On Friday, March 16, 2018, the JDRF Greater Bay Area Chapter will host its fourth annual Tee to Table, bringing prominent business leaders and families from around the Bay Area to The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Each year, the JDRF Impact Award is presented at the event. The 2018 honorees, Cathy Baldacci Jensen and Family, were selected for their exceptional commitment to the JDRF mission to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications. Cathy and her three daughters Kelly White, Kristen Cross, and Kate Weeger, have been active supporters of JDRF for more than twenty years.
Most parents of children with T1D remember the exact date that their child was diagnosed. It is a date that is often referred to as a “dia-birthday” because of the new life that abruptly starts – a life of 24/7 management of T1D. Cathy remembers the date and time of her daughter’s diagnosis. “My daughter Kelly was diagnosed at 9:30 am on Tuesday, September 6, 1994, just after her seventh birthday and what would have been her first day of second grade,” Cathy says.
While spending four days at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, learning everything about T1D, Kelly and Cathy saw a T.V. news feature about the JDRF Walk. By that weekend, the Jensen family was walking at Shoreline Park in Mountain View. Since then, they have participated at the Walk in Silicon Valley, with Cathy and Kelly regularly volunteering on the committee and supporting the Walk.
In those early years, Cathy was introduced to many families involved with JDRF, and joined them in actively fundraising and volunteering. She was soon voted onto the JDRF Greater Bay Area Chapter Board, where she held many chair positions including Outreach, Nominating Committee and others. She then co-founded the former Silicon Valley Branch Board in 1999 and served on it throughout the next two decades. She has also served on the Half Moon Bay golf event committee since 2001 and continues to do so today. The Jensen family has supported Tee to Table since it began, and looks forward to the event each year.
“I can’t think of a more deserving family to receive this year’s Tee to Table Impact Award!” says event chair Patty Sue Mozart. “Cathy and her daughters are the most generous, kind and loving people I have ever met. Since Cathy’s daughter Kelly was diagnosed with T1D 24 years ago, they have donated their time and energy to many JDRF events, helping raise millions of dollars for education and research. This world would be a much better place with more people like Cathy and her family in it.”
Supporting the JDRF mission has become a family affair. Kristen was active with the Chicago JDRF Chapter in the Youth Leadership Program, planning special events. Kate has volunteered at JDRF Walks for the Greater Bay Area, and at the San Francisco JDRF Hope Gala. And, in addition to her JDRF Bay Area Walk team “Kelly’s Crusaders,” Kelly started a Walk team with her entire sorority house while at the University of Arizona. Now grown professionals, all three girls, along with their spouses, continue to volunteer and fundraise for JDRF. Kelly serves on the Silicon Valley Walk committee, developing family Walk teams and chairing the V1P hospitality committee. She has spoken at Walk kick off events and has participated with YLC (Youth Leadership Committee). Cathy recently welcomed her first grandchild, Charles Louis Cross, son of Kristen and Gavin Cross, and so creating a world without T1D has become even more important to the family.
JDRF is pleased to present this year’s Tee to Table Impact Award to Cathy Baldacci Jensen and Family.
Thank you and congratulations!