FARE Walk Raises Funds for Food Allergy Research

Children from Team OMG, from left to right: Emmy Falencki, Mia Karish, Matt Karish, Grayson Carter and Owen Carter have fun with Storm at the FARE Walk for Food Allergy. Photo credit: Roberta Ruocco.
Children from Team OMG, from left to right: Emmy Falencki, Mia Karish, Matt Karish, Grayson Carter and Owen Carter have fun with Storm at the FARE Walk for Food Allergy. Photo credit: Roberta Ruocco.

Nearly 450 individuals from all over Connecticut came together Sept. 24 for the annual FARE Walk for Food Allergy. The Walk supports the efforts of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergy. The Fairfield County Walk raised $162,030 to support food allergy research, education, advocacy and awareness initiatives.

Greenwich-based Team OMG was the walk’s number one fund-raiser, bringing in $77,906 for FARE. The team is chaired by Greenwich residents Hillary Carter and Julie Karish. Carter’s sons, Owen and Grayson, and Julie’s daughter, Mia, all have multiple severe food allergies.

“We created Team OMG four years ago and have participated in the FARE Walk for Food Allergy every year to raise funds for research and raise awareness about what our children manage daily,” said Karish. “We could not be more thrilled that our friends and family have supported our children in such a generous and loving way,” added Carter.

The Fairfield County FARE Walk for Food Allergy was held at Sherwood Island State Park Pavilion in Westport. The family-fun day included activities for all ages including a face painter, relay races, carnival games, a strolling magician and live music from Hartford-based reggae band Ras Spectiv. This year’s event also incorporated an arts and crafts table where children made Teal Jack-O-Lantern door signs to celebrate FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project, a national initiative that promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies by encouraging households to display a teal pumpkin and provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.

Actor Mark Moses, of Desperate Housewives, Mad Men and Homeland, served as emcee of the walk. Dr. Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Allergy and Immunology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, served as the Honorary Medical Chair of the Walk.

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