Juvenile Diabetes Walk To Cure 2009

The day was a success. JDRF raised a lot of money. My family was together. Roxie charmed (and licked) everyone she saw.


Today was the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes. For the past few years it’s been held at Quinnipiac University in North Haven (what was once Blue Cross/Blue Shield)–a beautiful tree-lined campus which is perfect for the walk.

IMG_4881.jpgHelaine came as she has the past few years. So did Stef.

OK–as a father I will admit I’m pretty damned thrilled my 22-year old daughter (she has said she’s 21 for the past three years, but that’s another story for another day) wanted to join us. Most of Stef’s motivation was to be good at a good cause, but she also wanted to show off Roxie. Fine. No problem there.

As it turns out bringing dogs to events like this is the norm and adds to the fun feel.

We set out for North Haven a little before 9:00 AM. With a quick stop at “Dunks” and two wrong turns on my part we were on site by 9:20 AM.

IMG_4862.jpgSunday was a perfect day–the exact opposite of Saturday. The Sun was out. It was comfortably mild. The crowd was large. I have no expertise in crowd estimation (I’d be perfect for Fox News) so let’s just say impressively large–certainly a few thousand.

My job is to act as the emcee and speak to the crowd. Before the walk I promote the hell out of it. There’s no part of this that doesn’t make me feel good. JDRF is a worthy cause served by a well run charity.

Individuals, usually friends and relatives of a diabetic child, form walking teams as a method to collect donations. Each team wears their own personalized shirts. The vibe is great.

The day was a success. JDRF raised a lot of money. My family was together. Roxie charmed (and licked) everyone she saw.

I always hope a dollar I’ve helped collect will be the one that buys the research that finds the cure.

JDRF Walk Sunday

It would be easy to complain about the early hours on a Sunday or say after 15+ years, enough–but I can’t.

jdrf_walk_sophie.jpgOnce a year I act as ‘celebrity chair’ for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes. Every year I hope it’s my last, because I really do think diabetes will be cured. It would be nice if one of the dollars I helped collect was the one that made the difference.

You might be wondering what a celebrity chair does? Basically I’m there because I can give away TV time–and I do. I generate publicity. I also go to a few events during the year. On the day of the walk, I make sure to say hello to as many people as I can. Everyone there should feel they’re important, because they are.

It would be easy to complain about the early hours on a Sunday or say after 15+ years, enough–but I can’t. Look at Sophie Baum (see attached photo). The walk is filled with people walking for their own Sophie’s.

I really do think diabetes will be cured.

JDRF Dinner

Tonight, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation held their yearly appreciation dinner following the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. I was told the two walks I’m involved with raised $900,000.

Yes, that’s a lot of money to be raised in Southern Connecticut. Makes me feel good and I’m by no means alone.

Because of the early news, I walked in while the program was already in progress. Within a few minutes I was called to speak. Oops – I had no clue I’d be asked.

Everyone there was very nice to me.

If you want to know the upside of celebrity (and in my little pond, I suppose I’m a big fish) it’s stuff like this.

I’m able to move tens of thousands of dollars of free publicity toward this organization year-after-year. I help add a little credibility for those just getting involved.

These are things you don’t consider when you crave celebrity – and growing up, I did crave celebrity.

Sometimes You Just Get Lucky

I’ve been working with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for well over a decade. I’ve mentioned it here before. I am lucky enough to have the ability to give away my bosses TV station for charity – and I do.

A few months ago, one of the people I work with, Chris Kirby, also decided to get involved with JDRF. I’m not sure why he did it, just as I’m not sure what drew me to them. It happens.

Chris called the local chapter director and made an offer. He wanted to put together a video. Chris is the perfect person to do this. He’s our art director at the TV station.

He once told me he couldn’t draw. Maybe he can’t. Truth is, he’s an unbelievably talented designer totally at home with the digitization of art.

You’ll see. This is leading to an example.

The day of the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, Chris was there with his home video camera. After the walk, his wife Patty wrote a script, I voiced the track, and Chris created a presentation that will help JDRF get out the word and raise more money.

Virtually everything in the video was created by Chris. It’s an astounding undertaking. It runs 6:30 and you can see it by clicking here.

I am honored he allowed me to voice it.

Juvenile Diabetes Walk to Cure

This is my ‘busy’ charity season. In fairly rapid succession I have the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, Blue Jeans for Babies and the Gateway Community College Awards Dinner.

I am very lucky. How many people have a TV station to ‘give away.’ Starting this afternoon I’ll be plugging the JDRF walk this weekend. Can I get more people to show up – get them more money for research? I don’t know, but I’d like to try.

Same thing with the March of Dimes and Gateway. Can I raise awareness? Does that translate into money?

Who knows how long the television business, or any business, will remain community spirited? I have seen, with other charities I help, that as local companies are bought by out-of-towners&#185 the commitment to local charity often dwindles.

Meanwhile, the JDRF walk is this Sunday. I have asked to borrow our copter and think I’ll get it, so we can get video and be at both Anthem Blue Cross in North Haven and Rocky Neck State Park. At this point, the weather looks good.

&#185 – In recent entries I had talked about SNET being bought by SBC. As far as I know their charity commitment remains high. This is a different local utility which is no longer locally owned.