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The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation Celebrates It's 10th Anniversary with an "Extraordinary Evening of Sweetness & Laughter"

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2009
BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation (MFRF) celebrates its 10th Anniversary with “An Evening of Sweetness & Laughter” featuring the comedy of Jeff Caldwell and dancing to the sounds of Euphoria on Saturday, February 7, 2009 at Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton.  Festivities also include the annual “See the Light” awards honoring Judy Levis Markhoff.   Ric Blackwell of WPEC-TV/CBS 12 will serve as master of ceremonies.
    Inspired by the strength of a little boy with the fatal Tay-Sachs disease, MFRF was founded in South Florida in 1998 to support education and research of children’s genetics diseases of the brain.  To date, the Foundation has raised more than $1.2 million toward its mission.
    “This year especially, we are offering our guests an escape from our challenging times with an exceptional evening of entertainment, laughter, gourmet food and fun at a per ticket cost that provides an extraordinary value,” said MFRF president Kevin Romer.  “This special 10th Anniversary celebration is our highly anticipated event of the year and an opportunity to honor longtime benefactor and friend Judy Levis Markhoff with our annual “See the Light” award for her outstanding support of genetic testing and education programs in our community.”
    Judy is the daughter of Adolph and Rose Levis, pioneers of the Adolph and Rose Levis Jewish Community Center of South Palm Beach County.  “Born to give”, said Judy, she is involved in many other charities supporting education, healthcare and families with special needs.  Judy, and her husband, Paul, a retired trial attorney, are residents of Delray Beach.
    Tickets for “An Evening of Sweetness & Laughter” are $175 if purchased by January 15, 2009 and $200 thereafter.
    Following a gourmet dinner, providing the laughter for the evening will be nationally known comedian Jeff Caldwell who appears regularly on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and on college campuses with Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show”.  Caldwell has been called “incredible” by Dennis Miller and “funny and smart” by the late George Carlin.
     Major sponsors of the event include the Adolph and Rose Levis Foundation, Judy Levis Markhoff, West Boca Medical Center/Tenet Foundation, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Akerman Senterfitt, Meran Group at Merrill Lynch and Baron Delivers on Demand.
    In 2008, The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation surpassed the Million Dollar Milestone in fundraising with only 5% of the money raised going to administrative costs.
    In November, MFRF teamed with The Victor Center for Jewish Genetic Diseases at The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on The South Florida Jewish Genetic Diseases Educational Fair at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. To date, MFRF has delivered free genetic testing and education to more than 600 potential parents resulting in more than 20% being detected as carriers of at least one of a family of genetic diseases.
    In addition, The National Research Initiative, co-founded by MFRF and the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association (NTSAD) network, has exceeded $1 million in funding leading to an additional $2 million in federal funding for research.  The Gene Therapy Consortium, which is supported by the Initiative, has announced an unprecedented goal of reaching clinical trails for Tay-Sachs disease in three to four years and has already demonstrated that treated mice can live full life spans!
    MFRF funded four new Pediatric and Genetic Nursing Scholarship grants in 2008 for a total of 13.  These scholarships have assisted students at major South Florida colleges including Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University and Nova Southeastern University.
    MFRF has also expanded support for the Neurogenetic Patient Registry, now tracking more than 500 children through Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) Brain Institute and the Pediatric Genetics Residency & Fellowship with MCH in partnership with The University of Miami School of Medicine.
    The Foundation also continued as one of the select member organizations of the national Jewish Genetic Disease Consortium (JGDC) to efficiently educate medical professionals, rabbis and the Ashkenazi Jewish population about carrier screening.
    Kevin and Lisajane Romer have also been honored by The Palm Beach County Medical Society “Heroes in Medicine” program for the Foundation’s work.
      To make reservations for “An Evening of Sweetness & Laughter”, call The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation at (561) 477-0337 or visit www.mfrfoundation.org.
Photo ID:  Event co-chairs for The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Gala “An Evening of Sweetness and Laughter”
Pablo and Bettina Meles, left, Kevin and Lisajane Romer, Harry and Linda Meran



The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation's mission is to promote and lead critical awareness, testing, counseling, and research initiatives that hold promise for the prevention and eventual cure of fatal children's genetic diseases of the brain




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