Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive it have serious and sometimes lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, jaundice, developmental delays, vision loss, and cerebral palsy.

That’s why the March of Dimes Space Coast Division will host the 7th annual Signature Chefs Auction to raise funds for stronger, healthier babies.

This year’s event chairs, Michelle and Rob Naberhaus were selected by the March of Dimes Space Coast

Naberhaus family

Naberhaus family

Division because their family represents the outcome the March of Dimes wishes for all families – healthy pregnancies, healthy babies. Michelle and Rob are responsible for leading a team of community leaders to help fund the mission of the March of Dimes. 

“Although most people have heard of the March of Dimes, many are unaware of the significant impact the March of Dimes has on our local community,” Michelle said. “Until recently, I was one of those people.  My husband and I were blessed with five healthy babies with no issues at birth.  It was not until various family members had issues related to premature births that we realized the critical role that the March of Dimes played in saving the lives of these babies.”


2015 Ambassador Family Chairs: Aran and Patrick Hissam serve as the Ambassador Family Chairs. The couple had two healthy boys and were excited when they learned that a little girl was on the way. Unfortunately, due to a birth defect known as Fetal Hydrops, Brianna Marie only lived 15 hours.

Chef Josh Eslinger from Crush Eleven, last year’s “Best of Show” and 1st Place – People’s Choice Award recipient for his award winning apple butter braised veal cheeks, will be this year’s Lead Chef. Chef Eslinger is responsible for selecting this year’s top executive signature chefs and coordinating a mouthwatering menu of signature dishes for event guests to enjoy. Executive Chef Nate St. Dennis of The Fat Snook and Executive Chef Lance Cook from the Eau Gallie Yacht Club will also be participating. 

The March of Dimes Space Coast Division recently recognized all four area labor and delivery hospitals for successfully implementing the March of Dimes “Healthy Babies Are Worth The Wait” initiative to reduce early elective deliveries in Brevard County. One of the campaign’s national goals is to reduce the rate of elective deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy to 5 percent or less, resulting in millions of dollars saved to local businesses and families due to the additional costs of a premature birth. The March of Dimes advocates for programs that help moms in Florida get care and services to improve their health and the health of their babies.

“In serving as the Chairs of the Signature Chefs Auction, we hope to raise awareness for what the March of Dimes does and how it directly impacts our local community,” Michelle said. “In learning more about the organization, we also realized that the March of Dimes played a significant role in ensuring that our five babies were born healthy and strong.  Anyone who has undergone prenatal testing and newborn screenings has benefited from the organization.”

March of Dimes – 7th Annual Signature Chefs Auction

Tuesday, October 6,
6 – 9 p.m.

Hilton Melbourne Rialto,
200 Rialto Place 

The 7th Annual March of Dimes event will host 10 of Brevard’s Top Executive Chefs to serve their “Signature Dish” to compete for the “Best of Show” and People’s Choice Award. The evening will be complete with live entertainment, wine samplings, chance drawings, wine pull, silent and live auctions. Sheriff Wayne Ivey will return as the live auctioneer to help reach the $92,000 event goal.

This article appears in the August 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Living.
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