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March of Dimes Rhode Island Chapter

220 West Exchange St. #003

Providence, RI  02903

(401) 454-1911

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    Columbia Chefs Help the March of Dimes raise $115,000 for Healthier Babies!

    Columbia, South Carolina, November 05, 2013 —

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Anne Genevieve Gallivan

    (803) 403-8524 or AGallivan@marchofdimes.org

    On November 3, 2013, nearly 300 guests savored the signature dishes of Columbia’s top chefs during the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, held at the Columbia Marriott.  The evening celebrated the 75th anniversary of the organization and included a cocktail reception and gourmet samplings from area restaurants while guests bid on silent auction items. A live auction of culinary and travel packages followed.

     Guests were moved by a first-hand account of the impact the March of Dimes has had on the Bigwarfe family, from Columbia. The Bigwarfe’s twins, Charis and Kathryn, were born 10 weeks early. Kathryn survived only two days. Her sister, Charis, spent 12 weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before she was healthy enough to be taken home. Today, at almost 2 years old, Charis weighs 20 pounds, and is running, climbing and progressing positively with her speech.

     The most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. today is premature birth. It affects more than half a million babies each year, including nearly 9,000 babies in South Carolina. On November 1, the March of Dimes issued the annual report card on Premature Birth, giving the nation and each state a letter grade based upon prematurity rates. South Carolina received a “D” grade and has one of the highest prematurity rates in the nation.

     “Thanks to the generous support of the participating restaurants, event sponsors and attendees, the March of Dimes raised $115,000 to support lifesaving research and educational programs aimed at giving every baby a healthy start in life. We are deeply grateful to everyone who donated to this year’s Signature Chefs Auction so the March of Dimes can continue working for stronger, healthier babies,” said H. Spann Laffitte, Event Chair.

     Participating restaurants included: The Oak Table, Blue Marlin, Capital City Club, Columbia Marriott, Brookland Banquet & Conference Center, il Giorgione Pizzeria & Wine Bar, Let Them Eat Cake, Earth Fare, Basil Thai Restaurant, The Oyster Bar, Saluda’s, The Kraken Gastropub and Cupcake.

     Sponsors included:  Lexington Medical Center, Columbia Eye Clinic, South Carolina Energy & Gas, South Carolina Blue Cross Blue Shield, TD Bank, CSX, The State Media Company, Magic 98.5, Columbia Living Magazine, Pediatrix Medical Group, Sun Solutions and WLTX.

    Each year, the South Carolina March of Dimes invests in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community services. Through these program services, the March of Dimes continues to strive to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina’s premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care and educate men and women about having healthy babies.

     In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates 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 four million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefitted from March of Dimes lifesaving research and education. For more information visit marchofdimes.org/southcarolina.

     

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