The TickEncounter Resource Center and NBC10 WJAR were pleased to present three awards at the Big Tick Gala 2008 to Senator Jack Reed, Michael Warburg, and Rodney Bowley. These awards are given to individuals who have shown outstanding efforts in the fight against tick-borne disease and tick bite prevention.
I first met Senator Jack Reed in 1994, when as a relatively new faculty member, I imagined that then Congressman Reed would be interested in the exceptional impact that deer ticks had on his 2nd congressional district.
So, I made this map that overlayed his district with the results from our tick surveillance program. I guess that he was impressed by the significance and magnitude of the problem for his district ... and all of Rhode Island, because he has been a strong advocate and supporter of tick-borne disease prevention ever since.
His subsequent political success probably is not completely a result of his leadership position on an anti-tick platform ... but since 2003, Senator Reed has been instrumental in securing more than $725,000 in special grant support for Tick-Borne Disease Prevention programs at URI.
The TickEncounter Resource Center and NBC10 WJAR are pleased to recognize Senator Jack Reed with a "Think TICK. Take Action!" award...for his outstanding leadership in tick-borne disease prevention.
A few weeks after last year's Gala event, I received an email from Mr. Michael Warburg.
In it, he asked if I would be willing to meet for coffee sometime, as he had come to the event and was "impressed by what we were trying to accomplish, and how we were going about it". He went on to explain that his family had recently formed a small charitable foundation and that he wanted to explore the possibility of synergy between the trust and our program.
I am pleased to say that the first meeting went well – hopefully for both of us – and we have found in Michael and his family's Apple Picker Foundation a true friend and generous supporter.
TERC, NBC10 WJAR, and me personally, are pleased to recognize Mike Warburg and the Apple Pickers Foundation with a "Think TICK. Take Action!" award for philanthropy... for their major contribution to tick-borne disease prevention.
Beth Bowley Coen was a popular and energetic teacher in the South Kingstown school system until complications from Lyme disease led to her severe and chronic disability, and ultimately her passing.
Beth's difficult struggles with a completely preventable disease now serves as the driving force behind her father, Mr. Rodney Bowley, and his efforts to keep his family's tragedy from happening to anyone else. To keep Beth's memory alive as well as provide much needed assistance to local communities in accessing information on preventing tick-borne disease, Mr. Bowley created "Beth's Quest" and through this non-profit organization, he has made 1,000 tick removal kits and other educational materials available to residents of Newport County FREE OF CHARGE.
TERC and NBC10 WJAR, are pleased to recognize Rodney Bowley and "Beth's Quest" with a "Think TICK. Take Action!" award for citizen action...in grateful appreciation for your outstanding service to the Rhode Island Community in the area of tick-borne disease prevention.