COMMUNITY HELPING HANDS

Rantin:In support of healthy babies

brantin @thestate.com (803) 771-8306November 22, 2013 

Bertram Rantin

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com Buy Photo

The March of Dimes recent Signature Chefs Auction raised $115,000 for research and educational programs aimed at giving babies a healthy start in life.

The event, held recently at the Columbia Marriott downtown, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the March of Dimes.

Participating restaurants included The Oak Table, Blue Marlin, Capital City Club, Columbia Marriott, Brookland Banquet & Conference Center, il Giorgione Pizzeria & Wine Bar, Let Them Eat Cake, Earth Fare, Basil Thai Restaurant, The Oyster Bar, Saluda’s, The Kraken Gastropub and Cupcake.

“We are deeply grateful to everyone who donated to this year’s Signature Chefs Auction so the March of Dimes can continue working for stronger, healthier babies,” said H. Spann Laffitte, this year’s event chairman.

Premature birth affects more than half a million babies each year, including nearly 9,000 in South Carolina.

Support for a safe night’s sleep

The Rite Aid Foundation recently presented a $10,000 grant to the Palmetto Health Foundation.

The funds will support the Cribs for Kids of the Midlands program, which provides safe sleep education as well as pack and play cribs for low-income families.

“The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to support Palmetto Health Foundation in its mission to provide a safe environment for infants to sleep which, in turn, will help reduce the risk of SIDS,” said Gayle Rife, Manager of The Rite Aid Foundation.

Cribs for Kids of the Midlands was established in 2009 to increase the public’s awareness of the dangers of unsafe sleep practices in infants throughout the 16-county region. The goal is to reach families in high risk or underserved communities.

“We are so grateful for the support of The Rite Aid Foundation,” said Chaka Davis, Midlands Perinatal Regional Systems Developer for Palmetto Health. “Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed is the leading cause of death due to accidents in South Carolina for infants younger than 1. Thanks to the support from The Rite Aid Foundation, we’ll be able to do our part in Columbia, making sure that infants are safe when they are sleeping, and we’ll help more babies make it to their first birthday.”

Taking aim at hunger

Ben Arnold Beverage Co. took another stand against hunger recently when it donated $5,000 to the Fairfield Community Food Bank for the 2013 holiday season.

“We see this type of involvement as not only a duty but a pleasure to support organizations that make a real difference in the community,” said Sean O’Connor, president of Ben Arnold Beverage Company. “We’re thankful that we’re in a position to help, and we urge other area businesses to do the same during this holiday season.”

The Food Bank supports Fairfield County residents in need throughout the year, and director Julia Hungerpillar said that help is especially crucial during the winter holidays.

“This is the fifth year in a row the Ben Arnold company has given us a substantial gift,” Hungerpillar said. “It’s the largest donation we receive – and without it, there are many things we couldn’t do, and a lot of hungry people we would be unable to serve.”

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