Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rock Star Energizes JDRF Fundraiser

Saturday night was the Indiana State Chapter’s JDRF Promise Gala, which was held in downtown Indianapolis.  The theme of the Gala, which was the 15th annual event, was “Picture a Cure,” with funds being raised to support the promising research towards finding a cure for T1D.  The event included both silent and live auctions and a special appearance by a well known rock star. 

Items available to be bid on during the silent auction included the normal autographed sports memorabilia, artwork, ticket packages, etc.  The live auction included some items that inspired more excitement, including a trip to California’s Wine Country, rounds of golf at prestigious courses with Athletic Directors from universities in Indiana and a black Lab…yes a dog, which you can imagine drew some bids that were well above what the dog could normally be purchased for.

But the night was highlighted by an appearance by Bret Michaels, who also provided some items for the live auction.  For anyone that isn’t already aware, Bret Michaels has had T1D since he was 6 years old and has been a great voice in raising awareness for the disease and in fundraising efforts.  His presence and obvious dedication to this cause really raised the excitement level of the event. 

The first of his items up for bid was a Bret Michaels acoustic guitar, with custom graphics and autographed personally for the winner.  During the bidding he added some perks to keep the bidding going, including the opportunity to come on stage and sing with him at an upcoming concert and a trip to the party bus after the show.  His second item was a “VIP Experience” package at an upcoming concert put on by Poison and Def Leppard.  This experience also included spending time with the band after the show and the bidding picked up quickly.  The night was capped off by an exclusive after party reception with him, for folks willing to donate the necessary amount to obtain a ticket.

This was our first trip to the Gala and we left feeling very thankful for the generosity of the people attending and to Bret for his willingness to be such a strong supporter of everything associated with this disease.  It was clear from the moment he stepped on stage how committed he is to doing everything he can to help ensure progress continues towards a cure, and towards improved management of the disease in the meantime.  Funds are still being tallied by JDRF but from all indications their fundraising goal for the night was eclipsed, thanks certainly in part to his attendance, commitment, and energy.  If any of your local JDRF chapters or other organizations are looking for a celebrity to invite to a function you certainly would be privileged to have Bret Michaels.

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