ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The March of Dimes Annual Signature Chefs Auction drew a record crowd of nearly 500 people this year, raising $75,000 to improve local birth outcomes and save babies' lives. The amount of money raised was 30 percent more than in 2012.
"We are thrilled with the turnout and with the public's generosity," said Jennifer Smith, Division Director for the March of Dimes here in Rockford. "The funds raised will make a real difference in helping our efforts to reduce infant mortality, premature birth and birth defects. We couldn't have asked for a more generous response from the public."
Pearson, the Rockford area plumbing, heating and pest control company, helped with the fundraising effort by sponsoring the chance to win a 2-year lease to a new 2013 Toyota Hilander SUV that was raffled off at the event. The lucky winner was Heidi Martinez, a long time volunteer of the local March of Dimes office.
"This is a great opportunity for Pearson to help support a very worthwhile effort and a very important cause," said Matt Morgan, Pearson President and event co-chairman along with his wife Courtney. "The funds raised from this event and the raffle in particular will go a long way toward helping the local March of Dimes efforts."
Matt and Courtney Morgan, the 2013 Ambassador Family for the local March of Dimes, are the parents to twin sons, Chance and Maddox, born prematurely at only 1 lb 10 oz. They spent3 ½ months in Rockford Memorial’s NICU. Thanks to the great care of their doctors and nurses and the advancements made by March of Dimes research, today they are healthy and happy.
The always-popular auction took place here in Rockford October 24th at Giovanni's Restaurant. The March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction is held in nearly 200 cities across the country.