Rockville Centre event keeps Jillian Daly’s memory alive


Another successful fundraiser for the Jillian E. Daly Foundation was held last weekend at Kasey’s Kitchen and Cocktails, where the community raised thousands of dollars for autoimmune disease research.

The foundation celebrated an enjoyable evening of food, drinks, baskets, raffles, silent auctions and prizes at their eighth annual fundraiser, which each year takes place at Kasey’s on North Park Avenue. This year, about 200 people showed up and $17,000 was collected for the cause, according to co-founder Robert Daly, who said, “We are fortunate to live in a great community like Rockville Centre.”

He started the charity with his wife, Virginia, in 2011 in memory of their daughter, Jillian, who died in 2010 from an autoimmune condition: warm hemolytic anemia. She was 24, and just one year into her nursing career.

Funds raised go towards autoimmune disease research and young students entering nursing programs. Since its first benefit in 2011, the foundation has gathered $210,000 and donated to the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset. Additionally, the charity supports the nursing program at Jillian’s alma mater, Sacred Heart University, as well as Winthrop University Hospital, Nassau County Girls Gymnastics and a few awards given in her name to South Side High School students.

“It’s just been fantastic, and it’s for a great cause. You never really hear anyone say anything about autoimmune disease,” Robert said, noting how important the immune system is to the body. “Sometimes it turns against us, in the case of my daughter.”

The Dalys hope there are more studies when it comes to autoimmune conditions, in light of how many different types there are, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

“We hope someday we can make a difference,” Robert said.