CHICAGO, Dec. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In a world where nonprofits have been hard hit during the pandemic, the JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala-Close to Home set a new global record for the organization when it raised more than $8.5 million on Saturday night. This virtual event's funds will accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications.
"The T1D community is unlike anything I've ever seen before" said Mimi K. Crabtree, Executive Director of JDRF Illinois. "This community understood that together, even from our homes, we could continue to make an impact for the millions living with T1D during a time when this community needed us the most."
This special re-imagined virtual event was hosted by ABC7's Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini and featured an intimate concert from Grammy nominated John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting, and JDRF's President and CEO Aaron Kowalski joined for an inspiring message of hope. Approximately 1,000 households tuned in to collectively add to the vision of a world without T1D.
The Fund A Cure portion of the evening recognized a $2 million gift from Glen Tullman (7wireVentures) and anonymous $1 million donor, and over 15 gifts at more than $100,000.
"We owe this massive success to everyone who tuned in, the Gala Committee, chapter staff, volunteers and every donor who chose to not let T1D research funding be affected by a pandemic," said Steve Dragich (Schiff Hardin LLP), Board President of JDRF Illinois. "We showed that together, even while apart, we will turn type one into type none."
The virtual crowd participated in all the usual One Dream Gala activities - silent and live auctions, raffles, dinner catered by The Paramount Group which was delivered to homes, mission messages, and the signature JDRF Fund A Cure program. This year JDRF Illinois checked in with previous Fund A Cure families who shared their unique stories of life with T1D and guests raised their virtual bid cards enthusiastically, knowing 100 percent of all tax-deductible contributions will fund JDRF's most crucial research priorities.
JDRF Illinois Chapter gratefully acknowledges its local and national corporate partners: Abbott, Aldridge Electric, Inc., Allscripts, CIBC, Insulet Corporation, Kemper, Land O'Frost, Launch!, and Livongo, now part of Teladoc Health.
About JDRF Illinois
JDRF's mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.5 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our five international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org/Illinois or follow us on Twitter: @JDRFIllinois
National Director, Corporate Development
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