The 12th Annual JDRF Hope Gala Raised $1.4 Million for Diabetes Research.
Pioneering Venture Capitalist and Founder of Asset Management Company, Franklin “Pitch” & Cathie Johnson Receive 2010 JDRF Living & Giving Award.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) recently hosted its twelfth Bay Area Hope Gala at The Ritz Carlton, San Francisco to raise funds for diabetes research. Hope Gala Co-Chairs Jenny Bolt and Amy Lewis and Honorees Pitch and Cathie Johnson converged to make the evening a record-breaking success. More than 400 were in attendance. Notable guests included Honorary Co-Chairs Ute and Bill Bowes, Kevin Sharer, CEO of Amgen and JDRF President and CEO, Alan Lewis. Bill Draper presented the Living & Giving Award to the Johnsons. Past honorees in attendance Saturday included Stephen and Pamela Mittel, Dr. Michael German, Robert Klein, John and Nancy Lasseter, Charles and Ann Johnson, Dr. Saleh Adi and Dr. Bruce Buckingham.
The money raised by the Hope Gala helps JDRF fund research that will lead to cures for millions of children and adults living with diabetes. The evening began with cocktails and silent auction including a barrel room dedicated to fine wines sales. Several Bay Area wineries as part of JDRF’s Vintner Program poured their wines during the multi-course dinner at sponsored tables.
The Emcee for the evening was Co-Anchor, CBS 5 Eyewitness News Dana King. The live auction proved very exciting conducted by Randy Parnell. Guests competed for exotic trips; an entertainment package to American Idol Season 9 Finale had guests clambering to win and a catered dinner for 24 at the Carolands Mansion in Hillsborough had enthusiastic bidders on their feet.
Just as desert was to be served, Pitch Johnson was presented with – and quite surprised by a birthday cake while the room of 400 sang the traditional birthday cheer. In her remarks, Melanie Bradley, sister of Co-Chair Amy Lewis, spoke personally of living with diabetes since childhood and her wish for the future seemed to inspire the bidding during the evening’s finale, Fund A Cure — an auction in which donations are made directly to fund diabetes research. After dinner, the Big Bang Beat kept the crowd dancing past midnight.
The Hope Gala raises funds to find cures for type 1 diabetes and its complications. Nearly 24 million Americans live with diabetes and its complications. It is a disease that kills one American every three minutes. The cost of diabetes in the US exceeds $174 billion annually. As many as 3 million Americans live with type 1 diabetes including 75,000 people living in the Bay Area. Type 1 diabetes is a disease which strikes children and adults suddenly and requires multiple injections of insulin daily or a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump. Insulin, however, is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.
JDRF is a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 research. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. JDRF provided nearly $101 million to diabetes research in 2009, bringing the JDRF cumulative total of research funding to more than $1.4 billion since its founding in 1970. The Foundation funds more than 1,000 centers, grants and fellowships in 22 countries throughout the world, including more than 40 human clinical trials.