We'd like to extend our thanks to those in the community who joined us for a fun and informative evening at the 2009 Big Tick Gala! It was great to see such support for Tick Prevention efforts and we hope all learned new techniques to combat tick-borne disease.
Keynote speaker Michael Sullivan, director of the RI Department of Environmental Management, explains to the large turnout some of Rhode Island's programs to get people out "latching onto nature". The RI Great Outdors Pursuit is an initiative to re-connect children and their families with the outdoors. Partnering with URI's TickEncounter Resource Center, he hopes to keep those "little bits of nature (ticks) from latching onto people."
Honorary Co-Chair Richard Lane wants to make tick bite protection an every-day behavior, and as easy as getting dressed. Founder of Insect Shield, LLC, his is the only U.S. company to treat clothing with the tick repellent permethrin. At the Big Tick Gala, he shared some of his company's plans for increasing tick bite protection for children and adults.
Think T.I.C.K. Take Action! awards were presented to Providence Journal environmental reporter Peter Lord and long-time TERC Research Associate Nate Miller. The awards are co-sponsored by WJAR-Channel 10 and recognize individuals or groups that are making a difference in preventing tick-borne diseases. 2009 was the second year that TTTA awards were made at the Big Tick Gala!2009 Award Recipients 2008 Award Recipients
Dr. Mather presents Dr. Frederic Silverblatt with informational posters to dress up the waiting area of South County Hospital's new Lyme Disease Clinic. The Clinic is open on Fridays only, from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m. To make an appointment call (401)788-1489 (the appointment line is staffed Mon-Fri, 7:30a.m. -5:30 p.m.)
One of the evening's highlights was the "Tick Repellent You'll Love to Wear" fashion show. Clearly tucking your pants into your socks is not a fashion statement that ever caught on. Insect Shield apparel and gear provides effective, built-in and odorless protection against ticks, and can be worn everyday. Our models looked GREAT in Insect Shield clothes, and the protection against tick bites is fantastic.
A number of sponsors at the 2009 Big Ticks Gala presented information displays about their products and services. Event sponsors included Bayer Animal Health (Advantix),Bartlett Tree Experts (Tick Control),Imugen (tick testing) CVS/Pharmacy (pointy tweezers),TickTubes (Tick Control),Insect Shield (repellent clothing) Tick Block (clothing repellent) and South County Hospital Lyme Clinic.
All guests attending the Gala received a "Scratch a Tick" lottery ticket. Each card was a winner. Prizes included a Tick-bite Prevention Kit, "Hidden In The Leaves" documentary, or Tick Block repellent soak. The scratch tickets helped promote RI House Bill H-5410, which would create a new instant lottery game providing up to $200,000 in critical support for a statewide program dedicated to Lyme disease prevention.
Graduate research scholarships were the target for fund-raising at the Big Tick Gala. Grad. Student Matt Iandoli (Right) is working to discover specific molecules in tick saliva that may become anti-tick vaccine candidates. Even if you couldn't attend this year's Big Tick Gala, please consider making a gift of any amount to keep Matt, Emily and Brad working to solve the tick problem.