Not a Lyme In Sight

By Genevieve Dee
Images by Drew Altizer Photography 

Sunny and Clear with a High of 75°

The Bay Area Lyme Foundation could not have picked a more perfect day to hold its Second Annual Polo for Lyme Benefit.  Just as well, as the Silicon Valley based foundation had a jam packed afternoon planned with a little something for everyone.

Shonna, Clarice, Cherilyn, Chelsea - Warriors Cheerleaders

A warm welcome from  members of the Stanford Polo Team, Angela Laird (Miss Solano 2013), the Warrior Cheerleaders AND Maserati’s new Quattroporte and MC Convertible was first on the list!  A series of tents set up alongside the Polo Field of Menlo Polo Club beckoned as they provided shade to savor a gourmet lunch or simply relax and enjoy the gorgeous weather. Everyone came dressed in their Sunday best, complete with hats.

Hats everywhere!  Hats in all sizes, shapes and colors.  Each one vying for first place in the Hat Competition judged by Jan Wahl, movie critic and TV personality.

Sherry Cagan, Carin Rollins, Laird Cagan, Laurie Woods, Wendy Adams, Kathleen O'Rourke

As lyme was the theme for the day, it’s influence was hard to ignore.   Lime colored boas and rubber bands from the Foundation’s Booth,  limes on the table as part of the centerpiece, Key Lime Pie for dessert  and the color  lime as accent to dresses and jewelry!

Further more, flat screen TV’s in the VIP Tent kept sports fans up to date with the ongoing 49er game while partaking on refreshments served.  Alex Debniak, San Francisco 49er Full Back currently on Injury List cheered his team mates on  as he mingled with guests.   Shoppers, on the other hand were busy in the Silent Auction Tent.

Beth Schnitzer, Alex Debniak, Fiona Ma

An exciting Polo Match between the Stanford Polo Team vs The Ticks held everyone’s attention.  Following Polo Tradition, a Champagne Divot Stomp gave everyone the opportunity to stretch and stomp!

Don Bleu,  Bay Area’s 103.7 Morning Show Host and Cece Sammy, Celebrity Vocal Coach and TV Personality were a perfect team as they hosted the Event.

Don Bleu, CeCe Sammy

The event was attended by community leaders, athletes, scientists, philantropists and local celebrites.  Amber Lily, Radio Disney Recording artist and Angeli Van Laanen, Olympic Freeskiing Contender and Lymelight Foundation Spokesperson among the many.

The Polo Match

Everyone gave much needed support towards the mission of this non profit organization. It aims to raise awareness and educate the public on Lyme Disease. It aims to find simple, reliable and effective ways to diagnose and cure the disease. Lyme Disease is the country’s fastest growing infectious disease. Frequently misdiagnosed due to a wide variety of symptoms,  when not treated promptly, Lyme disease can be debilitating and life threatening.  The establishment of the  $100,00 Emerging Leader Award was a welcome announcement.  The award will be given to a researcher who can contribute to a reliable method of diagnosis or the effective treatment of the disease.

To add to the festivities, the Live Auction after lunch gave everyone another opportunity to further show their support.  The flood of generosity was overwhelming especially as research for the disease is underfunded.  Funds raised totaled $125,000.00.

Saving the best for last, a concert by Bay Area’s favorite, Pride and Joy and world renowned violinist, Carlos Reyes left everyone on a high note!

Bay Area Polo for Lyme Benefit

Bay Area Lyme Foundation also announced the establishment of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation Emerging Leader Award. This annual award will be given to an up-and-coming researcher who has demonstrated professional and scientific leadership in Lyme disease or more generally in biological or medical sciences. This individual will have demonstrated notable creativity in scientific problem solving, skills that are crucial for research that could lead to a reliable diagnostic or effective therapy. Awarded to a post-doctorate researcher or someone in a similar position, the prize will go towards initiating a new Lyme research project.  The winner will be announced at the Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s annual benefit concert, LymeAid to be held on April 27, 2014.

“We want to encourage young researchers to get involved in solving the challenge of Lyme disease,” said Bonnie Crater, a founder of Bay Area Lyme Foundation and chair of its science committee. “The award will recognize talented researchers who are early in their careers for their commitment to accelerating novel approaches to therapies and diagnostics for Lyme disease and jumpstarting a new generation of research.”
Application details for the award will be posted on December 15, 2013 on the Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s website and applications will be accepted through February 28, 2014.

The Bay Area Lyme Foundation is a Silicon Valley-based non-profit organization dedicated to making Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure. The Foundation collaborates with world-class scientists to accelerate medical breakthroughs for Lyme disease and make prevention common knowledge. For more information on Lyme disease or to get involved, visit or call (650) 530-2439.