Lyme Research Alliance’s “Time for Lyme” Gala Raises More than $1 Million to Fund Research

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Proceeds will be used to support research to improve diagnosis, treatment and ultimately find a cure for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases

Left to right: Diane Blanchard, Brett Kristoff, Mark Hopwood, Debbie Siciliano and Ally Hilfiger

We are thrilled to raise this record-breaking amount

Lyme Research Alliance (LRA) announced today that its “Time for Lyme” Gala, held Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, raised over $1 million to fund research and ultimately a cure for Lyme and other debilitating tick-borne diseases.

“We are thrilled to raise this record-breaking amount,” said Debbie Siciliano, LRA’s co-president. “We’re particularly grateful to the many supporters of LRA whose dedication to supporting research initiatives to improve diagnosis, treatment and ultimately find a cure for tick-borne diseases is extraordinary.”

Some 550 guests attended the event, which was co-chaired by Ally Hilfiger, Brett Kristoff, and Mark Hopwood. Craig Cogut, founder and managing partner of Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. and his attorney wife, Deborah, served as corporate chairs. The Gala featured a live and silent auction and entertainment by the band, ETA.

At the event, Yolanda Foster, a season three cast member of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and a chronic Lyme sufferer, was honored with LRA’s Star Light Award, in recognition for her advocacy and for serving as a role model for those afflicted with Lyme disease. “I’m accepting this incredible award,” she told the audience, “on behalf of all my fellow Lyme Warriors out there who are living in darkness battling this silent killer.”

The collaborative team of Drs. Steven Schutzer, M.D., of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and Mark Eshoo, Ph.D, director of new technology at Ibis Biosciences, a subsidiary of Abbott, received the Lauren F. Brooks Hope Award at the Gala. The honor is given to those who are making significant strides in research and treatment in the pursuit of a Lyme disease cure.

In addition, Tommy Hilfiger, one of the evening’s Honorary Event Chairs, took the stage to congratulate Thalia Mottola for creating a Spanish-language Lyme education website that provides Spanish speakers with access to crucial information about Lyme disease.

Earlier in the day, LRA hosted a closed-door Lyme Research Symposium for eminent members of the community who are either current LRA grant recipients or members of LRA’s newly-expanded Scientific Advisory Board. The symposium is a unique peer-to-peer scientific forum at which Lyme researchers confidentially exchange information and resources, in the interest of accelerating the discovery process.

“The seminar on the morning of the Gala is an example of how LRA brings together scientists for the benefit of this cause,” said Diane Blanchard, LRA co-president. “Our mission is to promote tick-borne disease research and we bring together the key people who are making a difference in the research community.”

LRA’s Gala is its largest fundraiser of the year and proceeds fund important medical research projects. LRA is the leading private funding organization for cutting-edge research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases by universities and major medical institutions around the U.S.

In 2007, LRA partnered with Columbia University Medical Center in New York City and the Lyme Disease Association to endow the nation’s first Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Research Center at Columbia.
Lyme Research Alliance, formerly Time for Lyme, is a Connecticut-based, national non-profit that funds cutting-edge research into Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. For more information go to

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Peter Wild

Rona Cherry
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