March of Dimes to honor those in service to community

The March of Dimes South Carolina Chapter is pleased to announce the community will honor Tony and Helen Grant, as well as Dr. Clarence and Mrs. Dollison with the 2011 African American Achievement Award. The couples will receive the award at the organization’s 9th annual breakfast on Thursday, November 17 at the Brookland Banquet and Conference Center. A panel, consisting of past recipients of the award, chose to honor the Grants and the Dollisons for their outstanding community service and contributions to the African American community of South Carolina.

Tony and Helen Grant are CEO and Vice-Chairman, respectively, of Grant Business Strategies, Inc. The Grant’s also possess a considerable track record of supporting several area organizations and taking an active role in boards of director positions through the Midlands. They have two sons, Hamilton and Alexander, and twin daughters, Kristina and Katherine.

“I’m proud to be part of this event which will help the March of Dimes continue working towards the day when every baby has a healthy start in life,” Tony Grant said. “The generous contributions of the community, event sponsors and attendees will truly impact the lives of babies and families in our community and across the state.”

“We are so fortunate that our children were all born healthy and on time,” says Helen Grant. “We encourage everyone to join us in supporting March of Dimes efforts such as the African American Achievement Award, so that March of Dimes can continue its mission in giving families a joyous start, like our family enjoyed.”

Dr. Dollison, a graduate of Morehouse College and Medical University of South Carolina, has been a general pediatrician since 1979. In this role, he has made an immediate and long-lasting impact on the health and well-being of thousands of children across South Carolina. Along with his professional contributions, Dr. Dollison holds leadership roles and has been a part of many civic and community organizations. Dr. Dollison is married to the former Mary Johnson and they have one daughter, Dr. Chelsea Dollison Barbee, one son, Mr. Clarence J. “Joey” Dollison III, and one granddaughter, Elon Barbee.

“We are very excited to be honored along with the Grants, as an African American Achievement Award recipient,” said Dr. Dollison. “At the same time, we must bring to the forefront the serious problems facing our babies – particularly within the African American community.”

Infant mortality rates are twice as high for African American babies as for Caucasian babies. In addition to this, African American babies are nearly twice as likely to be born prematurely as Caucasian babies and African American mothers have the highest rates of inadequate prenatal care compared to other maternal race categories. The African American Achievement Award was established in 2003 by the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes to bring awareness to these racial disparities and to recognize the commitment of those positively impacting the African American community.