The Fifteenth Annual Food Allergy Ball took place one week ago today Monday, December 3, 2012 at The Grand Ballroom of The Waldorf Astoria. The Ball, which garnered nearly 400 supporters, and raised 4 million dollars that evening. The Food Allergy Initiative Fifteenth Annual Food Allergy Ball serves as a signature event for FARE,*** a national nonprofit organization dedicated to food allergy research and education.
The evening began with a cocktail hour, one that extensively gathered where board members, honorees, and guests. Greeted via colorful fanfare, by ladies and children dressed in early 20th century garb and carrying mock newspapers, attendees were encouraged to enjoy the evening via imbibing on this year's specialties-- a pineapple Thai Basil Champagne cocktail and bites of vegetarian soba noodle sushi. Julia Koch, Sharyn T. Mann and Todd J. Slotkin were the Gala Dinner Chairs. David H. Koch was the Corporate Dinner Chair. Liana Silverstein Backal and Arthur Backal, Abbey and Steven Braverman, Patricia and James Cayne, Nina Rennert Davidson and Mitchell Davidson, Roxanne and Dean Palin, and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff and David Wolkoff were the Benefit Dinner Chairs.
A red carpet was walked by the aforementioned as well as ABC Eyewitness News New York Anchor Lori Stokes, renown Restaurateur Drew Nierpont, Board Members Roslyn & Eliot Jaffe and many others. Immediately following cocktails guests were seated for a truly elegant dinner. The black-tie gala dinner gave way to a red-hued tented dining room and luxuriously appointed banquet tables. As in previous years, cuisine featured was free of a peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish. This year's three course Asian feast was inspired by Celeb Chef Ming Tsai (an honoree of the evening), expertly served were a sake-miso marinated Alaskan Butterfish,wasabi oil, soy syrup and vegetarian soba noodle sushi; Szchewan Chicken w/ sticky rice and sauteed mustard greens, garlic-ginger-soy syrup and sweet chile sauce; Flourless bittersweet chocolate cake, cardamom ice cream, Spiced sugar wafer and chocolate ganache.
2012 honorees included: Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan Inc., for her profound commitment to the safety of food-allergic children nationwide. Celeb chef Ming Tsai, beloved for his late 90's early 2000's Food Network show, East Meets West, renowned not only for his culinary but his tireless food allergy advocacy, received FARE’s Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to an outstanding restaurateur who has demonstrated compassion for the food-allergic community.
Highlights of the Evening included: A welcome by Sharyn T. Mann; introduction by FARE’s CEO, John Lehr, who shared “Up to 15 million Americans have a food allergy, including one in every 13 children—or roughly two in every classroom,” said as he thanked the audience for their support. “The need for a cure—and for increased education about the impact of this potentially life-threatening condition—is urgent;” remarks by Todd J. Slotkin, as well as a special performance by Lilla Crawford and Anthony Warlow, stars of the Broadway musical Annie.
The evening ended with guests departing with a generously apportioned gift bag, amply filled with allergy free products from Divvies, No Nut Nation, and more.
***FARE was formed by the recent merger between the nation’s leading food allergy organizations, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), which has sponsored the Ball since 1998.
*photo #1 by TheQuest for "it"; photos #2 & 3 by Adriel Reboh/Patrick Mc Mullan