Honored At The JDRF Gala

I wanted to include my parents and used them as examples of how medicine has advanced. They didn’t know I’d ask them to stand.

I want to write about last night. Indulge me. There’s no graceful way to do this.

Last night was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s annual gala. It was held at the carousel at New Haven’s Lighthouse Park. The gala is one of the ways JDRF raises money for research. As altruistic as I’d like to be under our system money buys research.

Because of my eighteen plus years of working for JDRF they decided to present me with their “Dream Award.”

It was an incredible honor. My parents came up from Florida. My friend Peter took the train up from New Jersey. Our neighbors came. They all joined Helaine and me.

JDRF invited Dr. Mel to present me with my award which was a nice surprise. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro came to our table to said hello to my folks.

For the past few years I’ve been the emcee at this event. I was again last night. This is like the Hair Club for Men president being president and a client, right?

I’ve spoken on behalf of JDRF before so I knew what I was going to say and worked without a script. I wanted to include my parents and used them as examples of how medicine has advanced. They didn’t know I’d ask them to stand.

My mom is a cancer survivor. My dad has had bypass surgery and a corotid endarterectomy (I had to look up that term). When their parents were the same age those procedures didn’t exist. My parents are survivors by virtue of a single generation!

My point is though there is no cure for diabetes yet it’s not time to give up. Breakthroughs happen. Science advances. Lives are saved.

Right now there are too many beautiful children and happy families whose lives are turned upside down when their diabetes is discovered.

Like I said, money buys research. The current research is very hopeful. Work is being done to perfect an artificial pancreas. More research is being done to perfect a stem cell therapy. Research finds cures.

So, was it a good night? It certainly was. Finding a cure would be even better.

First Bundle Up Of The Season

Tonight is the night they turn the lights on for the Fantasy of Lights at New Haven’s Lighthouse Park. It’s a drive-thru display which benefits the Easter Seal Society.

I usually broadcast live from there, and was asked for tonight. In other words, I’ll be at the beach in mid-November.

It’s chilly today. It will be chillier tonight. And tonight will not have the benefit of sunshine, which helps keep you warmer, but is excluded from the reported air temperature.

I’m not going to cry about temperatures near 40&#186 and a wind chill in the 30s&#186, but it’s my first blast of the season. Already, Helaine has taken gloves out for me and put them on the sofa near the door – lest I forget.

We will get much colder before the winter ends (it hasn’t even begun officially), but you always remember your first time.

Good Deeds

Today I was busy being a good citizen. That’s really not a bad thing, if you can swing it.

At 5:00, the station sent me to Lighthouse Park (or Lighthouse Point Park – I’m never sure) in New Haven. Tonight’s the night they light The Fantasy of Lights. It’s a drive through display of holiday lighting at the beach… sort of unused this time of year.

Last year 18,000 cars drove through and it benefits Easter Seals.

Then I was off to the New Haven Lawn Club for the annual Gateway Community College Hall of Fame Awards Dinner. This is another one of those things I’ve been doing for a long time – 7 years I think.

Gateway is a good thing. It’s not what you think of when you think of a traditional college. There are lots of poor people. Lots of people with less advantages. Lots of non-traditional students (though that’s becoming a smaller percentage of the student body as people realize what a financial bargain this school is).

The featured speaker was supposed to be Senator Joseph Lieberman. I was prepared. I had my Senator Lieberman material at the ready, but then he canceled at the last minute. I’m sure it was something important though it never feels good when you’re left at the altar.

Larry DeNardis, former president of University of New Haven and a former congressman stepped in. I like Larry but I wanted Joe. I was prepared for Joe.

Anyway, this evening left me feeling good, like I had done something worthwhile. Even though I know what I did, to emcee both events, is easy for me, there is benefit for others. It’s not how hard I work but that I can help produce a positive outcome for others that matters.