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Red Sneakers For Oakley and E.A.T. Host Evening to Support Food Allergy Awareness and Research Toward a Cure at Club Colette in Palm Beach
(PALM BEACH, FL) – December 4, 2018 -- On Thursday, November 29, Red Sneakers for Oakley and E.A.T. (End Allergies Together) co-hosted the sold-out first annual fundraising event at Club Colette to support food allergy awareness and research toward a cure. Almost all of the attendees wore their “most spectacular red shoes or sneakers.” Over $220,000 was raised at this inaugural event.
Bobby and Merrill Debbs, Elise and Greg Bates
Red Sneakers for Oakley was founded by Robert and Merrill Debbs after their son Oakley died from a severe allergic reaction to nuts at the age of 11 years. End Allergies Together (E.A.T.), a Greenwich, Connecticut-based organization, was founded in 2015 by Elise and Greg Bates, parents of a food-allergic daughter, with one urgent goal: to accelerate treatments and cures for the growing food allergy epidemic.
Dinner was graciously underwritten by Diamond Sponsors Jerry and Darlene Jordan. Gold sponsors were The Winklevoss Family, and Silver sponsors included Greg Connors,AllerGenis, Benjamin and Elizabeth Gordon, Kenn Karakul and Jim Held, Peter and Vicky Martin, Marc Stafanski and Vanessa Rooks, and The William H. Pitt Foundation. Additional supporters were Beau and Suzy Brauer, Brian and Eileen Burns, Sam and Anita Hunt and Jason and Wilder Regalbuto, Andrew and Sarah Wetenhall, Shelby Wycoff.
"Seeing this sold-out room of supporters was inspiring. Food allergy awareness finally has been brought to our community, and beyond, due to the work of Red Sneakers for Oakley and End Allergies Together. It shouldn’t have taken the tragedy of Oakley’s death to create awareness. E.A.T.’s “GIVE and GO” PSA helped drive home the need to use epinephrine immediately. The education guests received this evening is just the tip of the iceberg of what these two organizations provide,” said Elizabeth Gordon, whose nut-allergic son once had a potentially-fatal reaction in school due to lack of education and epinephrine use.
Sixteen year-old allergy awareness activist Susan Tatelli traveled from Chicago to speak about what it’s like to live with multiple severe food allergies. Having had 17 anaphylactic reactions which required the use of epinephrine, Susan emphasized the importance of what to do when a severe reaction strikes: GIVE Epinephrine and GO call 911.
A live auction followed by a paddle raise, successfully run by Grier Pressly and Desiree Frerichs, drew participation throughout the entire room, with fantastic resort and hotel items at: Pine Creek (donated by Steve and Kerri Myers), The Tideline (donated by Jeff and Mei Sze Greene), Casa de Campo (donated by Pepe and Emilia Fanjul), and The Breakers (donated by The Breakers), and also a 5-course tasting menu with wine pairings at The Colony Hotel prepared by Chef Tom Whitaker (donated by Andrew and Sarah Wetenhall).