LOS ANGELES, CA, JUNE 26, 2009 — Sherri Shepherd joined Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures Chair, Faye McClure, in Los Angeles for the 11th annual Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures Awards Dinner on Friday, June 26. More than 400 guests participated at the March of Dimes gala, sponsored by Farmers® Insurance, at the Beverly Wilshire hotel. The event honors prominent individuals who have significantly impacted the African-American community and raises awareness of the crisis of premature birth.
March of Dimes honored three individuals for their work in the African-American community — Dr. Lloyd B. Greig, Obstetrician-Gynecologist, J. Melvin Muse, Chairman & CCO, Muse Communications Inc., and Pamela Wiley-Wells, Ph.D., F-ASHA, President, Los Angeles Center for Speech and Language Development.
“This event is a touching tribute to those who work tirelessly to improve the lives of others,” said Ms. McClure. “We are here to honor these individuals and to raise awareness of the number one threat to the health of African-American babies — premature birth.”
Sherri, a volunteer for the March of Dimes, shared her personal story of the premature birth of her son, Jeffrey, who was born three months before his due date and spent months in the neonatal intensive care unit. Other celebrities joining her at the event included American Idol® Music Director Rickey Minor. Mr. Minor produced the musical program, which included a live performance by multiple Grammy® Award Winner Deniece Williams and The Whispers. Actresses Vanessa Williams and Camille Winbush and comedian Lewis Dix, Jr. hosted the program.
The Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures event has raised more than $1.5 million to help fund March of Dimes efforts to give every baby a healthy start in life.