Whether this is your first or final luau, it’s time to get out your flip flops — though tropical attire is optional — and get ready for the 10th and last Lily’s Luau to benefit Lily’s Fund for Epilepsy Research.
This year’s event will take place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 20, 2018, at Union South Varsity Hall, 1308 W. Dayton St., Madison.
This year, organizers announced that although this is the final Lily’s Luau, their work to support epilepsy research at UW-Madison will continue. To date, the volunteer-driven organization has raised more than $1.2 million for epilepsy research at UW-Madison. It hopes to raise another $200,000 at this year’s luau to ensure more than $1 million in assets — enough to fund epilepsy research for the next 10 years.
They expect another sell-out crowd, with more than 700 guests in attendance in support and celebration of epilepsy research. The event features a tropical feast, music and an auction. Tickets are $50 through Jan. 7 and $60 after. Order tickets online and learn more at the Lily's Fund website or call 608-446-6052.
Lily’s Fund invests 100 percent of the funds raised at the luau to advance epilepsy research at UW-Madison. To date the organization has supported three research fellowships at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health as well as awarded $300,000 in Grace Grants, a competitive grants program designed to fund innovative early-stage epilepsy research and named after a local teen, Grace Penwell, who lives with epilepsy.
Research projects have focused on the connections between sleep deprivation and epilepsy, identifying seizure’s pathway in the brain and the role of genes in epilepsy’s development. The funding often supports early stage research that provides investigators with data and insight to apply for larger grants through National Institutes of Health or other research centers.
Lily’s Fund for Epilepsy Research was established in 2006 by Madison family David and Anne Giroux, whose daughter Lily has epilepsy. They quickly learned that though one in 26 people develop epilepsy, the disease is often misunderstood and stigmatized, and research in the field is severely underfunded. The family, along with hundreds of volunteers, set out to raise money in pursuit of a cure and to create an uplifting, hopeful event to shine a light on the disease.