March of Dimes promoting healthy moms, babies through largest fundraiser of year

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 5:52 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The March of Dimes needs your help promoting healthy moms and babies in our area. It’s hosting its biggest fundraiser of the year next week, the ‘Signature Chefs: Feeding Motherhood’ auction and dinner. Several local chefs donate their time and money to prepare a dish for tables of sponsors. Dr. Jessica Gray and her husband Drew are the chairs for this year’s fundraiser.

“What’s really unique about this fundraiser that’s different from any other fundraiser that happens in West Texas, is that it uses chefs from our community. Local chefs volunteer their time, their money, their food, their talents to work the event and showcase a dish, an item that they feel like is really a signature that represents themselves. And so, when you come to the event, you get to sample amazing dishes from awesome chefs from all across town and really enjoy spending time with friends and family and learning about our amazing cause,” Dr. Gray said.

She says March of Dimes has already exceeded its fundraising goal this year for sponsorships and the tables for the event are full, but it’s still accepting donations online from the public. As a March of Dimes board member and a family medicine physician, Dr. Gray gets to see where the money goes and help direct programs catered to women in the West Texas area.

“That’s been my goal is to really make sure this year, as one of the chairs, that we make sure people know that the money that they’re donating to March of Dimes, especially for this event is going to be helping our West Texas families and moms,” Dr. Gray said.

Money given to the March of Dimes supports research that affects moms and babies across the country and here at home, like the research Dr. Gray says found using folic acid in prenatal vitamins decrease rates of spina bifida and spinal cord issues in babies. Donations also fund the Supportive Pregnancy Care Program in Brownfield, educational classes and resources for mothers who may not have support otherwise.

“Pregnant moms will actually come to this program and they’ll get educational classes in group settings which have been proven to be a really great support to moms, especially moms who don’t have the home support that they would really like or that they need. Maybe they’re single mothers, or maybe this is an unintended pregnancy,” Dr. Gray said.

Another program helps feed families as they spend time at the hospital with their newborns in the NICU. March of Dimes research impacts fertility treatments and high-risk pregnancies, something the Grays can relate to.

“This affects a lot more people than you would think. Sometimes you think it’s only affecting me, but in reality everybody has been touched by some form of infertility, miscarriage loss or challenge or difficulty with pregnancy, and so that’s really tugging at our heartstrings and why we wanted to get involved,” Drew said.

The organization hopes to bring a mobile bus to West Texas. Staff would help rural patients that can’t drive to a hospital for prenatal care and deliver babies so moms don’t have to deliver at veterinary clinics, something Dr. Gray says she hears about all the time.

”March of Dimes is really invested in West Texas and is investing even more over these next couple years, and support from our donors is how we get that investment to grow even more,” Dr. Gray said.

“March of Dimes is all about healthy moms and healthy babies, and it’s really as simple as that and trying to provide as much research and supportive services as possible to help facilitate that,” Drew said.