This year’s Gourmet Gala was a chance for congressman across the country to showcase cuisine from their hometowns in honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the March of Dimes, founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt. The March of Dimes was originally founded to turn the fear of polio into the fight for polio and today, it’s stronger than ever helping babies across the country through research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Premature birth remains one of the most urgent infant health problems in America, and is the leading cause of newborn death.
The gala celebrated the mission of the March of Dimes while also bringing culinary creations from celebrity chefs and congressman from each state, as guests visited each booth to try their recipes. Celebrity judges voted for the award portion of the event, awarding the following awards in a variety of categories including best presentation, easiest preparation award, and best in show. The coveted People’s Choice award was given to Alan and Tori Nunnelee of Mississippi’s first district for their tasty Grits and Mushrooms recipe.
“A parents first moments should be of joy, not fear,” said Gala co-chair Julianne Chambliss. The March of Dimes hosted a variety of big name speakers including Speaker of the House John Boehner and National March of Dimes Board of Trustees Member, Elizabeth Roosevelt Johnston who shared her touching personal experience of her children’s premature birth.
Between ticket sales and a live auction, Wednesday’s event raised $1 million dollars for the cause.