Global Lyme Alliance’s Time For Lyme Gala in Greenwich Draws Crowds to Honor Marla Maples and Award Dr. Brian Fallon

Diane Blanchard, Marla Maples, Staci Grodin, Robert Kobre, Debbie Siciliano and Charles Balducci. Credit: Karen Sheer

Diane Blanchard, Marla Maples, Staci Grodin, Robert Kobre, Debbie Siciliano and Charles Balducci. Credit: Karen Sheer

Brian Fallon, M.D., director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center with Dr. Harriet Kotsoris, Global Lyme Alliance Chief Scientific Director. Credit: Karen Sheer

Brian Fallon, M.D., director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center with Dr. Harriet Kotsoris, Global Lyme Alliance Chief Scientific Director. Credit: Karen Sheer

It was a wonderful evening filled with hope, and a lot of glitz, at the Time For Lyme Gala on Saturday evening, April 2, at the Hyatt in Old Greenwich.

Lyme disease has become one of the fastest growing epidemics in the nation. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 300,000 new cases in the U.S. each year. Lyme Research Alliance (LRA) and Tick-Borne Disease  Alliance (TBDA), two of the most influential voices on Lyme and tick-borne disease, have merged to become Global Lyme Alliance.

Together, they form a leading tick-borne disease organization, allowing for greater resources to be applied to research on urgently needed improvements in diagnostic and treatments, while expanding awareness programs for the general public and physicians.

Steve Martin, Tony Dovolani, Marla Maples, co-chairs Rachel Robards and Marissa Swann, Debbie Siciliano, Robert Kobre and Diane Blanchard. Credit: Karen Sheer

Steve Martin, Tony Dovolani, Marla Maples, co-chairs Rachel Robards and Marissa Swann, Debbie Siciliano, Robert Kobre and Diane Blanchard. Credit: Karen Sheer

Brian A. Fallon, M.D.,M.P.H., director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center received the Lauren F. Brooks Hope Award at the gala from the Global Lyme Alliance.  He is extremely enthusiastic about the diagnostic, treatment and neuro-imaging studies that Columbia is conducting. He offers,”I am equally excited about the research my colleagues around the country are conducting. This is a time of exponential progress.”

Marla Maples was an honored guest, beaming in a glittery gold dress, as she mingled with the crowds. Maples was happy to share her battle with Lyme Disease, and calls herself a quiet warrior. “I am a lucky one. Others suffer daily with chronic symptoms,” she said. “I try to boost my immune system the best I can.”

Maples contracted Lyme disease at the age of 22 while in Guatemala and the Peace Corps. Her purpose with the alliance, as a survivor, is help others with the disease, and to lend her belief of importance of the mind-body spirit connection.

Marla Maples chats with Staci Grodin, co-founder Turn the Corner Foundation, and Robert Kobre, GLA Chairman. Credit: Karen Sheer

Marla Maples chats with Staci Grodin, co-founder Turn the Corner Foundation, and Robert Kobre, GLA Chairman. Credit: Karen Sheer

Marla Maples with television personality Robert Verdi, master of ceremonies. Credit: Karen Sheer

Marla Maples with television personality Robert Verdi, master of ceremonies. Credit: Karen Sheer

“Private sector findings so important to our cause and understanding Lyme. These funds will help improve testing and treatments,” says Harriet Kotsoris, M.D. – Time For lyme Medical Director.

“I am very excited. This is a great evening for Greenwich with a terrific turnout of many passionate people,” Robert Kobre, GLA chairman said. ” We are making good progress, every year we are getting closer and closer to a developing a test for Lyme.. and making promising advances therapeutically.”

Marla and her dance partner Tony Dovolani (with scarf) with the GLA Board. Credit: Karen Sheer

Marla and her dance partner Tony Dovolani (with scarf) with the GLA Board. Credit: Karen Sheer

Dr. Susan Eisen has also become a Lyme Advocate working in the diagnosing and support of chronic Lyme patients, several years ago she developed acute Lyme disease. She has created Tick tock Naturals, a line of organic ingredient insect repellent sprays to keep you and your family bug free. As I smelled her product (all who attended received a sample), she beamed, “all natural ingredients… with an essence of zesty lemongrass.”

