End Allergies Together holds third annual fundraising event

Robyn O’Brien
Robyn O’Brien

End Allergies Together (E.A.T.), the only nonprofit organization that solely funds research for the growing food allergy epidemic, will host its third annual fundraising event, “An Evening to EAT,” on Thursday, April 19, at 6 p.m., at l’escale restaurant in the Delamar Hotel in Greenwich. Best-selling author and food allergy activist Robyn O’Brien will be honored with the Courage Award for her dedication to advocating for a healthier food system and greater collaboration among those trying to protect the health of our families. The event includes cocktails, dinner, and a live auction.

“Food allergies barely existed 40 years ago, yet today there are two kids in every classroom affected. Something has happened to ignite this epidemic in such a short period of time,” said Elise Bates, co-founder and president of E.A.T. “When Robyn O’Brien’s youngest daughter had a reaction to eggs and yogurt, she asked a critical question, ‘Are we allergic to our food or what we’ve done to it?’ This simple question started a global dialogue about the quality of our food system, our children’s health and the food allergy spike. Through her leadership, courage, and emphasis on collaboration, the food allergy community has a stronger and growing voice.”

As a best-selling author, public speaker, strategist and mother of four children, O’Brien has been shining a spotlight on the food industry throughout her career. While working as a successful financial analyst, her life took an abrupt turn when her fourth child experienced a life-threatening allergic reaction. This scare led her to become a vocal advocate founding the AllergyKids Foundation and MomVoices. In her first book, The Unhealthy Truth, she reveals insight into the American food supply and the alarming increases in food allergies, cancers  and other chronic diseases and highlights the actions needed at the local, national and global levels to secure a smarter food system. O’Brien was a leading voice during the “#epigate” movement for skyrocketing prices of Epi-pens in 2016.

“We have seen over and over again, what the food allergy community can do, from driving changes in the food industry to championing Congressional hearings regarding the price of EpiPens to bringing affordable, life-saving epinephrine devices to the market. And while our individual voices are beautiful, it is our collective voices, joined together like a choir, that is so powerful. It is an honor to come together with E.A.T. and the amazing families who are part of this important mission.”

The Journal of Asthma and Allergy found that more than 17 million people in the United States have food allergies, and one in 12 children are diagnosed with food allergies, according to a study in Pediatrics, a journal published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. There are 90,000 cases of anaphylaxis each year, and every three minutes someone goes to the emergency room with a food allergic reaction.  

Since launching in 2015, E.A.T. has committed more than $1.2 million to fund seven promising research efforts by scientists seeking food allergy treatments and cures, including Imperial College of London, Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford University, University of Chicago, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Cincinnati Children’s, the Food Allergy Science Initiative at the Broad Institute.  

The 2018 host committee for An Evening to EAT includes residents from Westchester and Fairfield Counties: Bonnie Ackerman, Elise Bates, Wendy Block, Tara Blais, Tamara Brolin, Hillary Carter, Kimberley Cooper, Bridgett di Bonaventura, Sarah Dolder, Rachel Farscht, Lisa Gershon, Lauren Goldberg, Carey Halio, Kim Hall, Sandi Kornblum, Abbe Large, Kristin Lemkau, Ashley McGrail, Ellen-Jane Moss, Leslie Noland, Jackie Ourman, Michele Posner, Georgine Ragsdale, Dara Rosenberg, Adele Saunders, Jessica Stone, Wendy Tannenbaum, Nikki Thompson, and Bonnie Weinbach.

Tickets start at $250 for individuals; $3,500 for tables. To purchase tickets, visit 501auctions.com/endallergiestogether.

End Allergies Together (“E.A.T.”) is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization focused on raising money for food allergy research. Proceeds go directly to the researchers dedicated to finding answers for this growing epidemic affecting 17 million Americans. E.A.T. was launched in May 2015 to help bridge the significant gap in research funding. Since that time,  E.A.T. has committed more than $1.2 million to fund seven promising research efforts by scientists seeking food allergy treatments and cures. E.A.T. is the only nonprofit solely committed to funding food allergy research.
For more information regarding the E.A.T. fundraiser, or the organization itself, visit EndAllergiesTogether.com.