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RED SNEAKERS FOR OAKLEY, FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS ORGANIZATION, TO CELEBRATE THE LAUNCH OF JJ VULOPAS’ LAND OF CAN INITIATIVE FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN PENNSYLVANIA AND NATIONWIDE

Red Sneakers for Oakley to host Food Allergy Awareness Reception recognizing JJ Vulopas, children’s book author, food allergy advocate, and a recent graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Join Red Sneakers for Oakley, JJ Vulopas, and educators of the great state of Pennsylvania in their efforts to make schools safer for children living with life-threatening food allergies.

The reception, hosted at the Merion Cricket Club on September 15th, will feature passed hors d'oeuvres, refreshments, and an update on the Food Allergy Awareness movement nationwide. This is the launch of a national campaign to bring food allergy awareness education and a Can-Do attitude to school-aged children in an effort to save lives. Dr. Jonathan Spergel of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will speak. A portion of proceeds will be donated to CHOP in support of their work in the field of food allergy treatment and care.

The organization hopes to raise funds to support the PA CAN initiative to bring JJ Vulopas' book, Land of Not, and its accompanying 136-page Land of CAN teachers guide and password-protected access to digital, School Allergy Resources to 1,619 public elementary schools in Pennsylvania. The Land of CAN materials aim to educate students, parents, and educators about food allergies while promoting a Can-Do attitude. With the right support, the Land of CAN initiative can spread across the nation.

“We are proud to honor JJ Vulopas and the work he has done to promote a positive, Can-Do attitude for kids just like our son Oakley. There is a tremendous need for more awareness education, not only for people who suffer from life-threatening food allergies, but also for people who don’t,” RSFO co-founder, Merrill Debbs explained, “Food allergies can be deadly and need to be taken seriously. We are dedicated to doing everything we can to prevent another family from enduring what we did when we lost Oakley.”

ABOUT RED SNEAKERS FOR OAKLEY

Red Sneakers for Oakley (RSFO) is a nonprofit organization committed to educating and advocating for food allergy awareness nationwide. Oakley was the 11-year-old son of Robert and Merrill Debbs. After the tragic death of Oakley due to a fatal allergic reaction in 2016, the Debbs family founded Red Sneakers for Oakley. Oakley loved his red sneakers and the family realized they could use these sneakers as a powerful symbol for increased education and awareness for allergies. Red Sneakers for Oakley immediately gained national exposure through supporters wearing red sneakers and posting their photos on social media. They have since launched a multi-pronged approach to mobilize people to take action through grassroots organizing, digital media campaigns, school-based educational programming, and community events.

For more information about Red Sneakers for Oakley, visit www.redsneakers.org.

For more information about JJ Vulopas and the Land of Can Initiative, visit www.thelandofcan.com.

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