in Mamaroneck was the setting for a fundraiser Friday night to benefit The Children's Fund for Glycogen Storage Disease Research. Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1 (GSD1) is a rare genetic metabolic disorder for which there is presently no known cure. The disease involves a particular liver enzyme— the presence of which is vital for regulating the body’s sugar level—malfunctioning or missing. Many dangerous side effects—such as enlarged liver, seizures and even death—can occur without properly maintained blood sugar. A carefully regulated diet and medication are used to treat the disease.
The cause was personal for the fundraiser's host, Larchmont resident Jeanne Muchnick, as someone close to her family is afflicted with GSD1. “Fifteen to twenty years ago, children who had GSD1 didn’t survive, but the odds are much better now,” she told the large crowd. “It’s important that we raise money for research, and eventually a cure. It’s a rare disease so there isn’t a lot of research on it but we can get there.”
The crowd mingled to the strains of Alan Goodman’s mellifluous electric ukulele. An elegant array of hors d’oeuvres, including some of signature confections such as cupcakes and chocolate fondue, beckoned. Admission to the event was free and guests could donate five dollars to be eligible for an array of prizes which included wine from in Mamaroneck, $100 worth of home-delivered meals from out of New Rochelle, 30 days of unlimited classes worth $175 from the in Rye Brook and a three foot wedge filled with anything from . The Westchester Italian Bakery also donated bread for fondue that was served at the fundraiser.
A silent auction offered bids on everything from a hair appointment, a massage and a dinner for two at a local restaurant. There was also a “cash and carry” which offered jewelry and clothes to those who wanted to buy items on the spot.
“I know that we are in tough economic times, and we are a small organization so it’s tough to ask people for money,” Muchnick said. “I run the kind of 'un-fundraiser' fundraiser. That’s why people don’t have to pay to attend and I have affordable door prizes and other items.” Many of the people who attended knew or were familiar with Muchnick from the community. There was support and goodwill all around.
“It’s so rewarding to be able to help somebody who lives in the area,” said Larchmont resident Melanie Rose. “No matter what the cause is, people come out to help. This isn’t a big-profile charity, so it’s great to see such a good turnout.”
Another attendee, Larchmont resident Mary Vozza, said, “This isn’t a very well-known genetic disorder, so there is something to be said about a group getting together like this to raise awareness and educate the public.”
Chocolations has hosted fundraisers in the past, and it is something owner Maria Valente truly enjoys doing. “Being able to hold fundraisers like this is one of the joys of having a bigger space,” she said, in reference to her new location on 607 Boston Post Rd. “This is a wonderful cause. Jeanne is so giving, so I am happy to help.”
The event raised a total of approximately $4,000, all of which will go to the Children’s Fund for Glycogen Storage Disease Research.