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  • Bradley Public Relations


Orange County Chefs Join Forces to Fight for the Health of All Moms and Babies

(Irvine, CA, Sept 19, 2019)March of Dimes will celebrate Ms. Scharrell Jackson, local women’s advocate, entrepreneur, and Founder of the non-profit Leaders in Heels, at the Orange County Signature Chefs Auction presented by Executives United. Ms Jackson will receive the March of Dimes Champion Award for her outstanding commitment, advocacy, encouragement, and service to women. The March of Dimes Champion Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated an ability to make a substantial difference and positive impact in the lives of others and their communities. The philanthropic evening will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum. Top Orange County chefs are joining forces to raise critical funds to benefit the March of Dimes’ mission to lead the fight for the health of moms and babies.

“I am so happy to support March of Dimes – an organization which strives for equality and is working to level the playing field to improve the health of all moms and babies,” says Ms. Jackson. “The reality that women of color are up to 50 percent more likely to deliver prematurely and their children can face a 130 percent higher infant death rate compared to children of other races is shocking.”

“We are pleased to recognize Ms. Jackson,” says Kari Boatner, March of Dimes Executive Director of Greater Los Angeles. “She is a catalyst for change and an outspoken champion of diversity, authenticity, and inclusion.”

The United States is the most dangerous developed nation in which to give birth and pregnancy-related death has more than doubled over the past 25 years. The United States is in the midst of a maternal and child health crisis with more than 50,000 women experiencing life-threatening complications as a result of pregnancy and childbirth and 380,000 babies born prematurely each year. Chronic inequities and unequal access to quality health care have a negative impact on these rates. March of Dimes is working in communities across the country to reduce the rising rates of premature birth, as well as maternal mortality and morbidity.

“The emotional cost to families of preterm birth and pregnancy complications is heart-breaking and the cost to business is staggering,” says Orange County March of Dimes Board chair, Jay Pederson. “Employers pay 12 times as much in health care costs for premature babies as for babies born without complications.”

“These statistics are unacceptable. If we work together, I know that we can bring about change,” says Ross Pangilinan, the highly acclaimed chef/owner of the restaurants, Mix Mix Kitchen Bar and Terrace by Mix Mix and co-Lead Chef of the Orange County Signature Chefs Auction. “The culinary community is proud to be raising funds to help March of Dimes tackle these urgent health issues through pioneering research, advocating for policies at the national, state and local level and to empower families with programs, knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies so that all moms and babies are healthy.”

“We are grateful to work with these talented chefs who are artists, innovators and philanthropists,” says Tammra Tanner, Orange County Development Manager for March of Dimes. “This exclusive evening is a great opportunity to experience the diverse culinary talent in Orange County, while raising funds that will help us expand our impactful programs such as Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family Support and Supportive Pregnancy Care to more hospitals in the OC.”

In addition to Chef Pangilinan, the impressive lineup of chefs from more than fourteen of the area’s most prominent restaurants includes Chef James Hamamori of Hamamori and Co-Lead Chef of the Orange County Signature Chefs Auction; Chef Greg Daniels of Harley; Chef Michael Puglisi of Electric City Butcher; Chef Nick Weber of 24 Carrots; Chef Dan Morton of Del Frisco’s Grille; Chef Leonel Deleon of Marriott Heirloom Farmhouse; Chef Rainier Schwarz and Alan Aguinaga of Hendrix/Driftwood; Chef Eric Samaniego of Michael’s on Naples; Chef Luis-Gomez of Vaca; Chef Jorges Valines of Bluegold; Chef Gabbi Patrick of Chaak; and Chef John Park of Toast.

The evening begins at 6:00 p.m. with an extraordinary tasting of the most desirable cuisine, prepared and served by culinary masters from top local establishments, followed by a seated dessert program and a rousing live auction, offering an opportunity to bid on insider packages and unique experiences. Table of 10 for the event is $3,500. For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact Tammra Tanner by email at

Local sponsors generously supporting March of Dimes include: Presenting Sponsor: Executives United; Gold Sponsor: Cisco; Bronze Sponsors: Hoag, Leadership in Heels, Orange Aluminum, Palmieri Tyler, SquarMilner, and Wells Fargo.

Honest stories of pregnancy, parenting and loss are too often left unshared. To fill this void, March of Dimes launched #UnspokenStories, a supportive community that gives voice to all experiences around these topics. This initiative aims to provide women, men and families a platform to connect and speak honestly. For more information and to share your story, please visit .

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.

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