DTLA Chefs Team Up to Help Support the March of Dimes

March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction took place on Sunday, October 15th at Union Station with efforts to raise over $400,000 for the support of prenatal wellness programs, research grants, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) family support programs, education materials in English and Spanish, and advocacy efforts for moms and babies.

Out of the ten very talented chefs who presented the wide variety of culinary delights to over 200 attendees, DTLA’s very own Chef Timothy Hollingsworth of Otium, Sugarfish‘ famed apprentice turned supreme sushi master, Sushi Nozawa, and Le Petit Paris’, Chef Grellier Baptiste who prepared DTLA’s most unique pasta, the Cognac Flambéed Pasta in a Wheel of Parmesan Cheese, right before our eyes. Even the Halal Guys‘ Chef Thomas Pham brought the shawarma as Mrs. Fish left the fishbowl this one time to serve up sushi slices from her new menu alongside rumors of changes coming to their entertainment selection, very soon.

Amidst the many, many vineyards and wineries present, Karl Strauss Brewing and Boomtown Brewery lent their amazing hops for the cause as well.

Local sponsors supporting the March of Dimes include Cedars-Sinai, Wells Fargo, Gersh Agency, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Newmark Knight Frank, Smith Henning, Fred Northrup Jr., Rogers and Cowan, First Legal, Ergo Baby and UCLA who were just as complementary to the evening’s ambiance as Union Station’s rose laden courtyard and the evening’s sunset.

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. Their Community Program allows Los Angeles hospitals utilize March of Dimes health protocols, and local health leaders and March of Dimes who collaborated to launch the
Community Birth Plan Initiative targeting the African-American community to address the region’s higher rates of preterm birth.

March of Dimes works with partners in the Greater Los Angeles area with health education programs, including “Becoming a Mom/Comenzando Bien” and “Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait”.

The Harding Family were March of Dimes Ambassador Family for this year’s Los Angeles Signature Chefs Auction

Pacific Palisades residents, Staci and Ryan Harding, are feeling so thankful for their four beautiful, healthy babies that they want to help others.

Harding family members Chase, Camden, Blake and Brooklyn Harding, were born – all four born prematurely. Each one spent many weeks, and in Chase’s case, months, in the NICU.

“We recognize we would never have the blessings we do without the extraordinary research, technology advancement and relentless work of the March of Dimes,” said Staci Harding. “In addition to having world-class doctors and nurses, Chase, Camden, Blake and Brooklyn are all healthy today because of the work of this remarkable organization,” said Ryan Harding.  The family wanted to make a difference and are sharing their story to help raise funds and increase awareness of the premature birth health crisis taking place in the United States.

The statistics are staggering across America, across California and right here in Los Angeles County. Premature birth is the leading cause of death among babies in the United States. The United States has one of the highest premature birth rates in any high-resource country. Heart-wrenching and costly, babies who survive an early birth may have lifelong health problems such as cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, and intellectual delays. Each year in Los Angeles County more than 125,000 babies are born. Recent statistics show that 11,000 babies were born preterm, one of the highest premature birth rates among large California cities. Funds raised by the Signature Chefs Auction support the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of moms and babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

“We are so grateful to the Harding Family for sharing their time and their story to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Amy Dittmore, March of Dimes Development Director Los Angeles. ”We are also grateful to our talented chefs who are artists, innovators, and philanthropists.”

For more information or to donate to the March of Dimes visit www.marchofdimes.org


Yup, you guessed it. It's me Keri Freeman, publisher and concept designer for Downtown Weekly. Living, working and playing in Downtown coming from an entertainment background...I discovered something about myself. I discovered I really liked sharing my knowledge of DTLA and its awesome hospitality movement. Also in doing so I have the great pleasure of working with incredible sponsors (who believe in the vision), extraordinary literary artists, photographers, event coordinators and many talented artists and musicians who inspire me every day to keep the DTLA Weekly going. Also, it would seem I'm the only woman of color to publish a newspaper here in over 100 years, so hopefully that inspires some future generations as well....Just remember if its fun...it can't be work....Thank you, people of Gaia, for your continued support and thank you for reading!