I shudder to think about how rotten gluten-free life in NYC would be without the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group (WCSSG).
Founded by Sue Goldstein in 1991, the WCSSG didn't just launch the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program. The group played host to expert speakers, built positive and productive relationships with vendors such as Foods By George, organized mass blood tests that led to many positive diagnoses and advances in celiac research, forged a strong relationship with Dr. Peter Green and Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, and raised funds and supplied volunteers for numerous events, including the recent international symposium at the New York Hilton. And the WCSSG is also behind those cuddly Gluten-Free Traveling Bears Teff, Quinoa, and Buckwheat.
Susan Cohen's DVD Generation Gluten-Free offers an inspiring and heartwarming oral history of how members of the WCSSG had a favorable influence that reached far beyond the borders of the group's home county. Among the many people interviewed for the well-edited 42-minute documentary are Sue Goldstein, Dr. Green, GFRAP founder Pat MacGregor, George and Ceil Chookazian of Foods by George, Beth Hillson of the Gluten-Free Pantry, Joe Pace of Risotteria, and Lou Zimet, in my experience one of the friendliest and most welcoming members of the Westchester group.
I recommend Generation Gluten-Free to anyone who wants a better understanding of how the greater metropolitan area came to be as gluten-free as it is and of how gluten-free people anywhere can organize to have a lasting, positive impact. (It might also be useful to show to family members of the diagnosed.) It's available for a mere $2 (shipping and handling) from
Musical Tapestries Inc.
P.O. Box 4193
Great Neck, NY 11023
EXTRA! Not so very long ago, Susan Cohen was also teen editor of the children's gluten-free cookbook Nothing Beats Gluten-Free Cooking.