Branford, CT — Actress Mary Stuart Masterson will host a fundraiser at 6 PM on Friday, September 22, 2006 at the Owenego Inn in Branford, to help find a cure for Friedreich’s ataxia, a devastating neurological disease. Outback Steakhouse will prepare and donate all food for the event. Local "celebrity" waiters will serve the 300 guests.
Masterson, who has starred in such movies as "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Bed of Roses," "Benny & Joon," and "Some Kind of Wonderful," was invited to host the event by Mary Caruso, whose daughters Sam and Alex have Friedreich’s ataxia. For the past several years, Caruso and her committee have worked hard to put on their annual dinner / auction / dance with the help of the Owenego Inn.
Each year Caruso and her team raise money for the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), a national, public, 501(c)(3), non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to the pursuit of scientific research leading to treatments and a cure for Friedreich's ataxia. Caruso is a board member of FARA which was established in 1998 by parents and scientists.
In February, Caruso received a call from Masterson who was preparing her directorial debut in a movie that includes a child with Friedreich’s ataxia. "When I found out it was Mary Stuart Masterson I had been communicating with I almost fell through the floor," said Caruso.