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Thanks to all who attended the 8th Annual Mardi Gras Gala on February 6th! Hope to see you again next year.

Special thanks to our friends and sponsors that helped support the event. To learn about who participated in this year’s gala, click here to view the Program Book.

About the Mardi Gras Gala

The EFEPA picked up the Mardi Gras Gala, a formal black-tie event, in 2008 as its signature event.  Adapted from the traditional Mardi Gras held yearly in New Orleans, the Philadelphia-style Gala features an open bar complete with hurricanes, a three course French Creole sit-down dinner, lively Mummers’ entertainment, and dancing to a nine piece band. A parade, extravagant decorations, beads, jesters, voodoo dolls, and masks all add to the festive décor.

Annually the Gala honors a new King or Queen of Mardi Gras, a prominent business or community leader in the eastern Pennsylvania area. Philadelphia’s top neurologists, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and members from its business and legal communities join their royal leader for the evening. Together they come out to celebrate the Foundation and its accomplishments to improve the quality of life of individuals living with epilepsy and their caregivers.

Past Kings have been 2008 King, Tom McCormick, Vice President of Patient Services, University of Pennsylvania Health System; 2009 King, Stephen Wouch, CPA, CFF, Managing Partner of Wouch, Maloney & Co., LLP; 2010 King, Ted Riss, owner of Riss General Construction; 2011 King, Dr. Mike Cirigliano, Penn Medicine Internist and FOX 29 Health Reporter; 2012 King, Greg Osberg, Publisher and CEO of Philadelphia Media Network; 2013 King, Jim Connolly, CEO of Aeras, and 2014 Queen, Mary Meder, President of Harmelin Media. Click here to learn more about our Royal Court.

About our 2015 Honorees

Phylis and Arthur at the 2012 Mardi Gras Gala

Phylis and Arthur at the 2012 Mardi Gras Gala

This year the EFEPA is excited to honor a King and a Queen, Phylis and Arthur Johnson. Together they have been long-time advocates for those with epilepsy and the Foundation is thrilled to recognize the immense impact they have had on our community.

In addition to participating in the Foundation’s programs, fundraisers and support groups, Phylis dedicates herself to her blog,, which helps promote a greater understanding of epilepsy in order to increase awareness and funding for epilepsy services. Their generous support of the Epilepsy Foundation in the past has allowed us to increase our capacity to provide the best possible services to those with epilepsy. For instance, the Johnsons played an integral part in equipping the Camp Achieve Medical Staff with iPads so that they can quickly respond to medical emergencies and manage each camper’s needs.

As she writes, “Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.” We cannot imagine a more perfect motto that encapsulates the altruistic spirit of these two individuals.

The Foundation also honors two individuals who have gone above and beyond to help those affected by epilepsy. This year, the EFEPA will honor internationally renown neurologist Michael Sperling, MD, Director of the Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory with the Eric Burton Osberg Award. Likewise, Dan Dougherty of Glenside, PA will be awarded the Peggy and Charles Roach Founders Award for his years of epilepsy advocacy. You can learn more about Dan’s courageous battle with epilepsy and his involvement in the community by clicking here.

Ways to Get Involved

There are many opportunities to get involved with the Mardi Gras Gala including sponsoring a table, individual tickets, or placing an ad in our program book. To learn more about sponsorships contact the EFEPA Development Department at (215) 629-5003 x107 or