Shop, Dine, and Fight Lyme

As the South Fork enters the peak period for tick activity, a corresponding peak in the incidence of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses is likely. To help combat the scourge, which has spiked in recent years, according to a May 1 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one South Fork resident is spearheading a fund-raiser. 

Called East End Shop and Dine to End Lyme Disease, it is scheduled for June 30. Stores and restaurants interested in participating have been asked to pledge 10 percent of the day’s proceeds to the Global Lyme Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conquering Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses through research, education, and awareness. 

Elizabeth Rasor, a teacher who lives in Sag Harbor, is one of the South Fork’s many residents afflicted with Lyme disease. More than three years after she was infected, she is still grappling with its effects. 

“It’s been so hard hit,” she said of the region. “Through my research and trying to find treatment, I found that the Global Lyme Alliance offers a lot of online support in terms of information and resources.” 

With Kinzey Fritz, who lives on the North Fork and in New York City and who also has Lyme disease, “we were trying to figure out how to raise money here. We connected through a network of people with Lyme disease and started talking about it. This is where we start,” she said, with the hope of expanding their efforts with another event in the fall. 

The Global Lyme Alliance holds gala events in Manhattan and Greenwich, Conn., where it is based, and has honored and received support from high-profile individuals including the singer Rob Thomas and his wife, Marisol, who has waged a 15-year battle with Lyme disease; Yolanda Hadid, a model and television personality, and her daughter, Bella Hadid, who is also a model; the fashion designer Joseph Abboud, and Ally Hilfiger, the daughter of the fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and the author of “Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me.” 

With Shop and Dine to End Lyme Disease two weeks away, Ms. Rasor is securing commitments from stores and restaurants. Businesses on the North Fork have also been asked to join the effort. Those interested have been asked to send an email to eastendgla@gmail.com or visit the Global Lyme Alliance website at globallymealliance.org. 

“Anything is a really good start,” Ms. Rasor said of the first Shop and Dine event. “We can grow it from there, once the word gets out and people see that we’re a reputable organization that is going to do good work.”