31st Annual JDRF Promise Ball Inspired Hope and Commitment to “BeatT1D”


Beard Family Photo cropped 2

JDRF asked its supporters to “come together” to beat type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the “BeatT1D” Promise Ball, and “BeatT1Dmania” took over the room of more than 400 guests. “With a little help from our friends,” JDRF raised $1.6 million to help fund critical T1D research.

Event Emcee, WDIV Local 4 News Meteorologist, Brandon Roux opened the evening with JDRF Board President Eric Dietz, leading into the announcement of this year’s Jane Jospey Cobb Promise Award.

This award is bestowed to individuals who have distinguished themselves in advancing the mission of JDRF through their support of research and research related education. The 2016 award was presented to Sue and Grant Beard, whose daughter Emily was diagnosed with T1D at age 14.

In response to the tribute, Grant said, “Sue and I are honored that people we work so hard with would want to thank us. Really, we’re just Emily’s parents, and we wanted to support her journey with this disease. Now we’re fighting for all Emilys. JDRF is making a difference. We are the advocate in the space of T1D and for the Emilys in the world. This is an organization that has, is and will continue to make a difference in the T1D space.”

Sue and Grant then announced a $500,000 gift to the JDRF Metro Detroit/Southeast Michigan Chapter. This donation was made in addition to the evening’s $1.6 million raised by guests for Promise Ball.

Following the award announcement and dinner service, the live auction raised more than $70,000, with trips to the Super Bowl; Burbank, California for a live, in-studio taping of the Ellen DeGeneres show; and a trip to Napa Valley inspired the greatest paddle battles of the evening.

The room then grew still as a story of hope unfolded during the event’s Fund A Cure commitments. During this time, guests donated directly to research and helped fund the science that will one day transform the lives of our family members and friends with T1D. In fact, 100 percent of Fund A Cure donations go directly to JDRF research. Guests committed donations from $100 to the largest Fund A Cure gift of the evening, $300,000.

The event wouldn’t be complete without dancing to The Beat Club, America’s finest Beatles tribute band, which closed out the evening, complete with a backdrop of frenzied fans.