Red Sneakers for Oakley and E.A.T. (End Allergies Together) Host Evening to Support Food Allergy Awareness and Research Toward a Cure

Inaugural annual fundraiser is sold-out event at Club Colette in Palm Beach, Florida

Red Sneakers for Oakley and E.A.T.

On Thursday, Nov. 29, Red Sneakers for Oakley and E.A.T. (End Allergies Together) co-hosted the sold-out first annual fundraising event at Club Colette to support food allergy awareness and research toward a cure. Almost all of the attendees wore their “most spectacular red shoes or sneakers.” Over $220,000 was raised at this inaugural event.

Red Sneakers for Oakley was founded by Robert and Merrill Debbs after their son Oakley died from a severe allergic reaction to nuts at the age of 11 years. End Allergies Together (E.A.T.), a Greenwich, Connecticut-based organization, was founded in 2015 by Elise and Greg Bates, parents of a food-allergic daughter, with one urgent goal: to accelerate treatments and cures for the growing food allergy epidemic.

Dinner was graciously underwritten by Diamond Sponsors Jerry and Darlene Jordan. Gold sponsors were The Winklevoss Family, and Silver sponsors included Greg Connors, AllerGenis, Benjamin and Elizabeth Gordon, Kenn Karakul and Jim Held, Peter and Vicky Martin, Marc Stafanski and Vanessa Rooks, and The William H. Pitt Foundation.  Additional supporters were Beau and Suzy Brauer, Brian and Eileen Burns, Sam and Anita Hunt and Jason and Wilder Regalbuto, Andrew and Sarah Wetenhall, Shelby Wycoff

Additional attendees included Lesly Smith, Danielle Moore, Julie Araskog, Mark and Mary Freitas, Carole Manning, Jeff and Mei Sze Greene, Steven and Kerri Myers, Chris and Binkie Orthwein, Eric and Whitney Bylin, Kane and Mary Baker, Brooks and Olympia Bishop, Campion and Tatiana Platt, Stephen and Austin Smith, Sean and Anna Miller, Jay and Natasha Steinle, Hunter and Christine Beall, Todd and Missy Savage, Heather Henry, and Dr. Denise Spirou.

“Seeing this sold-out room of supporters was inspiring. Food allergy awareness finally has been brought to our community, and beyond, due to the work of Red Sneakers for Oakley and End Allergies Together. It shouldn’t have taken the tragedy of Oakley’s death to create awareness. E.A.T.’s “GIVE and GO” PSA helped drive home the need to use epinephrine immediately. The education guests received this evening is just the tip of the iceberg of what these two organizations provide,” said Elizabeth Gordon, whose nut-allergic son once had a potentially-fatal reaction in school due to lack of education and epinephrine use.

Sixteen-year-old allergy awareness activist Susan Tatelli traveled from Chicago to speak about what it’s like to live with multiple severe food allergies. Having had 17 anaphylactic reactions which required the use of epinephrine, Susan emphasized the importance of what to do when a severe reaction strikes: GIVE Epinephrine and GO call 911.

Zappos’ Alandria Jones traveled from Nevada for the event. Jones, who worked in Zappos customer service, answered so many calls for red sneaker orders when Oakley died in 2016, she investigated and became a catalyst for Zappos’ involvement in food allergy awareness. For the event, Jones had Zappos donate custom-glittered red sneakers, which served as rose-filled centerpieces on the tables at the event.

A live auction followed by a paddle raise, successfully run by Grier Pressly and Desiree Frerichs, drew participation throughout the entire room, with fantastic resort and hotel items at: Pine Creek (donated by Steve and Kerri Myers), The Tideline (donated by Jeff and Mei Sze Greene), Casa de Campo (donated by Pepe and Emilia Fanjul), and The Breakers (donated by The Breakers), and also a 5-course tasting menu with wine pairings at The Colony Hotel prepared by Chef Tom Whitaker (donated by Andrew and Sarah Wetenhall). 

About Red Sneakers for Oakley:

Red Sneakers for Oakley is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and advocating for food allergy awareness. For more information please visit http://REDSNEAKERS.ORG or email

About End Allergies Together (E.A.T.)

End Allergies Together (E.A.T.) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the sole mission to fund critical research for the growing food allergy epidemic. EAT’s investments advance research to accelerate diagnostics, treatments, cures and prevention of food allergy. Two families, both affected by food allergies, started E.A.T after the striking realization that little public or private funds were being invested to solve the life-threatening condition. For more information please visit or email

Follow on Facebook and Instagram @redsneakersforoakley and @endallergiestogether

Hashtags: #redsneakersforoakley #endallergiestogether #foodallergyawareness  #stopanaphylaxis #nutallergyawareness  #livlikeoaks  #endallergies  #fundtheresearch 

Press Contacts:

Leslie Noland at E.A.T. (End Allergies Together) 214-755-8903
Elizabeth Gordon (Event Organizer) at Red Sneakers for Oakley 561-234-7000

Event Photos available upon request. 

Source: Red Sneakers for Oakley


Categories: Philanthropy, Active and Healthy Living

Tags: anaphylaxis, epinephrine, epipen, food allergy, oakley debbs, red sneakers

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About Red Sneakers for Oakley

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Red Sneakers for Oakley is a non profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of food allergies

Ryanmarie Tover
Executive Director, Red Sneakers for Oakley
Red Sneakers for Oakley
P.O. Box 2687
Palm Beach, FL 33480
United States