Monday evening, a giant golden tent was draped over the Waldorf-Astoria hotel’s ballroom. Underneath, philanthropists ate at candlelit tables. The Fourteenth Annual Food Allergy Ball, a fundraising event hosted by the Food Allergy Initiative, was a luxurious evening that helped raise more than $4.5 million for the organization, according to theWall Street Journal.
This year, the food allergy ball had a Roaring Twenties theme. The evening was tailor-made for those with food allergies who were in attendance. During the cocktail hour, every appetizer had a full list of ingredients on the tray. David H. Koch, one attendee, said that he has a shellfish allergy. “It makes my face turn red! I get hives!” he exclaimed. Yet, he said, “Shrimp and swordfish are just two items of an extraordinary smorgasbord of good things to eat. Thank God I’m not allergic to wine.” Mr Koch said that he became involved with the Food Allergy Initiative because of his son’s food allergies, which are severe.
Another attendee, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, attended the ball because her son also has food allergies. She advocates for greater awareness of the potential dangers associated with food allergies, saying “It’s not just, ‘Oh, he’s going to sneeze’” if he experiences an allergic reaction.