What does Los Angeles do better than anyone? Okay, okay, after the traffic. Celebrities. Now it's probably not like everyone in the midwest thinks but depending on the area one lives they will see a celeb or two on a regular basis. For goodness sake the last time I got a bike fitting Barry Bonds (yes, balco Bonds himself) sat on the couch next to me for the entire time, laughing and telling jokes like any other normal guy.
The JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Los Angeles Gala was no exception. I was able to talk my way into the event through a friend that works at the foundation, Jennifer Bergmark. She couldn't have been more generous, comping me two tickets for donating a few items from the PGA TOUR event I work, the Northern Trust Open.
With Jamie as my guest we fought the Los Angeles traffic four and a half whole miles to the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. After Jamie wouldn't allow me to valet park we walked into the event, immediately seeing one of my former professors who's Public Relations firm, Crimson PR, does all the publicity for JDRF in Los Angeles. (Yes, even JDRF has a PR firm in Los Angeles.)
Our names were validated on the list and we received our auction number. After a quick run through of all the silent auction items I bid on a few, Jamie talking sense into me over bidding on the three night hotel stay on the big island of Hawai'i. Now that I think about it, I may have won an item or two but I will wait to hear back from Jen about that.
A curious check of the blood sugar, 136, and I got a little out of control, ordering a sparkling water from the bartender. Thanks for the drink JDRF! Patrolling the event further, Jamie and I ran into fellow diabetic, Team Type 1 Athlete, Eric Tozer (who's wife, Jen, works for the Los Angeles JDRF chapter) before sitting down and finding out Jamie and I were seated next to Eric.
Once seated we were able to sneak a glance at the always classic moment in Los Angeles, the 40-something rich guy with the barely legal girl seated next to Jamie. O let the good times roll!
The live auction now underway we were treated to Ray Romano and his brother getting people to bid higher and higher on items from Packer tickets with a "frozen tailgate" (if these people only knew what that was) to a fourteen day African Safari. Once completed we took in a wonderful steak dinner polished off with desert. Now it wouldn't be a diabetic event without some sugar added at the end.
After a few awards, the night concluded with a heart wrenching story of a young diabetic who died in his sleep from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It really put things into perspective, the room was silent as his parents told their son's story. The chapter was then able to receive some incredible donations as the auctioneer brought out cards with amounts for people to bid, raising needed funds to find a cure for diabetes.
After the Charlie Sheen sighting in the audience, Jamie and I were able to sneak out before valet traffic got heavy. Wait, I didn't valet it, okay truthfully we were able to sneak out before the parking ramp was packed.
The Los Angeles JDRF Chapter put on a wonderful event, full of "LA-only" auction items, celebrities (Sugar Ray is a lot shorter than you'd think) and great food. Special thanks to Jen for getting me the tickets and to Jamie for coming.
"Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving."
Current Blood Sugar: 168