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WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Shaw's Supermarkets/Star Markets, based here, will be honored tonight at the 2005 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Humanitarian Award Gala for its support of the March of Dimes. The formal event will raise money to help prevent birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
Every October since 1999, Shaw's has hosted the in-store Pick-a-Pumpkin campaign. This year the event will additionally feature signature March of Dimes "Bean Bag for Babies" bears. Since it began, the campaign has raised over $1 million and helped raise awareness of the March of Dimes' mission.
At the event to honor the grocer, local news personalities Gail Huff, of ABC affiliate WCVB-TV, and Chet Curtis, of New England Cable News, are scheduled to serve as co-hosts.
As part of a national culinary fundraising tour to benefit the charity, French master chefs from Boston and New York will create classic gourmet dishes at the event, at which there will also be a silent auction.
"Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death in the first month of life," noted Michelle Shafer, state director of March of Dimes, Massachusetts chapter, in a statement. "The support from Shaw's makes us closer to reaching our goal of ensuring every baby has a healthy start."
Premature birth affects more than 480,000 babies -- one out of every eight live births -- each year in the United States.
FDR established the March of Dimes in 1938 to address the polio epidemic then sweeping the country. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Humanitarian Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed by the charity, recognizes an individual or organization that "has made [a] tremendous impact on the community by supporting the mission of the March of Dimes," according to the Web site of the March of Dimes’ Massachusetts chapter.
Shaw’s Supermarkets/Star Markets, a division of Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, operates more than 200 stores in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.