By JOANNA SHEPHERD | Intern
One Pacific Palisades family—the Hardings—teamed up with Los Angeles’ top chefs to raise awareness and funds for the March of Dimes, a leading nonprofit for pregnancy and baby health.
All four of Ryan and Staci Harding’s children were born prematurely. Each one had to spend many weeks and, in their eldest Chase’s case, months in a hospital neonatal intensive care unit.
“In addition to having world-class doctors and nurses, Chase, Camden, Blake and Brooklyn are all healthy today,” the Hardings shared. The family attributes this to “the extraordinary research, technology advancement and relentless work of the March of Dimes.”
Today, Chase (6) and Camden (5) attend Palisades Charter Elementary School, and twin girls Blake and Brooklyn recently celebrated their first birthday.
The Hardings are the March of Dimes Ambassador Family for this year’s Los Angeles Signature Chefs Auction, which took place on Sunday, Oct. 15.
“We are most looking forward to having a crowd of 500 to 600 people to share our babies’ story with, and, for the first time in six years, to be able to look all the people in the eye who helped save our babies’ lives and say thank you,” Ryan shared with the Palisadian-Post before the event.
The family explained that they are passionate about giving back and sharing their story of love and gratitude to help raise funds and increase awareness of the premature birth crisis in the U.S.
In addition to research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs, the March of Dimes has a wealth of the latest perinatal health information. Premature birth is the leading cause of death among babies in the United States, which has one of the highest premature birth rates in any high-resource country.
Often heart-wrenching and costly, babies who survive being born preterm can 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 over 11,000 of those 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.
Sunday’s epicurean extravaganza featured 10 of LA’s most impressive culinary talents, who prepared tastings of signature dishes created exclusively for the evening.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.