My Charitable Weekend

Helaine and I went to New Haven for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation gala last night. Helaine looked spectacular – slinky in her black dress. I wore in a tuxedo, meaning I was dressed like the waiters.

I have been told $400,000 was raised last night. That’s a lot of money for a very worthy cause.

As is so often the case at events like this, there was a silent auction first. Hundreds of team from sports memorabilia to artwork to food to eclectic one-of-a-kind articles were up for grabs.

We bid on… actually outbid Mike Laptino from WPLR… for a dumpster rental. Say what you will, but having the dumpster for a week or two while you clean the house in wholesale fashion is a helluva good deal.

The evening went well. Mary Kessler, who runs the local JDRF chapter, looked on edge all evening – but if she was waiting for something bad to happen, she had to be disappointed. It was smooth as can be.

I had one awkward moment. One of the auction items was a trip to Chicago to see Oprah. Later, I said it was a misprint. It was actually a trip to Chicago to eat Okra.


David Letterman proved, and I have now confirmed, Oprah’s name doesn’t work in humor. I mean really, really silent… really.

We got home around 11:00, which was good because we were starting early this morning. That’s not to say I went to bed at 11:00, but at least I was a little earlier than usual – around 3:00 AM.

Helaine woke me at 8:15 AM. A friend of Helaine’s had invited us to Brooksvale Park in Hamden for a walk in support of Autistic children.

Like diabetes, autism doesn’t stop with just the person who is autistic. The entire family is brought in, because care is a family affair. And, like diabetes, you’ve got to hope research will bring us closer to understanding, treating and preventing.

I am always struck by the strength and commitment of those thrust into this situation. No one has a child with the thought that child will need a lifetime of special care. You play the hand you’re dealt.

I’m sure it happens, but I’ve never seen anyone in this situation say “why me,” or approach life in a grudging way.

Weather conditions were perfect and everyone was in a good mood. There were lots of families and lots of dogs – including one dressed as Elvis.

Don’t ask. I have no idea why.

Along with all the partying was a demonstration of radio controlled planes and helicopters. These copters are amazing little devices. I watched one loop upside down and fly with its nose pointed straight up.

The guy in charge told me any of these model fliers could pilot a real helicopter, though a copter pilot would surely crash the model!

The culmination of the morning was a walk from Brooksvale up the ‘linear park’ into Cheshire. Again, it’s great to watch all these families sharing the day and working for a good cause.

For Helaine and me, a busy weekend – but very rewarding… and don’t forget the dumpster!

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