Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation Raises More than $100,000 During an “Evening of Sweetness and Laughter”

Dr. Anne Boykin and Dr. Richard Bennett honored with “See the Light” Awards

BOCA RATON, Fla. – (February 5, 2007) – A successful “Evening of Sweetness and Laughter” raised more than $100,000 for The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation (MFRF) on Saturday, January 13 at The Broward Center.
Among the 225 guests who enjoyed a buffet dinner, a performance of the musical comedy sensation “Forbidden Broadway”, a gourmet dessert reception and a private performance by The Broadway Bound Singers were South Florida leaders from government, industry, healthcare and academia.
During the evening’s festivities, the MFRF honored 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’
North Miami Beach office with the Foundation’s annual “See the Light” awards.
Inspired by the strength of a little boy, Mathew Romer, with the fatal Tay-Sachs disease, MFRF was founded in South Florida in 1998 to support education and research of fatal children’s genetic diseases of the brain.
“We are fast approaching the million dollar milestone in fundraising for our Foundation as we partner with leading institutions in South Florida including Florida Atlantic University, Scripps Florida, Miami Children’s Hospital and The University of Miami to support leading genetic researchers, educators, physicians and nurses in our area,” said MFRF President Kevin Romer.
Under the leadership of Dr. Boykin, FAU’s College of Nursing is pioneering programs in partnership with The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation which focus study and clinical practice on the special needs of children. 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.
“It was a very special evening and a great honor to be recognized by The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation with its See the Light award,” said Dr. Boykin. “The Foundation has many special people with an important mission, and it is a privilege to partner with them to further its vital work.”
Dr. Richard Bennett, as lead physician for Pediatric Associates’ North Miami Beach and formerly Boca Raton practices, 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.
“Every child is remarkably special and deserving of the best medical care possible, “said Dr. Bennett. “It was a great privilege to care for Mathew Romer and other affected children, and I am pleased to be recognized by the Foundation as we continue to learn how best to care for children with complicated medical conditions and their families.”
Major sponsors of an “Evening of Sweetness and Laughter” included the Adolph and Rose Levis Foundation, Judy Levis Markhoff, Dr. and Mrs. Emanuel T. Phillips, Tyco Fire and Security, Akerman Senterfitt, Florida Atlantic University, Lois and Herm Siegel, Genzyme Corporation, Baron Delivery on Demand, Wachovia, Carole Romer and Carnival Cruise Lines.
Event co-chairs were Lisajane and Kevin Romer and Linda and Harry Meran. Raffle chairwoman was Lois Siegel. Committee members included Carl Meyers, Lisa and Allan Spiro, Pablo Meles, Carole Romer, Ellen Meyers, Walter Collins, Sondra and Manny Geller, Dawn McCormick, Herm Siegel, Alyse Stoll and Jill Morgenstein.
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 ninth 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 and Brain Institute.
For more information, call The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation at (561) 477-0337 or visit

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