March 10th Kravis Center High-Tech Magic Extravaganza Features “The Illusionists –Live from Broadway”; See the Light Awards Will Highlight Past Honorees for Scientific and Community Leadership

Boca Raton, FL, January 16, 2018 – The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation (MFRF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and research of children’s genetic diseases of the brain, is celebrating 20 years. Inspired by the strength of Mathew Romer, who lost his eight-year battle with Tay-Sachs disease, The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation (MFRF) was founded in South Florida with a mission 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.

Since being launched 20 years ago, the Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation has raised over $2 million to fund projects spanning its mission with only five percent of the money raised going to administrative costs. Thanks to its efforts, the Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation has successfully:

  • Funded more than 30 nursing scholarships with Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University; created nursing school training programs including simulating in-home family care.
  • Hosted countless South Florida Genetic Testing and Education Fairs; screened over 1,200 potential parents with as high as 50 percent detection. Produced the training video of the International Tay-Sachs Quality Control Laboratory.
  • Conceived of and grew the National Research Initiative to 50 projects, $3.2 million in grants and many promising therapies with the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association (NTSAD).
  • Helped establish the Tay-Sachs Gene Therapy Consortium to accelerate pre-clinical and clinical trials.
  • Promoted the internationally known Lysosomal Storage Disease Clinical, Teaching and Research program at the University of Florida.
  • Worked with FAU’s Brain Institute as a follow-on to the State Center for Rare and Genetic Neurological Diseases.
  • Sponsored the Medical and Scientific Sessions at the annual NTSAD Family Conference.

“Our mission is to promote and lead critical awareness, testing, counseling, and research initiatives that hold promise for the prevention and eventual treatment and cure of fatal children’s genetic diseases of the brain,” said Kevin Romer, President, Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation. “The families that we impact and the hope they have for a cure is what drives us forward year after year. It is why my wife and I started this Foundation 20 years ago, in honor of our son Mathew, and it is why we will continue to persevere.”

The Foundation will celebrate its 20th anniversary with its annual “Sweetness & Laughter” Gala on Saturday, March 10, 2018 starting at 12:00 pm.. Guests will be treated to a scrumptious brunch and desserts from the Breakers; and a high-tech magic spectacular by The Illusionists – Live from Broadway.

The event will also feature the “See the Light” Awards Ceremony, which will honor over 30 scientific and community leaders who we have collaborated with on children’s genetic diseases of the brain. Honorees include Judy Levis Markhoff (Philathropist), Ronald Assaf (NSU Trustee Chairman and Business Leader), Former Congressman Ron Klein, Dr. Rodney Howell (Chairman of Pediatrics and Genetics University of Miami), Ambassador David McClean Walters (Miami Children’s Hospital Visionary), and Dr. Michael Kaback (Pioneer of Tay-Sachs Mass Screening).

The 20th Annual Mathew Forbes Romer Sweetness & Laughter Gala will take place at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts at 701 Okeechobee Blvd in West Palm Beach, Florida. Tickets (which start at $175 and go up to $200 on February 1, 2018) and sponsorship opportunities are still available at https://www.mfrfoundation.org/event-tickets/

Charter sponsors for this year’s Gala include: Judy Levis Markhoff, Adolph and Rose Levis Foundation, Lisajane and Kevin Romer, Dr. Marcelle and Andrew Rosen, Florida Atlantic University College of Nursing, Baron Delivery on Demand, Mike & Joan Siegel, Linda and Harry Meran, Joan and Evan Deoul, and the Sheila, David and Sherry Gold Foundation. 

About The Illusionists
As always, the “Sweetness & Laughter” Gala symbolizes how laughter is an important way of coping with the devastating impact of fatal genetic diseases on children and their families. The Illusionists will provide attendees with entertainment, while dazzling them with thrilling and sophisticated magic and humor. This mind-blowing spectacular, showcasing the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible illusionists, has shattered box office records across the globe. The Illusionists have appeared on America’s Got Talent, NBC, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and in cities all around the world. Learn more at https://www.theillusionistslive.com/show.

About The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation
Inspired by the strength of Mathew Romer, who lost his eight-year battle with Tay-Sachs disease in 2003, The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation (MFRF) was founded in South Florida 20 years ago with a mission 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.

The MFRF is the South Florida affiliate of National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association (NTSAD), celebrating its own 60-year anniversary, and one of the oldest patient advocacy groups in the country, and a member of the Jewish Genetic Disease Consortium. The president of the MFRF (Kevin Romer) is also past president of NTSAD. The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation was recognized in 2014 with the Best of Boca Raton Award – Education & Research Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.mfrfoundation.org/.

Contact:
Melissa Perlman
BlueIvy Communications
561-310-9921
melissa@blueivycommunications.com