GREENWICH, Conn. -- Global Lyme Alliance's “Time for Lyme” fundraising Gala, held Saturday, April 2 at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, raised over $900,000 to fund research and ultimately a cure for Lyme and other debilitating tick-borne illnesses.
About 450 guests attended the event, including U.S. Sen. Richard A. Blumenthal, pioneering Lyme disease researcher Dr. Brian A. Fallon, Donald Trump's ex and actress Marla Maples, as well as business leaders, scientists and philanthropists.
“We are extremely grateful to all those who made our 'Time for Lyme' Gala such a wonderful success—our sponsors, volunteers, donors, families and friends,” said GLA Chairman Robert Kobre.
Honored at the event was Fallon, director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center, who received the Lauren F. Brooks Hope Award, and Maples, a Lyme survivor and recent “Dancing With the Stars” contestant.
At the dinner, Fallon, a Fairfield resident, said, “there has been a major shift in our understanding of Lyme disease. This shift is paradigm changing. Now chronic symptoms are accepted as worthy of study. Now it is well recognized that persistent infection after treatment can happen.”
Maples said, “I am a lucky one,” about surviving Lyme. “Others suffer daily with chronic symptoms. I try to boost my immune system the best I can.”
Gala Co-Chairs Robards and Swann each spoke about their personal experiences with Lyme.
“Watching our naturally overly energetic JJ one day seem healthy and another day calling me into his room with tears saying he can’t move was devastating,” Robards said about her 4-year-old son, Jake Jr., who struggled with Lyme for two years before being diagnosed and successfully treated.
Following the speakers, an auction was led by Jason Lamoreaux of Stokes Auction Group.
In addition to the Gala, GLA hosted its annual closed-door Lyme Research Symposium.
Global Lyme Alliance will hold another fundraiser in New York City on Thursday, Oct.13, at Cipriani’s on 42nd Street, called “Uniting for a Lyme-Free World.”