On November 7, 2020, the North Carolina Chapter of JDRF presented our first-ever VIRTUAL Charlotte Hope Gala. Although 2020 hasn’t looked how any of us expected, it has been an important year, marking the 20th anniversary of the Charlotte Hope Gala and the 50th year of JDRF’s founding. The 2020 Gala captured the importance of supporting JDRF now more than ever, as we reflect on 50 years of progress as an organization and continue to raise funds for critical research to better treat, prevent and eventually cure type 1 diabetes (T1D).
To help foster a sense of digital community even before event night, we opened this year’s Gala auction online on Monday November 2nd, giving bidders all week to peruse the 300+ auction packages and start placing bids and purchasing tickets for the Windsor Jewelers Raffle. From bourbon to sports memorabilia, priceless art to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, this year’s virtual auction was a huge hit, particularly live items like a goldendoodle puppy, trips to Aspen and Snowmass and a week at a jaw-dropping vacation home in exclusive and star-studded St. Barts that sold for an impressive $48,000. With over 4,000 bids placed, the auction raised over $235,000 for JDRF, with bidding wars serving as in-home entertainment for those tuning into the Gala from their couches and watch parties!
The Gala evening fun kicked off with a VIP virtual Cocktail Hour sponsored by Adams Beverages, and the party really got rockin’ when country music superstar Eric Church performed his hit “Drink in My Hand” for this exclusive crowd! Singer/songwriter Steve Azar finished up the hour with a set of his own, before the action turned over to WCNC’s Charlotte Today host and longtime Charlotte Gala emcee Colleen Odegaard to take us through the virtual program. And even though we were sorry not to be able to gather together in person, as Eric Church played us out at the end of the program, it was clear that no matter the distance, our T1D community is as strong and resilient as ever and won’t stop fighting for a CURE!
We are so grateful to our event volunteer leadership, Gala Chairs Shauna and Pat McFeeley, Co-Chairs Angie and Anders Persson and the entire Gala Committee; Honoree Peter Fioretti; the VIP Hosts, auction and raffle bidders who made it possible for the chapter to present this event virtually; and the Fund A Cure donors whose generous support goes directly toward JDRF research, truly making a difference in our ability to advance JDRF’s mission. We also gratefully acknowledge the Gala’s corporate sponsors: Medallia; Truist; Adams Beverages of North Carolina; CPI Security; DHG; Bank of America; Dogwood State Bank; EY; Novant Health; Trane Technologies; Ally Financial; Mercedes-Benz of South Charlotte; McGuireWoods; Providence Anesthesiology Associates; PrecisionLender, a Q2 Company; Allegiance Realty; AmWINS Group; Carowinds; Harris Teeter, Kirk Palmer & Thigpen, PA; KPMG; Moore & Van Allen.
Thanks to all who supported this year’s event, we have raised over $1.6 million (and counting!), far exceeding our $1.1 million goal and putting us on track to surpass last year’s Gala gross total, all in these COVID-19 times of uncertainty. An incredible feat for this 20th Charlotte Hope Gala.
THANK YOU to those who supported and participated in this historic event in support of JDRF!