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Benefits With Friends: Graves Foundation goes to the garden

by Carin Schoppmeyer | June 10, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/DAN HALE - An infant rests in the neonatal intensive care unit at Northwest Health in Springdale on Tuesday afternoon. 9-12-06

The Jackson L. Graves Foundation will hold its first in-person benefit in more than a year when they welcome guests for the 17th annual Red, White and Baby Blue on June 25 at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville. The casual-chic attire event presented by Collier Drug Stores and Adventure Subaru will feature live music by Amber and Kevin, food, drinks and a silent auction.

Audre Darling, executive director, says: "The Jackson L. Graves Foundation mission is dedicated to the very sickest babies in need of complex medical attention and those that care for them." During the pandemic, the Foundation focused on what they could do "for the nurses and staff that care for these babies, as well as providing comfort items for their parents."

Though the group had to suspend in-person fundraising activities in the past year, leaders say they were "still able to make an impact, especially for NICU staff and nurses and in the lives of families as their baby was in the intensive care unit during an impossible time."

Darling says the group has awarded $10,000 in scholarships to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses Conference for NICU nurses from Washington Regional Medical Center, Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, Mercy Hospital Fort Smith, Baptist Health-Fort Smith, Willow Creek Women's Hospital and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

The foundation will add a Central Arkansas benefit lineup when they host a Central Arkansas iteration of its Ooh! La, la! A Wine and Chocolate Pairing Dinner on July 29 at Red and Blue Arkansas in Little Rock.

"We hope by expanding our events we will be able to reach more donors and volunteers so we can positively impact even more families," Darling says. "But don't worry, we know Northwest Arkansas is our home."


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Red, White and Baby Blue

Who: Jackson L. Graves Foundation

What: Live music, food, drinks, auctions

When: 7-10 p.m. June 25

Where: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville

Tickets: $50 in advance or $60 at the door

Attire: Casual chic

Information: (479) 799-9592, [email protected] or


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