Mrs. John Cornyn and Mrs. Mike Thompson to Chair 2016 March of Dimes Gourmet Gala

| Thursday, October 15, 2015

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 Bobby Koch and Amy Hawkins to serve as finance chairs of the congressional cook-off

Arlington, VA, October 15, 2015 —

The March of Dimes announced that Sandy Cornyn and Janet Thompson will serve as Gourmet Gala Co-chairs. Gourmet Gala is a fundraising dinner with a unique flavor. Fifty Members of Congress are expected to participate as celebrity chefs in a competitive cook-off, which exemplifies bipartisanship. Each will serve guests hors d’oeuvres and desserts based on their own recipe. The evening will conclude the presentation of six awards to winning congressional chefs as determined by professional chefs from Washington, D.C. restaurants.

Mrs. Cornyn and Mrs. Thompson will play an integral role raising awareness of the March of Dimes mission to prevent preterm birth, birth defects and infant mortality. They will assist in Gala planning efforts and congressional outreach. Mrs. Thompson previously served a Gourmet Gala co-chair in 2005.

“Fighting premature birth is a cause that is close to my heart,” said Janet Thompson, 2016 March of Dimes Gourmet Gala chair. “Throughout my career in health care, I have had firsthand knowledge of the March of Dimes achievements to reduce threats to newborns’ health, and I am honored to join their efforts and return as a co-chair for next year’s Gourmet Gala.”

Sandy Cornyn, 2016 March of Dimes Gourmet Gala chair, added, “As a proud parent, I’m excited to serve in this position to support the March of Dimes effort to increase awareness and help to ensure that every baby is born healthy.  I have enjoyed being a celebrity chef for many years and look forward to sharing the evening with our friends and colleagues.”

In addition, Bobby Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute, and Amy Hawkins, vice president of government affairs for BNSF Railway, accepted the role of Gourmet Gala finance co-chairs. As finance committee leaders, they will help achieve the Gala’s fundraising goal of $1,000,000.

The 34th Annual Gourmet Gala will be held Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. All proceeds will support March of Dimes research and programs that help women have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

“We are fortunate to have Sandy, Janet, Bobby and Amy dedicated to Gourmet Gala and our vital cause,” said Tina Cavucci, chapter director for the March of Dimes Maryland-National Capital Area Chapter. “I am confident that their contributions will go a long way to ensure a successful event and in turn, improve the health of moms and babies.”

Last year, more than $880,000 was raised by more than 675 Gala attendees – including 43 Members of Congress who competed as chefs. To learn more about the 2016 Gourmet Gala, visit and follow #MODGourmetGala. Visit the 2015 Gourmet Gala website for more information about that event, including photos and recipes.

About The March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies. For the latest resources and information, visit or Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Contact: Michele Murphy-Hedrick, (571) 257-2303,

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit or for more information. Visit for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.