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Charleston Chefs Help the March of Dimes raise $265,000 for Healthier Babies!
11/17/2015 3:45:53 PM


On Thursday, November 5 nearly 420 guests enjoyed the signature dishes of Charleston’s leading chefs during the 16th Annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, held at the Charleston Marriott Crystal Ballroom.  The evening’s celebration 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. Executive Chef Marc Collins of Circa 1886 served as Lead Chef, and Benny Firestone of Legacy Wealth Management was the Chairperson for the event.

Guests were moved by a first-hand account of the impact the March of Dimes has had on the Sease family, from West Ashley. The Sease twins, Bennett and Mary Grace, were born 13 weeks early. Bennett weighed 2lbs. 3oz. at birth, and Mary Grace weighed just 1lb. 11oz.  Both babies had to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before they were healthy enough to be taken home. Thanks to lifesaving research funded by the March of Dimes, Bennett and Mary Grace are now healthy, active toddlers.

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 8,000 babies in South Carolina. The March of Dimes recently 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 the state ranked among highest prematurity rates in the nation.

“Thanks to the generous support of the participating restaurants, event sponsors and guests, the March of Dimes raised $265,000 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 Benny Firestone, Signature Chefs Auction Chairman.

Participating chefs included: Marc Collins, Circa 1886; Jonathan Banta, The Atlantic Room; John Zucker, Cru Café and Catering; Matthew Brigham, Laura Alberts Tasteful Options; Aaron Lemieux, Michael's on the Alley; John Whisenant, The Islander, Daniel Island; Michael Perez, Indaco; Jeffrey Robinson, Saffire at the Charleston Marriott; Jason Rheinwald, The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary; Matthew Niessner, Halls Chophouse; Daniel Doyle, Poogan's Porch; Ryley McGillis, Grand Bohemian Charleston; Brian Deason, Tristan Events; Chris Ryan, Charleston Grill; Jon Cropf, Drawing Room

Sponsors included: Ingevity; Children's Cancer Cooperative; Atlas Technologies; Billy Swails State Farm; BTM Machinery; Charleston Imaging Products; East Cooper Medical Center; Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd; Hudson Nissan; Legacy Wealth Management; Dr. and Mrs. David Robinson; Roper Hospital; Select Health of South Carolina; Sunbelt Rentals; The Beach Co.; Tidewater Neurology

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.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For more information, visit, and us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter .


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