“Our family is committed to creating national food allergy awareness and to find a cure” Karen Mandelbaum Gala Co Chair of the 19th Annual Food Allergy Ball and grandmother of three with life-threatening food allergies told the black tie guests at the Waldorf-Astoria. “Since we met last year, two people died from food allergy episode—a NJ high school senior and a sophomore at Dartmouth. They had nothing in common…but were food allergic. Senseless deaths …we want to make sure this does not happen again and again.”
The event honored Helenand David Jaffe each of whose four children has different food allergies. Helen Jaffe recalled how in “1995 when my children started elementary school they could not address food allergies.. Four mothers and I went to work— Food allergies affect one in 13 kids in the U.S.—Teachers and staff were not happy to take time out of their busy day to learn about food allergies—but over the course of two years a group of parents working with teachers and administrators established the first allergy policy at the Westport Public Schools.”
“To see your child go into anaphylactic shock becomes indelibly carved into your memory,” said Gala Co-Chair Lianne Mandelbaum as she described a memory with what could have had an unthinkable outcome. “I recently returned from Rome where I made a presentation on travel…. JetBlue Airways has demonstrated its commitment to accommodating the food allergy community…. After a bad personal experience on another carrier, they gave my family back its dignity. In addition to not serving peanuts, Jet Blue provides passengers with snacks from a dedicated nut-free manufacturer…allows pre-boarding and will create a buffer zone upon request.”
“As many of you know, there is no ER thousands of feet up in the air…yet many airlines still only carry unlabeled vials of epinephrine. JetBlue goes a step further than that,” said Lianne. “They carry Epinephrine injectors on every plane so they are prepared for an emergency.”
Among the joys of a FARE dinner gala is that the menu itemizes all the ingredients. This evening’s gala dinner was designed by The Fare Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Michelin-starred James Beard award-winning Chef Gabriel Kreuther whose first course [Butternut Squash Panna Cotta] was comprised of 36 ingredients! The alternative was Beet Carpacio (17 ingredients), another option entrée “Red Wine Poached Beef Tenderloin” included 21 ingredients.
Among the gowned and black tie guests—Honorary Dinner Chair Sharyn T. Mann one of the founders of the Food Allergy Initiative Organization that evolved into FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education).