Dr. Susan Eisen with Ally Hilfiger. Credit: Karen Sheer

Dr. Susan Eisen with Ally Hilfiger. Credit: Karen Sheer

Stephanie Trotta with Julia Knox- Comeau, board of directors LRA. Credit: Karen Sheer

Stephanie Trotta with Julia Knox-Comeau, LRA board of directors. Credit: Karen Sheer

Dr. Ying Zhang (left), professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Credit: Karen Sheer

Dr. Ying Zhang (left), professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Credit: Karen Sheer

Bryanna Kallman, Ally Hilfiger and Jennifer Frascella. Credit: Karen Sheer

Bryanna Kallman, Ally Hilfiger and Jennifer Frascella. Credit: Karen Sheer

Heather Glass with Robert Verdi. Credit: Karen Sheer

Heather Glass with Robert Verdi. Credit: Karen Sheer

Many fabulous, elaborate silent auction items were offered, such as; Lunch with Marla Maples, private dance lesson with Tony Dovolani (her Dancing with the Stars partner), 2 club tickets to New York Giants first game of the season, and 4 VIP tickets to the Dr. Oz Show. The live and silent auction has raised over $240,000 and the final dollars brought in are still pending – how fabulous!

One of over 100 silent auction items to bid on. Credit: Karen Sheer

One of over 100 silent auction items to bid on. Credit: Karen Sheer

4.2.16 - Lyme Greenwich-4

Lunch with Marla and a twirl with dancer Tony Dovolani, a silent auction offering. Credit: Karen Sheer

The ballroom was dressed up to compliment the guests with elegant cream hanging lanterns, live spring blossoming branches and bold blue lighting.

The ballroom was as beautiful as the guests. Credit: Karen Sheer

The ballroom was as beautiful as the guests. Credit: Karen Sheer

Credit: Karen Sheer

Stephanie Trotta, Ruthanne Ruzika and Julia Knox-Comeau and Patricia Chadwick. Credit: Karen Sheer

Credit: Karen Sheer

Credit: Karen Sheer

Credit: Karen Sheer

Harriet Kotsoris, M.D, Marla Maples and Dr. Mayla Dr. Hsu. Credit: Karen Sheer

Brett Kristoff, Tamara Eichorn and Henry Dosch. Credit: Karen Sheer

Brett Kristoff, Tamara Eichorn and Henry Dosch. Credit: Karen Sheer

Kathy Carly Spanier (left) with guests. Credit: Karen Sheer

Credit: Karen Sheer

Committed to help find a cure, wearing a Lyme tick tie, watch... and even a tattoo. Credit: Karen Sheer

Committed to help find a cure, wearing a Lyme tick tie, watch… and even a tattoo. Credit: Karen Sheer

Credit: Karen Sheer

Vicki Kyriakos Credit: Karen Sheer

An animated Marla Maples happy to share her battle with Lyme disease, and offer hope. She was an honored guest. Credit: Karen Sheer

An animated Marla Maples shared her battle with Lyme disease, and offered hope. Credit: Karen Sheer

“While we were pleased to receive so many solid applications from talented scientists this year, it underscores the fact that only 17 percent of grant applications receive funding from the government these days,” said Harriet Kotsoris, M.D.

The Lyme community must combine forces to bring about the massive increase in research investment through private and government sources, that will be needed to make Lyme and other tick-borne diseases (TBD’s) both preventable and curable.


Image

Email news tips to Greenwich Free Press editor Leslie.Yager@GreenwichFreePress.com
Like us on Facebook

Twitter

Subscribe to the daily Greenwich Free Press newsletter.

  • Bug Shield made with Oil of lemon eucalyptus is the only plant-based active ingredient recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for mosquito protection. Oil of lemon eucalyptus provides protection similar to lower concentrations of DEET Bug Shield works great for outdoor outings, but should not be substituted for DEET-based products if you’re traveling in severe insect conditions where Nest Nile virus or malaria may be prevalent. Natures Bug Shield is only made with Lemon Eucalyptus and Soy. Just a few sprays will keep mosquitoes and ticks away for hours. http://www.naturesbugshield.com