On Saturday, February 25th, the 17th-annual Hope for a Cure Gala was held in downtown Winston-Salem at the Benton Convention Center. Over 1,000 guests attended the largest fundraiser that JRDF (formerly known as the “Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation”) hosts in the Triad. Wendy and Brad Calloway, whose daughter Katelyn was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) 18 years ago, served as Gala Chairs.
Guests enjoyed mingling with friends at the reception while perusing the silent auction, which included hundreds of items donated by individuals and local businesses. To make auction bidding easy, JDRF harnessed the power of BidPal technology, so guests could bid directly from their smartphones; this also allowed people who were unable to attend the event to bid remotely.
With a nod to Mardi Gras, guests were led to dinner by a “shout band” of 12 trombonists from Greensboro’s United House of Prayer, playing “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Guests gasped when they entered the ballroom, which had been transformed by 40,000 Christmas lights woven into a 100’ x 32’ custom “chandelier,” designed and built by Decorations Chairs Alejandra and Cliff Thompson and hundreds of volunteers. (With 17 large ornaments hanging from it, and at 3200 square feet, it was larger than many houses!)
After a delicious dinner and a very spirited live auction, guests were captivated by the evening’s honoree, Novant Health President and CEO Carl Armato, who was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 18 months. He spoke about his personal T1D journey and received a medal in recognition of having lived with the disease for more than 50 years.
JDRF would like to thank the Presenting Sponsors—BB&T, LabCorp, and Novant Health—as well as the other event sponsors, volunteers, and guests for making the evening a night to remember. Over 1.2 million dollars was raised at the Hope Gala, with proceeds going to research to cure, prevent, and treat type 1 diabetes.