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The 2024 JDRF Promise Ball Ensures Hope Continues to Grow for Those with Type 1 Diabetes

JDRF Hope Grows Here Promise Ball raises over $2.8 million to make significant strides in type 1 diabetes research

Photo credit: C.J Martinez and Daniel Ortiz 

The Celebration

The Hilton Americas was the destination for hope and rejuvenation on Saturday, April 13, 2024. Over 800 supporters gathered at the chic venue to support JDRF Houston  (JDRF) and attend the annual Promise Ball. This year’s theme, Hope Grows Here, embodies the organization’s efforts to continue to improve the lives of those with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Jordan and Brian Amis chaired the exuberant event, and Drew Dougherty, Houston Texans TV host, emceed. The evening’s honoree was Dr. Pam Carmain, and Rosalyn and Barry Margolis were the recipients of the Fielding Cocke Visionary Award.

The Story

Plants N’ Petals transformed the venue’s fourth-floor reception area and ballroom into gardens of delight with magnificent floral arrangements, arches, and urns filled with greenery. In the reception area, walls of boxwoods were punctuated by photos of the 64 JDRF Youth Ambassadors. A spectacular 10-foot ring of flowers suspended over the dance floor provided the awe-inspiring focal point for the ballroom. Guests sat down to an elegant meal featuring petite filet mignon, sea bass, and chocolate coffee custard cake. Because individuals with T1D must count every carb, the program provided estimated carbohydrate counts for each menu item.

The spirited live auction, featuring auctioneer Jim Jungers, included extraordinary packages like a Le Mans VIP Racing Experience; a Cabo San Lucas golf trip for eight; and a private five-course dinner with wine pairings for 12 at Brasserie Annabelle, one of Houston’s trendiest new restaurants. All items garnered bids well into the five figures. The Fund A Cure portion of the evening recognized the Cerny Family. Three of their four children have T1D. Guests were challenged during the raise to reach $1 million by John O’Shea who vowed to add $500, 000 to the total, resulting in a grand total of $1.8 million being raised! Additional fundraising activities included an extensive silent auction and big board chaired by Lindsay Wright Brett and Christie Stewart, an exquisite wine pull, and a jewelry sweepstakes for the chance to win a women’s jewelry collection from Nacol & Co. that included a 14-karat white gold tsavorite and cushion-cut diamond pendant, 14-karat white gold tsavorite and diamond earrings, and a 14-karat white gold tsavorite and diamond ring.

After the dinner and fund-raising events, guests rocked out to cover band, Skyrocket! During the Casino After Party, hosted by Liskow, attendees hit the tables to try their luck at poker, roulette, blackjack, and dice games for a chance to win coveted prizes. Breakfast tacos and macarons were served during the afterparty to keep it going strong.

The Moments

The Amis’s, along with their 15-year-old son Charlie, shared their story of hope kindled by JDRF when Charlie was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 10 months. Carmain, who was joined by her son, Grant, and daughter, Kate, spoke of her collaboration with JDRF, which began when Grant was diagnosed with T1D at the age of nine. She realized at that time that other families faced with managing the complex disease didn’t have the same connections and resources that were available to her as a doctor. The Margolis’s were presented with the Fielding Cocke Visionary Award by Doherty and Rick Byrd, the executive director of JDRF Southern Texas Chapter, for their long-standing and generous support of the organization. For over 40 years, they have served on the board of directors and numerous event committees and have been invaluable advisors to JDRF’s planning and growth. Rosalyn has had T1D for 42 years.

The contributing sponsors included: Title Sponsor, Dr. Pam Carmain and John O’Shea; Presenting Sponsors, Hagans and Rosalyn and Barry Margolis; Vision Sponsors, Blayne and Davis Bonham, Brooke and Dan Feather/Judy and Marc Herzstein, Ronda and Dan Feeney, Sterling McCall Toyota/The Kennedy Family, Raye White, and The Williams Company; and Hope Sponsors, Liskow, American Tank & Vessel, Inc., Jordan and Brian Amis, and Dr. Alana Spiwak and Sam Stolbun.

The exceptionally successful event raised over $2.8 million for T1D research.

Guests: Don and Sue Sue Aron, Blayne and Davis Bonham, Alexandra and Richard Bruskoff, Emily Clay and Bill Schneidau, Elizabeth and James Elder, Angie and Scott Kinsel, Judy and Rodney Margolis, Judy and Kenneth Margolis, Laurie and Tray Mounce, Rebecca and Will Shappley, and Patricia and Larry Wright.  

About JDRF, Southern Texas Chapter

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Its goal is to progressively remove the impact of diabetes from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to bring life-changing therapies from the lab to the T1D community.

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