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Food Allergy Research and Education 20th Anniversary Ball

Allergy Advocacy Association creative director Toni Taylor attended the FARE gala fundraiser in early December.

FARE 20th Anniversary Food Allergy Ball Sign

Food Allergy Research and Education 20th Anniversary Ball

By Toni Taylor
December 4th, 2017

It started in 1998 with a proclamation by President Bill Clinton starting Food Allergy Week in May of 2000. From this auspicious beginning Food Allergies Research and Education has grown into a global leader of food allergy research and advocacy. FARE strives to set priorities in food allergy research and advocacy that are supportive to all who work in the allergy community.

People on stage at FARE 20th Anniversary Food Allergy Ball

Five hundred food allergy advocates-parents, children, advocates, and researchers-from around the world gathered on December 4th in New York City for FARE’s annual gala at the Pierre Hotel. This year, they celebrated their 20th Anniversary by highlighting their global impact over the years and the latest work of many activists in the field. Here are a few from the categories of research, advocacy, and food.


Keeping with FARE’s primary focus on research, this year’s group of honorees is doing ground breaking work in the areas of OIT (oral immunotherapy), moving research findings into clinical practice, and early stage prevention. The work of these research honorees from Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Arkansas, and Kings College is moving us closer to a treatment for food allergies.

Dr. Stacie Jones of University of Arkansas Children’s Hospital is focusing on moving findings on inflammation of the esophagus and asthma due to food allergies into clinical practice.

Work lead by Dr. Gideon Lack of King’s College London focuses on preventing food allergies with oral tolerance induction (the introduction of minute amounts of allergen in infants), resulting in 80% reduction in the development of peanut allergies.

Dr. Scott Sicherer of Mount Sinai and author of “A Complete Guide to Eating When Your Life Depends on It” and other publications has, with his epidemiological research, confirmed the increase of peanut allergies, advocated for allergen food labelling, and other allergy related quality of life issues creating benchmarks against which all work in the allergy related fields can be measured.

While most of these studies are focused on food related allergens, we’ll be closely watching for results that are directly applicable to research in environmental allergens as well.


Since raising awareness is the primary purpose of our association, working with FARE and following its advocacy lead drives our own priorities and activities. The work of these honorees is directly in line with our own goals.

Becky Basalone of the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee, who with FARE Community Outreach funding created Project Teal, to encourage members of her community to place teal painted pumpkins on their doorsteps during Halloween to signal allergy safe trick-or-treating stops. Basalone gifted the program to FARE, who changed the name to the Teal Pumpkin Project and expanded it nationally.

Lianne Mandelbaum (Event Co-Chair and Guest of Honor for her work in food allergies during air travel) voiced that there wasn’t a parent in the room who hadn’t faced down the terror of a child in the throws of an allergic or anaphylactic response. The notion of parental fearlessness when saving their children was neatly echoed in songs from the Tony award winning Broadway musical, Dear Evan Hansen, sung by Rachel Bay Jones who stars in the show and is also a Tony winner.

With their executive level backgrounds in national print and broadcast publishing Gwen Smith & Peter Wilmshurst launched Allergic Living in 2011. It continues to be the premiere national source of information in the food allergy community with more that 1 million readers per issue and maintains an incredibly comprehensive website used by all in the allergy community.

Making life safer for food allergic families in the areas of air travel, trick-or-treating, and thriving with allergies are goals we share and will promote during our own advocacy activities.


The allergy friendly menu was designed by Charles Masson, previous long-time owner of La Grenouille in New York City and current proprietor of Baccarat Hotel and Residences. Mr. Masson was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award for creating and sharing his passion for food by creating glorious, inclusive experiences for food allergic patrons.

Masson was introduced by past Life Time Achievement Award Winner Drew Nieporent, founder of the Myriad Restaurant Group, including Tribecca Grill and the Nobu properties, and many others across the country. Nieporent has been at the forefront of creating food allergy safe dining experiences since the inception of the Myriad Restaurant Group.

Mandy Bond, Food and Beverage Director for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is this year’s Corporate Dinner Honoree. As F&B Director, Bond has a global impact fully integrating the requirements of food allergic families into the Disney experience since 1987, when she joined the company.

The work and insights of these three food professionals will be most useful as we consider outreach to the restaurant industry in Monroe County and as we continue work on implementing the Emergency Allergy Treatment Act.

We are inspired!

With FARE leading the way in food allergy research and advocacy, we are eager to continue our work in translating FARE funded initiatives into activities that have direct impact on the lives of those in Monroe County who suffer from allergies. The vision of the Allergy Advocacy Association is a clear and direct one: Not another life to lost to anaphylaxis; not another life lost to life-threatening allergies.

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