Photo credit: Jack Conroy. To see full album, click here.
Hundreds of guests enjoyed tastings from almost 50 of the DC’s most renowned chefs, mixologists, and vintners offered up their best creations at the 17th Annual Signature Chef’s Auction for March of Dimes last week. The major fundraising event, held at the swanky Ritz-Carlton, was comprised of several enjoyable segments, including a VIP cocktail hour in the restaurant’s storied bar, the tasting session in the ballroom, which also featured an extensive and impressive silent auction, and a seated program to commemorate the work of March of Dimes and its most important advocates.
Special guests included Washington Redskin Defensive End Stephen Bowen and his wife, Tiffany. Chef Jamie Leeds of Hank’s Oyster Bar served as the event’s Honorary Chef, while Iron Gate’s Assistant GM and Head Mixologist Jo-Jo Valenzuela served as the Head Mixologist.
Local Washington, D.C. jeweler Alberto Parada, who specializes in conflict-free diamonds and gems, donated an exclusive piece to the event, which raised money in a unique way: in partnership with Mumm champagne, guests could opt to pay $50 for a chance to win Alberto’s piece while enjoying an endless amount of champagne throughout the evening.
Signature Chefs Gala supports the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Proceeds will fund research to find answers to premature birth and support local programs such as the Mama & Baby Bus, Stork’s Nest and NICU Family Support programs at Children’s National Medical Center, Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, Inova Loudon Hospital and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
Since 1996, the event has raised more than $1 million to ensure the health of babies. Last year, the annual gala drew more than 400 of Washington, D.C.’s elite philanthropists and executives. 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. This year, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th healthy start in life. More than 4 million babies were born in the United States last year, and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one through research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs. anniversary and its ongoing work to help all babies get a healthy start in life. More than 4 million babies were born in the United States last year, and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one through research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs.