Michelle Fundingsland has been involved with the March of Dimes and its annual fundraiser, Bowls For Babies, since it has been going on in Minot.
It wasn't until last year that the charity hit closer to home. In January of 2010, Fundingsland gave birth to a set of twins who were premature.
"(I have) been on the other side and understand all of what March of Dimes does in terms of educating," she said.
James C. Falcon/MDN - - Colorful bowls, like these, will be available at the sixth annual Bowls For Babies, which will be held at the Grand International on Saturday. The event is a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, which helps to raise funds and awareness for premature births.
Submitted Photo - - A patron at a Bowls For Babies fundraiser from previous years makes a selection from the dessert tray. The March of Dimes fundraiser offers patrons bowls of soup, bread, and desserts, as well as a hand-crafted bowl, for $10.
Submitted Photo - - Michelle Fundingsland, who was already involved with the March of Dimes’ Bowl For Babies fundraiser, said that she found herself facing the plight personally after her twin children, Stephanie, left, and Michael Fundingsland, were born prematurely in January 2010.
One in nine babies in North Dakota are born prematurely, according to the March of Dimes website.
All of the proceeds from the sixth annual Bowls For Babies, which will be held at the Grand International on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., will go toward the March of Dimes, Fundingsland said. She added that the program "helps educate mothers or soon-to-be mothers with proper pre-natal care, education on the importance of folic acid, which can help prevent neural-tube defects, like Spina bifida, and good prenatal nutrition."
Fundingsland is a member of the Healthy Pregnancy Task Force, which will be hosting the fundraiser.
For $10, patrons receive a locally crafted bowl painted by local children and organizations. With that, they receive a bowl of soup -- "all kinds, and the good ones always go first," she added. "There's a lot of soups to choose from," she said -- as well as bread and a dessert.
Peggy Johnson, chairwoman of this year's event, noted that patrons are not limited to just one bowl of soup. In addition, the soup will not be served in the crafted bowls for hygienic reasons.
This year will also mark the first year that Bowls For Babies, in Minot, will feature a silent auction, Johnson said. The silent auction will feature, among other items, bowls signed by actor Josh Duhamel a Minot native who was paramount in shining a spotlight on his hometown during the 2011 flood Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Sen. John Hoeven.
Raffle tickets for gift certificates from local businesses are also available at $1 each. The businesses that donated prizes include: Bitz Communications, Cenex, Big Apple Bagels, Creative Salon and Spa, Premiere Video, Ruby Tuesday, YMCA, Real Deal, Chocolatopia, all of Minot. Fundingsland said that raffle ticket holders do not need to be present to win. Raffle tickets can be purchased at Gate City Bank, as well as at the fundraiser.
"A lot of families who had premature families attend this event," she said. "I think it's fun for everybody who attends to see the progress of the children growing up, getting older, getting stronger."
Fundingsland said that the fundraiser is "an easy event and a good meal," as well as a nice rest stop.
"Instead of making lunch at home, come here for lunch and help with the March of Dimes," she said.
Last year, about $7,000 was raised, "and this year, we'd be pleased with $5,000, just because of the flood and everything happening."
"We didn't get as many corporate sponsors because of the flood, and didn't want to put a burden on people who already had issues to deal with," she said. "We're hoping individually, people can come out and help with the event and enjoy a good nutritious lunch."