BOCA RATON, Fla. – (November 14, 2006) – The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation (MFRF) hosts its annual Gala event “An Evening of Sweetness and Laughter” featuring the musical comedy sensation “Forbidden Broadway” on Saturday, January 13, 2007 at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The festivities include a pre-show buffet and post-show dessert reception.
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.
In line with the theme, guests will enjoy laughter with “The Forbidden Broadway” show at 7:30 p.m. followed by the sweetness of a gourmet dessert reception.
“Forbidden Broadway” has been entertaining audiences for two decades with its madly inventive, hilarious homage to Broadway’s biggest shows. Featuring its own greatest musical hits, “Forbidden Broadway” parodies musical theater favorites including “Les Miz”, “The Lion King”, “Chicago”, “Cats”, “Mamma Mia” and many more.
The pre-show buffet will begin at 5:45 p.m. and feature the annual “See the Light” Awards Ceremony with honorees Dr. Anne Boykin, Dean of the Florida Atlantic University Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and Dr. Richard Bennett, Lead Physician for South Florida’s largest professional pediatric care provider, Pediatric Associates.
Tickets are $125 if purchased by December 6th and $150 thereafter. Early reservations and sponsorships are encouraged for prime seating.
“This special evening is our major fundraising event of the year and an opportunity to honor Dr. Anne Boykin and Dr. Richard Bennett with our “See the Light” awards for their outstanding contributions to the training and delivery of care for the families and children affected by children’s genetic diseases,” said MFRF president Kevin Romer.
Nurses are an integral part of the team caring for these children and families, and yet South Florida is experiencing catastrophic shortages of qualified nurses especially in the area of pediatrics and genetics, according to Romer.
Dr. Anne Boykin, Dean of the rapidly expanding Florida Atlantic University Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, is pioneering programs in partnership with The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation which focus study and clinical practice on these special needs.
Five of the college’s top students have already benefited from the MFRF scholarship program that has now become a model for other academic institutions in South Florida. Combining this leading nursing college with FAU’s recently launched medical school partnership with the University of Miami and Boca Community Hospital is providing a major pipeline for future healthcare talent in South Florida.
Dr. Richard Bennett, as lead physician for Pediatric Associates’ practices spanning from Palm Beach to Dade counties, has “quarterbacked” in home, office and hospital-based healthcare teams in the intensive care of children from all backgrounds battling fatal genetic diseases of the brain.
“Dr. Bennett’s compassion, accessibility, and eagerness to continue learning make him the prototype for caring for our group of rare diseases,” said Romer.
With the backing of Pediatric Associates, one of the largest pediatrician networks in the country caring for more than 250,000 children in South Florida, Dr. Bennett’s experience is transferred to more than 750 associated healthcare professionals.
Major sponsors of an “Evening of Sweetness and Laughter” at this time include the Adolph and Rose Levis Foundation, Judy Levis Markhoff, Tyco International, Akerman Senterfitt, Baron Delivers on Demand, Florida Atlantic University and Wachovia.
In October 2006, MFRF presented The Fourth Annual South Florida Genetic Testing and Education Fair which to date has provided free genetic testing to nearly 400 potential parents. More than 20% of those tested have been detected as carriers of at least one of six fatal genetic diseases including Tay-Sachs, Canavan, Cystic Fibrosis, Familial Dysautonomia, Gaucher and Niemann-Pick.
The National Research Initiative, co-founded by MFRF, has exceeded $700,000 in funding for its network with the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association (NTSAD) leading to an additional $2 million in federal funding for research.
MFRF also awarded its seventh Pediatric and Genetic Nursing Scholarship in 2006. To date, these scholarships have assisted students at four South Florida colleges including Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University and Nova Southeastern University.
Last Spring, MFRF was a Charter Platinum Sponsor and participant with Scripps Florida for the Inaugural Florida Biosciences Career & Education Expo benefiting high school students throughout the state.
The foundation also sponsored a Joint Pediatric Genetics Residency & Fellowship featuring a unique collaboration between the University of Miami’s Medical Genetics Center and Miami Children’s Hospital Clinical genetics.
For more information or to make reservations for An Evening of Sweetness & Laughter, call The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation at (561) 477-0337 or visit www.mfrfoundation.org.
About the Matthew Forbes Romer Foundation
The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation, established in 1998, is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS code that drives education and research of children’s genetics diseases of the brain, and is the South Florida affiliate of National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, the oldest genetics organization in the country. The foundation, now celebrating its eighth anniversary, is committed to increasing access to quality genetic testing, facilitating research of genetic diseases and bringing diagnostic and treatment options to South Florida.