \1\A black sheepdog.

Well, shortly after that meeting ``Dear Abby'' wrote a column in which she suggested that just as in 1938, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had asked people to send him dimes for the March of Dimes that he would turn over to that program -- now that a dollar is worth only what a dime was then, ``Dear Abby'' wrote a column and suggested that on my birthday people might do the same thing with a dollar instead of a dime.

And the evidence is in front of you. They've been coming in at the rate of about 2,000 a day, and there are now more than $41,000 in the bags for the March of Dimes that came here as a result of her column.

And we're deeply grateful to her. And it's a great pleasure again to see Kristen, who has had a little accident. She broke a leg. But the doctor -- whoops. [Laughter]

Mrs. Reagan. She's saying hello.

The President. He's saying hello -- she's saying hello.

But the doctor tells me she'll soon be out of that cast and everything will be all right. I had a broken leg, myself. I know what it's like. We have that in common now. All right.

Well, thank you all. And thank you, Kristen, for coming. And, Abby, thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 2:33 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. In his remarks, the President referred to syndicated columnist Abigail Van Buren.