March of Dimes Signature Chef Gala Slated for November
The New Orleans social scene is coming back to life, and any one who doubts it needs only to reserve seats for the annual March of Dimes Gala, to be held November 19 at the Marriott New Orleans Convention Center. With New Orleans Magazine as the premier sponsor, this year’s 22nd annual Signature Chef Gala, presented by Smith Barney, a division of Citigroup Global Markets Inc., member SIPC; promises to be the party of the season.
Chef Dominique Macquet
This year, March of Dimes invited Chef Dominique Macquet, of the fabulous Dominique’s Restaurant, to be the chef chairman. Chef Dominique will partner with another local high profile chef, Thomas Wolfe, of Wolfe’s in the Warehouse and Peristyle, who will serve as Host Chef. Together, Macquet and Wolfe have enlisted a full team of local chefs, each set to prepare their own signature dish. Among the star- studded team of culinarians are John Besh, Restaurant August; Mathew Murphy, Ritz-Carlton New Orleans Hotel; Andrea Apuzzo, Andrea’s; Chuck Subra, La Cote Brasserie; Tenney Flynn, GW Fins; Donald Link, Herbsaint; Brian Landry, Galatoire’s; Philip Chan, Asian Cajun; and Vincent Catalanatto, Vincent’s Italian Cuisine.
Chef Thomas Wolfe
With that stellar lineup, March of Dimes will offer an evening of outstanding food, along with a top shelf live auction led by Jude Swenson and silent auction led by Debbie Byrd and Martha Conover. There will be music and dancing, featuring Rockin’ Doopsie, Jr.
The black-tie event is staged each year by the Southeast Louisiana and Greater New Orleans Division of March of Dimes to support the organization’s effort to ensure that every baby born is a healthy human being. This year’s chairmen are Sandra and Louis Wilson, working with Dr. Harold and Leslie Stokes leading the finance committee.
“Nothing could be more heartbreaking than to see parents suffer as their baby struggles for life,” said Louis Wilson. “We’ve made great strides in the March of Dimes – we met our goal of eliminating polio years ago.
Chef Brian Landry, Chef Chuck Subra, Chef Andrea Apuzzo, Chef Tenney Flynn and Chef Philip Chan Not Pictured: Chef John Besh and Chef Vincent Catalonatto
Now, we’re fighting for healthy babies, and we plan to win.”
Two others who have worked tirelessly in this effort are Mitchell and Christie Mintz, the recipients of this year’s Freda Lupin Butterfly Award. The award is presented annually in recognition of individuals who exemplify or inspire the philanthropic spirit and dedication to help others, as Lupin did throughout her life.
Chef Peter Moore, Chef Matthew Murphy and Chef Donald Link
The gala evening, hosted by Camille Whitworth and Roop Raj of WDSU-TV, News Channel 6, is especially meaningful this year. Last year the March of Dimes was unable to hold its annual gala, due to Hurricane Katrina. As usual, all proceeds from this year’s event will support the March of Dimes programs of community service, advocacy, research and education in preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
The efforts of the March of Dimes can be traced back all the way to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who established the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, a partnership of scientists and volunteers to conquer polio. The first grassroots fundraiser for the Foundation was spearheaded by entertainer Eddie Cantor, who asked the
public to send dimes to President Roosevelt at the White House. That effort became known as the March of Dimes.
The organization has clearly stood the test of time, and in 2002, March of Dimes grantees were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. The following year the organization launched a $75 million campaign to prevent premature birth and raise awareness of its serious consequences. Enthusiastic supporters of the organization continue to contribute to these efforts. The financial goal for the Signature Chef Gala is $200,000.
For more information about this year’s Signature Chef Gala, visit www.MarchofDimes.com, or call 985-652-3841. Tickets to the gala
begin at $150 per person, or $300 per couple. Interested parties can also purchase full tables of 10.
2006 Committee Chairmen:
Madeline Goldman, Debbie Byrd, Jude Swenson, Ana Gershanik, Juan Gershanik, Sandra Wilson, Louis Wilson, Martha Conover and Leslie Stokes. Not Pictured: Dr. Harold Stokes and Mike Theis