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Darien-based Children's Project fundraiser turns love into power

Published 1:23 pm, Sunday, January 27, 2013
  • The committee members planning the Turning Love into Power III fundraiser for the Rasmussen Encephalitis Children's Project, include, in front row from left, Deb Wohlberg, Karen Dunn, Danielle Granath and Jill Walker. Back row, Alison Shanahan, Peggy Kaminsky, Susan Ballard, Laura Maier, Margaret Arrix, Deena Archey, Laurie Orem, Beth O'Shea and Virginia Aoyama. Photo: Contributed
    The committee members planning the Turning Love into Power III fundraiser for the Rasmussen Encephalitis Children's Project, include, in front row from left, Deb Wohlberg, Karen Dunn, Danielle Granath and Jill Walker. Back row, Alison Shanahan, Peggy Kaminsky, Susan Ballard, Laura Maier, Margaret Arrix, Deena Archey, Laurie Orem, Beth O'Shea and Virginia Aoyama. Photo: Contributed

 

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The Rasmussen Encephalitis Children's Project, a Darien-based foundation that supports scientific research to find a cure for the neurological disease, will host its annual fundraiser, Turning Love into Power III, on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Woodway Country Club.

The funds raised will help accelerate research into the rare epilepsy syndrome, Rasmussen's encephalitis. Rasmussen encephalitis is a rare neurological disease that causes intractable seizures, cognitive deficits and paralysis of half of the body. RE typically affects previously normal children between the ages of 2 and10.

The disease process typically runs its course over a one- to two-year period during which time one half of the body is rendered useless and epileptic seizures continue unabated.

The evening will feature cocktails, dinner and live music by the Faker Five.

There also will be a silent auction with items that include a night at the CBS Evening News, which includes a personal VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the newsroom and a visit with anchor Scott Pelley after watching the live news broadcast from the control room. Other auction highlights include vacation stays from Hilton Head to Cape Cod, one-of-a-kind jewelry by local designers, a portrait sitting with award-winning photographer Ben Larrabee, a collection of fine wines and tickets to sporting events.

Additionally, Rob and Marj Trifone, Darien High School coaches and teachers, will be honored. Rob Trifone is the football coach, and Marj is the girls' swimming coach. According to Seth H. Wohlberg, founder of the RE Children's Project, the Trifones have supported his organization since the beginning, including making a difference in the life of his daughter, Grace, who was struck down by the condition in 2008.

Rob Trifone first met the Wohlbergs when he coached their son, Mike, during the 2008 campaign. Over the last three years, Trifone has sponsored "Lifting Grace," which features local football teams competing in the weight room to raise funds for the RE Children's Project.

The foundation has sponsored cross-disciplinary research conferences and funded research around the globe focused on finding the cause and an eventual cure for RE.

The organization also supports research dedicated toward the recovery process following special surgery.

For information on purchasing tickets for the Turning Love Into Power III fundraiser, visit www.rechildrens.org.