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Mardi Gras arthritis brunch leads up to walk

Feather masks and beads greeted guests at a first foray into Boca Raton’s busy fundraising scene.  The Arthritis Foundation chose Tuesday’s Mardi Gras as the theme and a jazz brunch for Sunday’s event at The Addison.

A jazz trio and songwriter Dennis Lambert entertained. Lambert’s set included the back stories and some of his famous songs. The crowd sang along to “We Built This City” on rock n’ roll.

A live auction with a safari and two “Special Times with Dennis Lambert” raised more funds for the cause. The brunch with a raffle and live and silent auctions raised $37,000, said executive director Kim Marlow. “I’m grateful the community came together,” she said. “Arthritis is the No. 1 cause of disability. It’s not just an old person’s disease.”

He has patients from age 4 to 90, said Dr. Steven Goodman, a Delray Beach rheumatologist. He donates his time to a summer camp for kids affected by pediatric arthritis. “That gives them a week of normalcy,” he said.

It wasn’t just growing pains, said Summer Held, diagnosed much later at 26. She told the crowd proudly that she’s married with a second child on the way.

“By supporting the foundation, you support me, and I’ll have more good days,” said Linda Buccilli, who co-chaired the brunch with Paula Friona.

The fundraiser leads up to the 2019 Walk to Cure Arthritis. There’s no registration fee for the May 4, 5K and 1-mile walks at John Prince Park Center Pavilion in Lake Worth. But sign-ups are still requested at a Walk to Cure Arthritis.

National Public Radio host Joe Johnson emceed. Among the Boca connections was Debbie Abrams, senior vice president, The Buzz Group.

By Marci Shatzman

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