Virtual Gala is a Real Success

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The Armory Ballroom at the DoubleTree hotel in Manchester looked a little different than it normally would for JDRF Northern New England’s Annual One Hope Gala presented by Harvard Pilgrim. Instead of ornately decorated tables, live music, and beautiful auction items, the room was mostly dark besides the standing lights illuminating the stage and the many computer screens and monitors glowing.

While we certainly missed the energy of an in-person gala, the shift to virtual was hailed as a success! Thank you to all of our sponsors especially for the production sponsor, Malloy Events.  They created a beautiful stage and and successfully executed a magical virtual event, much different from the live productions they are used to hosting.

A peak behind the camera of the set up at the Armory Ballroom in the DoubleTree Hotel in Manchester, NH.

Although not in studio, we were lucky to still have WMUR’s Erin Fehlau lend her emcee expertise to the evening. The night also featured videos from NH Governor Chris Sununu, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and JDRF board members and families from across the region. Congratulations to Harvard Pilgrim’s Bill Brewster for being the nights honoree. JDRF is very grateful for Bill’s many contributions to health care in the region and the work he does for the community.


The live auction was one of the most exciting parts of the night, allowing people to remotely bid from the comfort of their homes. The classic Dinner at Deans, a Conway Lakehouse Getaway and a handcrafted Cornhole set rounded out the live items. Thanks to Dean Kamen and Celebrations Catering, the Durkee Family, and the Cook Family for their donations to the live auction. Created in their own backyard, Jon and Anna Cook crafted the custom JDRF Cornhole boards for the auction. It truly came down to the wire, with the winning bid for the Cornhole boards coming in mere seconds before the auction was closed.

Executive Director Brian Shankey and Auctioneer Mark Fodero run the socially distanced live auction with the Cornhole board in between them.


Of course, the evening included Fund A Cure portion, highlighting many T1D stories from perspectives of a child, family, college student, and motherhood. All together, we raised over $200,000 to support JDRF’s mission of curing type 1 diabetes. Thank you to everyone who tuned in and supported JDRF. Our online audience was from New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, California, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, New Jersey, Florida, Missouri, West Virginia, Oregon, Washington D.C. and even Puerto Rico.

Click here to play the recording of the evening.

The global pandemic created some challenges, but type 1 diabetes doesn’t stop and neither will we. Thank you again for your commitment to our chapter and the mission of curing type 1 diabetes. Onward and upward!