The 2010 FAAN (Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network) Walk for Food Allergy was held in Chicago in Lincoln Park on Sunday, October 17th. The theme of this year’s walk was “Moving Toward A Cure.” Cybele Pascal, author of The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook, and Kelly Rudnicki, author of The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book, were in attendance to sign copies of their books, and Cybele Pascal was the local celebrity chair of the event. The walk officially kicked off with Cybele Pascal and FAAN officials making some announcements and recognizing the top fundraising teams and some strides made in the allergy world in the past year. Out of 54 total Walks this year, 36 have been completed, putting FAAN at 75% of their goal of $2,669,000. $78,014, was raised at the Chicago location this week end, our team contributed over $800, hitting our goal for this year. There were many donations mailed in that have not yet been calculated (from our team and in general), so I’m sure the numbers will go up once all of those come in.
We had extremely beautiful weather to walk in, though the breeze off of the lake was a bit cool and we were thankful that we made team sweatshirts as well as tee shirts. There were officially 13 people walking as the Illinois Valley Food Allergy Support Team this year – our family, Bud’s mom, Kristy and AJ, Amber (our team captain) and Kory and their two boys, and Amber’s mom. We walked a three mile course that wound through some of Lincoln Park Zoo and along the lakefront. The fall colors were absolutely gorgeous in the sunshine. We took some great team photos, and got beautiful shots of the kids along the walk route. You can see some of the photos on my blog: www.abcsandallergies.blogspot.com. When we arrived and parked our van, we met up with the rest of our team and got registered and got our official walk tee shirts, then were free to visit the vendor tables before the walk began. There were many vendors on hand this year. DEY, (www.EpiPen.com) makers of EpiPens, were on hand to demonstrate the new EpiPen design and hand out trainer pens. The new design is much easier to use and more ergonomic, if a bit larger than the old one. Enjoy Life (www.enjoylifefoods.com) was also on hand to give out free samples of some allergen friendly granola and snack bars, as well as coupons for their products, which includes the only chocolate bars that are safe for Mandie. They also had a wonderfully informative brochure on celiac and the top 8 allergens. We tried samples of some gummy candies by Surf Sweets (www.surfsweets.com), some of which are free of palm, which delighted Mandie to no end. Mandie also got to eat her very first (gluten free) pretzel, which was made and distributed by Kim and Scott Holstein of Kim & Scott’s café twist on North Lincoln Ave in Chicago (www.kimandscotts.com). They are an excellent company and very allergy aware, and their pretzels are excellent! They have non gluten free pretzels in the freezer section at Whole Foods and Jewel stores, and hope to begin selling their gluten free line at those stores soon. There were also vendors there from Divvies (www.divvies.com), Sunbutter (www.sunbutter.com), Barney Butter Almond Butters (www.barneybutter.com), Ian’s Naturals (www.iansnaturalfoods.com), and Pirate Brands Gluten Free Snacks (www.piratebrands.com).
After the walk our team enjoyed a picnic lunch together on a sunny hillside in the park, then everyone headed home. We already have plans for some fundraisers for next year, and are thinking seriously about walking in Nashville as well as Chicago.
I would like to thank all of you for your prayers and support. We could not have met our goals and had such a successful walk without all of you.
|Mandie's first ever pretzel - by Kim & Steve's cafe twist.|
|Illinois Valley Food Allergy Support team, Chicago 2010.|
|Starting off the walk!|
|Our best friends came from TN to walk w/our team!|
|Great photo along Lake Michigan.|
|AJ & Mandie - best friends forever.|