BRATTLEBORO -- The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems and Vermont Student Assistance Corp. marked national "529 Day" by starting a college savings account for Skyra -- the first baby born May 29 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Skyra, the daughter of Angela Musgrove and Scott Powers, weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and was born at 12:36 a.m. at BMH, one of the participating hospitals in 529 Day event. As the first baby born on "529 Day," Skyra received $529 for a college savings account in a VHEIP 529 Plan.

"We are so excited to be able to partner with VSAC and the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan to award our '529 Baby' with money for their college savings," said Jill Olson, vice president of policy and legislative affairs for the hospital association. "It's a wonderful opportunity for a family to receive money for college."

Scott Giles, VSAC President and CEO, said that "529" Day is an effort to remind parents that now is the time to start saving.

"Skyra has a foundation for her future -- what a great way to celebrate her birth," said Giles. "We hope that other families will be inspired to start saving for their children, no matter how young or old -- it's never too early or too late to save."

The VHEIP 529 college savings plan was established in 1999 and is Vermont's only state-sponsored 529 plan. VHEIP is administered by the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. For more information about VHEIP, visit www.vheip.org or call the customer service center at 800-637-5860.

VAHHS is a member-owned organization devoted to improving the health status of communities throughout Vermont. Its activities include advocacy, policy development, education and research. VAHHS works in partnership with dozens of Vermont health care organizations on a wide variety of issues, providing educational and research services for members and non-members alike. VAHHS supports coordination of our members' health care services with other health or social service organizations. For more information, visit www.vahhs.org.

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, non-profit corporation created by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters plan and pay for education or training beyond high school. VSAC administers Vermont's 529 college savings plan; outreach services to encourage low-income students to aspire to and complete college; college and career planning services for all Vermonters; need-based state grants for full-time, part-time and non-degree study; public and private scholarship programs; and private education loans. Visit www.vsac.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VermontStudentAssistanceCorporation.