On Saturday night PhillyBoy and I had the pleasure of attending Dream Gala 2009, an event hosted by the JDRF South Jersey Chapter. We were invited by friends of ours who have a son (who is also our friend) with juvenile diabetes. For those of you that don’t know, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF for short) is a great foundation geared to funding research to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Something that makes it unique to a lot of other charities is that “over 85% of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education” (from their website). I was really excited to contribute to this great organization when I found out more about they did… and then heard that great bit of information.. knowing that more than 85% of my donation would go directly to research and other projects that directly affect those who suffer from Type 1 diabetes means a lot to me.
A little more about the organization… (from their website):
JDRF is the leader in research leading to a cure for type 1 diabetes in the world. It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide.
The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly, and can be fatal. Until a cure is found, people with type 1 diabetes have to test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin injections multiple times or use a pump – each day, every day of their lives. And even with that intensive care, insulin 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.
Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.3 billion to diabetes research, including more than $156 million in FY2008. In FY2008, the Foundation funded more than 1,000 centers, grants in laboratories, hospitals, and industry, and fellowships in 22 countries.
And just a little more, since this paragraph was so moving to me:
Type 1 diabetes is a disease which strikes children suddenly and requires multiple injections of insulin daily or a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump. By supporting JDRF’s mission to find a cure you won’t only be saving children, you will be saving childhoods.
Not only was the event fun… but it was very moving too. First, the fun part! It was a formal affair so PB and I got all dolled up.
For a couple that is not getting dressed up again until their own wedding, this was fun. PB was extra chivalrous and did such things as open the door for me every single time, hold his own keys (I HATE holding his keys in my little bag!) and much more.. We arrived at the venue and headed to the auction room. The cocktail hour (or hour and a half I should say) was a great silent auction with all different types of items and trips you could bid on.
The auction was very well-organized with lots of different categories.. Entertainment, Electronics, Travel, Beauty, Children, Home Decor, etc. I wish I had taken a picture of the room! I didn’t want to be too obvious though. We bid on a few things including 25 seats in a box for some sports team (I am embarrassed to say I don’t know who or even what sport?) including drinks and the first pitch (or other sport equivalent) for the winner.. We also bid on an iPod nano and this really cool glass carafe that I would have used for sangria. We ended up winning a $100 gift card for Morton’s Steakhouse, and the iPod Nano. I kind of put up a fight for the nano though! I saw another couple about to swoop in an write their names on the last slot (yes I was stalking my bid), so I snuck my hand under and wrote my number down. Thank goodness they laughed, because I really shouldn’t have done that!!!
Here is my face of victory (I look like a nut job, I know):
Now I can run without my music stopping! Oh, and I also had to take a picture with this guy since technically he was the one paying. But really the nano is mine!!!! (right PB?!?!?!?!)
After the fun silent auction it was time for dinner, the live auction, dancing, and more. The tables were decorated so nicely but also simply. I hate when I go to fundraisers and it is obvious that thousands were spent on the centerpieces. These were just right.. glamorous, but not overdoing it.
Dinner was AMAZING too! First course was a simple salad with mandarin oranges, cooked pears, and dried cranberries. The entree was a perfectly cooked piece of beef with yummy potatoes, cooked baby carrots (real ones) and asparagus, and a piece of salmon. I ate everything but the salmon (apparently I was also starving?). And dessert was apple sorbet with a molten chocolate cake. Yum all around.
But now on to the important stuff. There were some great, moving speeches. I found myself tearing up as I heard one man talk about the JDRF family, another about the strength a child living with Type 1 diabetes needs, and the hope that they all have for finding a cure. Even though we had already donated what we could, we had to help a little more. Especially when this happened:
Look at those gorgeous kids!!! They are JDRF Youth Ambassadors…. the face of Juvenile Diabetes. These kids are amazing. There is no other way to explain it. After singing a song for us a few of the kids were asked their names, ages, and interests or what they wanted to do when they grew up… among the answers: pro hockey player, PALEONTOLOGIST (how cool is that?), and interested in ancient history, particularly ancient Greece (this kid made me feel like the little kid with the box on his head in that commercial.. know which one I mean?)
Anyway, the amazing people at JDRF volunteer for them. For the children who have juvenile diabetes, for the hope to find a cure, for the ways to make life easier while a cure is being found, and so much more. If you want to make a donation or volunteer, please feel free to do so here. They would all appreciate any and all help. If you email me your donation receipt, you will be entered in a RhodeyGirl Giveaway! You have until 5 pm EST Wednesday, April 15 to email me your receipt, and I will then randomly select a winner (numbers will be assigned in date order of donation receipt email you send me). If you make a donation AND link back to this giveaway, you will get an extra entry. Please just email me the link so I can log it properly. And as long as you are able to use the winning prize in your country, I will mail it anywhere in the world. The winner will receive:
an iTunes gift card for $15!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, I will do a 30% match to donations made (up to $50). I look forward to your donation emails, and thank you for reading.