A few years ago I made the decision to take a more active role in community affairs and to hopefully improve the world in some fashion. I had only one child left at home and he was in high school. What a great example to him and to my other children to see me take action.
As I searched for organizations to partner with, I found an opportunity to volunteer to help the American Diabetes Association with their 2011 ADA Gala, an annual black tie event designed to raise funds, awareness and recognition for research and fundraising efforts aiding the fight against Diabetes. Not only was this a great opportunity for me to help with an organization that is near and dear to my heart but I never pass up the opportunity to help plan a party. My family has a long history of Diabetes. My grandmother had Type I Diabetes, my mother and two of my three sisters have recently been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and my nephew, after slipping into a Diabetic coma, recently learned that he has Type I Diabetes.
When I originally volunteered, I had a vision in my head of helping with registration, fundraising and perhaps even serving dinner to guests at the event. That didn’t quite go as planned. Volunteering for Gala was only the beginning of my partnership with ADA. The company that I work for willingly sponsored a table at the Gala and I was a volunteer and a guest of the event. What a great evening it was. I have since been welcomed to the Community Leadership Board and am currently the Chair for this year’s Gala. I couldn’t be prouder to be so involved with an organization that helps fight a disease I so desperately want a cure for.
Since I became involved in ADA, I have learned so much more about this disease and I have gained so much respect for the tireless efforts of so many that are involved in the fight against Diabetes including the ADA staff. What a great group of people who are relentless in their efforts to make the most of every opportunity to raise awareness, education and funding for education and research of this disease.
I have also become acutely aware that Diabetes does not discriminate. It is everywhere. I can talk about Diabetes with anyone at work, the grocery store, church or even happy hour and get the same result. Everyone knows someone with Diabetes…..most have a family member with the disease and many don’t completely understand the signs or the effects of the disease. We have a lot of work to do. In my discussions about my involvement with ADA, I have learned about co-workers that are fighting the disease and one that will potentially lose her vision because of her Diabetes. I heard of my brother-in-law’s mother dying of complications from Diabetes and his brother’s fight with Type I Diabetes. I visited at the ADA Expo at the Mpls Convention Center with countless numbers of people sharing their stories of their battles with this disease. It is everywhere and it is time we all “Raise our Hands to Fight Diabetes!”
You can raise your hand too!!!
- Join us at Gala. We would love to have you as a guest! Donate an item for the silent auction or volunteer to help at the event. We would love to see you there.
American Diabetes Association Gala
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Treasure Island Resort & Casino