On Thursday, Lead Chef Kent Rathbun and more than 20 top local chefs will prepare their signature dishes to help give every baby a healthy start in life. The March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Dallas will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Omni Dallas Hotel’s Dallas Ballroom.

In addition to sampling cuisine from Dallas’ finest restaurants, guests also will enjoy premium wine tasting and have the opportunity to bid on exclusive auction packages -- a truly, unique fine-dining experience.  All proceeds benefit March of Dimes and its mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  A limited amount of tickets ($325 each) and tables of 10 ($3,000) are still available and can be purchased online or by contactingJennifer Bell-Garcia.

At the helm of event are the 2012 chairs: Shannon Brame, Anita Braun, Diane Brierley and Dean McSherry.

“We are very grateful for the leadership of our chairs -- their hard work and dedication has made this event a reality.” March of Dimes Dallas Division executive director Julie Whitsitt said. “Without committed volunteers like Shannon, Anita, Diane, Dean and Kent (Rathbun) we would not be able to carry out our foundation’s mission on a local level through research, community services, education and advocacy.”

In honor of Kent Rathbun’s 15 years of dedication to March of Dimes and the Signature Chefs Auction, tm advertising created a new branding campaign for the event. The tagline, “Amazing Things Happen When You Give Your Signature” incorporates the distinctive mark of a signature and the signature dishes that identify each chef – both show signs of commitment. The participating chefs, sponsors, donors, volunteers and ambassador families have submitted signatures, which in turn have been transformed into the following illustration.  It is the idea that a dish or mark on paper for this event can save babies’ lives through financial support. 

“At tm advertising, we're proud to add our signature to the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction,” Bill Oakley, Chief Creative Officer, said. “For us, it's always humbling to have the opportunity to create great advertising for organizations that make such a difference in all of our lives.”

Rathbun’s brother, Kevin, also will participate to commemorate Kent’s milestone. The duo will serve Venison Meatball Carbonara – one of the courses that help defeat Chef Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America in 2008. Rathbun hopes to raise an unprecedented amount money for March of Dimes with his “Taste of the Derby” live auction package valued at $70,000.

“When you have healthy kids, and you see unhealthy kids, you realize how lucky you truly are,” Rathbun said. “One thing I’ve consistently said even before I had children and served as the lead chef is that it isn’t hard to get behind a charity like March of Dimes and its work after you see the difference the organization is making in kids’ lives every day.”

Leah and Rick Rennhack had three healthy babies, including a set of twins, before their fourth child Grace was born with a congenital heart defect. Routine newborn screening, which March of Dimes  advocates for, detected the condition which ultimately saved Grace’s life. The Rennhack family will share their story on Thursday night during the Fund the Mission portion of the program.

The following sponsors have submitted their signatures along with Rathbun to show support for families like the Rennhacks:  Fund the Mission – tm advertising; Signature – Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians; Gold – AlixPartners, American Airlines, Dr. Delphinium Designs & EventsErnst & Young LLP, FauxcadesOmni Dallas HotelThe Rathbun Art PartySewell Automotive CompaniesWhole Foods Market; Silver – BEYONDDiane and Hal Brierley, Express Restaurant Services, Farmers Insurance Group, GDF SUEZ Energy, NA and Heritage Auctions. A complete listing of sponsors can be found at  

KDFW/FOX 4 and CBS Radio return as media sponsors in 2012.  FOX 4 sports anchor Mike Doocy will be the master of ceremonies, while Louis Murad of Murad Auctions will serve as the auctioneer.

To preview live auction packages, learn more about our mission and the event or contribute to the Signature Chefs Auction Dallas, visit

Press release courtesy of the March of Dimes.