More than 45 Members of Congress came together for an evening of friendly competition and good food to support the health of all moms and babies at the 37th Annual March of Dimes Gourmet Gala at the National Building Museum last night. The Gala, a nonpartisan event featuring lawmakers as celebrity chefs, raised more than $1.3 million to support the organization’s advocacy, research, education and programs across the country.
“The Gourmet Gala is among the longest running and most successful fundraisers of its kind to support maternal and child health, and it’s all thanks to the tremendous support we receive from Members of Congress, our event co-chairs and generous corporate sponsors,” said March of Dimes President and CEO Stacey D. Stewart. “We’re so grateful to all of them for giving their time, energy and financial support to improve health outcomes for all moms and babies.”
More than 800 guests attended the event including Senator David Perdue (R-GA) and Mrs. Bonnie Perdue, Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Mrs. Julie Heinrich, Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Mrs. Suzanne Conaway, Representative Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Mrs. Lauren Kennedy, as well as Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI). Legacy Chefs, who have participated in the Gala for 10 or more years, included Representative Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Mrs. Caroline Aderholt, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Mrs. Bobbi Barrasso, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Mrs. Abigail Blunt , Representative Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Mrs. Teresa Loebsack, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Dr. Susan Blumenthal Markey, Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Mrs. Lisa McGovern, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Mrs. Franki Roberts, Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mrs. Jill Cooper Udall.
The lawmakers took part in a friendly cook-off competition, serving their favorite hors d’oeuvres, desserts and drinks. Their creations were judged by acclaimed Washington-DC area chefs and awards were presented in six categories:
- Judge’s Choice –Sen. Angus King (Lobster Stew)
- People’s Choice – Rep. Dean Philips (Miriam’s Potato Latkes)
- Healthiest Recipe – Rep. Salud Carbajal (Central Coast Ceviche)
- Hometown Hero – Rep. Bob Latta (Johnny Appleseed Crisp)
- Easiest Presentation – Sen. Gary Peters (Michigan Cherry, Goat Cheese and Sage Crostini)
- Best Preparation – Sen. Jim Risch (Idaho Baked Potato Sunday
Gourmet Gala Co-Chairs were Mrs. Bonnie Perdue (GA), Mrs. Julie Heinrich (NM), Mrs. Suzanne Conaway (TX) and Mrs. Lauren Kennedy (MA). The Finance Co-Chairs were Gina Rigby of Aflac, Amy Hawkins of BNSF Railway and Terri Fariello of United Airlines.
Serving as judges for this year’s competition were: Mike Friedman, All Purpose/The Red Hen; Johanna Hellrigi, Dio Moi; Chef Ris Lacoste of RIS, Bryan Moscatello, 701 Restaurant; Riccardo Rinaldi, Tosca and John Rorapaugh, Ivy City Smokehouse.
More than 100 sponsors supported this year’s event, including: Samsung, Presenting Sponsor; Chevron, Comcast NBCUniversal, National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation and P&G Pampers Platinum Sponsors; Aflac, BNSF Railway, Delta, S&P Global and United Airlines, Signature Sponsors; BlueCross BlueShield Association, CVS Health, United Technologies and Volkswagen Group of America, Regional Sponsors; and The Hill, National Journal, Washington Diplomat and Washington Life, Media Sponsors.
To learn more about March of Dimes Gourmet Gala, including a list of Congressional chefs and event photos, please visit marchofdimes.org/gourmetgala.