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Carnival for a Cure
For the grown-ups, there was the Bayer HealthCare booth showcasing the entire range of Bayer home glucometers, a nurse/CDE, raffles, and a silent auction. Auction items included guitars signed by Nick Jonas and by Taylor Swift, signed sports memorabilia, spa days, and a number of other prizes. Raffle prizes included signed glucose meters and meet-and-greets. Meanwhile, the "wheel of fortune" at the Bayer booth allowed everyone to spin for pedometers, free meters, and autographed Jonas Brothers CDs.
Front and center of this all was the main stage, emceed by Diabetes Research Institute Foundation president and CEO Robert A. Pearlman. At intervals, the "all Jonas, all the time" background music would be interrupted by the announcement of raffle winners, and towards the end of the day, Nick Jonas himself.
While the goal of Carnival for a Cure was to raise funds for the DRI's research efforts, there was significant presence from, and investment by, event sponsor Bayer Diabetes. In addition to their information booth and prize wheel, Nick's appearance was made possible through his partnership with Bayer, and there was at least one Bayer representative on the event committee.
That said, it should be no surprise that the group of people in the Nick Jonas interview room included representatives from Bayer Diabetes. It was here that my contact, Suzanne Jacobson of MSL Group, introduced me to Susan Yarin, Director of Global Communications for Bayer Diabetes Care. Not only are Susan and Holly Schachner (Director of Medical Affairs) responsible for managing Bayer's presence at events such as the Carnival for a Cure, but they were interested when later, I told them that I had blogged about the Contour USB meter, that it was not all glowing praise, and why.
While I'm mentioning some of the movers and shakers here, I should also mention here Lori Weintraub, DRI Foundation's Vice President of Marketing & Communications. In addition to doing a lot of the event's legwork, Lori was managing credentials, playing hostess to the media, and in general doing everything she could to make the event a fun, financial, and media success. One of the keys to that success has been getting entire families involved. Not only were several children involved in the presentation to Nick Jonas, but the DRI children routinely get involved in the activities and the fundraising that is necessary to supporting the technical activities of the Institute. In some respects, this is similar to the way children with diabetes get involved in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, but from what I saw and heard it sounds like DRI youth get involved much earlier in the event planning stages.
Which brings me back to the kids -- preschoolers crawling through an inflatable playground, teenagers trying to outrun each other at the inflatable "bungee run", kids with hoards of prize tickets collecting all sorts of fun toys for later, and of course all of them looking to get close to their idol, Nick Jonas. You could tell they were having a good time.
Big thank-yous to everyone who provided me the opportunity to attend a fun family event.
Megan was diagnosed in 2009 with Type I. As an RN, she was familiar with the medical side of her diagnosis; learning to be a good patient on the other hand, was and continues to be the challenge of her day to day life. (Read More)