Together…in spirit! The Piedmont Triad Hope Gala Makes Its “Virtual” Debut on May 15

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JDRF Hope Gala Night in the Triad is always the most highly anticipated event of the year! And 2021 will be no exception.

Although we’ll be together in spirit—and not mingling with 1,000 people in two ballrooms at the Benton Convention Center—the driving force behind the Gala remains the same: We will be focused on doing everything in our power to cure, prevent, and treat type 1 diabetes (T1D)…and we’ll do it in great style!

This year’s Gala Honorees, Susan and Martin Gilmore, inspire everyone they meet. They are recognized community leaders, and Martin—a Founder Partner of Five Points Capital—is also an eight-time Ironman finisher. For most people, that would be enough to keep them busy; however, Susan and Martin aren’t “most people.” They are driven by another passion: A vision of a world without T1D, the autoimmune disease that their daughter, Margaret, was diagnosed with in 2007, at the age of 14.

From the moment they learned that Margaret had T1D, Susan and Martin sprang into action, learning all they could about the disease and spending hundreds of hours volunteering to help JDRF create a world without type 1.

Susan and Martin are very humble. The secret weapon behind their acceptance of the Honoree role? They were asked by former Hope Gala Honoree Paul Fulton, who pushed the Triad Hope Gala into the “modern era” in 2011, when—as Honoree—he led the first Triad Gala campaign that raised over $1 million (a feat that’s been equaled or exceed in 8 of the ensuing 9 years).

But Susan and Martin had one condition: They would accept the Honoree role if Paul and his daughter, Betsy Saye (mother of Stephen Saye, who was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 8), would serve as Gala Chairs. And so, an incredible Gala Leadership Team was born!

When Susan, Martin, Betsy, and Paul have spoken with JDRF supporters over the past few months about the Gala, they have delivered one message: Now is the time to participate…now is the time to give…now is the time to make tremendous inroads in advancing diabetes research! JDRF is funding dozens of cutting-edge research projects and clinical trials around the world. And we can all get involved in making a tremendous difference from right here in the Piedmont Triad.

How can I make a difference?

Remember—this is a virtual Gala. That means that the typical expenses won’t be part of the equation. There are no tickets to purchase, gowns to buy, tuxedos to rent, or babysitters to pay. So—please consider being generous in other ways!

Of course, the most moving part of the Hope Gala is Fund A Cure, when supporters make 100% tax-deductible donations that go directly toward T1D research. In the ballroom, the sight of hundreds of people raising their paddles for gifts ranging from $100 to $100,000 (and sometimes more) is awe-inspiring…magical…and humbling. This year, we won’t be together in person, but each of us can still make that magic happen! Click here to make your Fund A Cure gift. (All gifts received by April 30 will be celebrated in the virtual program on May 15.)

Calling all companies!

There’s still plenty of time to serve as a Gala Corporate Sponsor, and receive a variety of creative benefits. Click here to see a list of sponsorship levels and email Eleanor Schaffner-Mosh at for details.

Bring your friends and family members together for a Hope Gala Watch Party on May 15! As a VIP Host of a Watch Party, you will deliver the fun of Gala night to everyone you know while supporting critical diabetes research. VIP Hosts will receive a Gala Party-Starter Kit before Gala night. Host a Watch Party at the location of your choice. Dress up or dress down. Have an elegant party at a restaurant or rustle up burgers on your deck. As long as you have access to a TV or computer (so you can all watch the program) and have your smartphones out to bid on Auction items, purchase Raffle tickets, and make Fund A Cure gifts, the possibilities are endless! Click here for more information and to register as a VIP Host.

To make Gala night even simpler, the Executive Chef at the Benton Convention Center will prepare gourmet heat-and-serve celebratory meals (in multiples of 2 or 10, with or without wine) for pick-up. Click here to see the menu and reserve yours no later than Friday, May 7.

Register now at and you’ll receive text messages reminding you when Gala Season events take place:

• Our Windsor Jewelers Raffle—featuring an exquisite Center of My Universe® Diamond Pendant by Forevermark, retailing for $12,500—will open for ticket purchasing on Monday, April 26

• Our Silent and Premier Auctions will be just as fabulous as ever—and they’ll be open for bidding beginning Monday, May 10. You’ll find something for everyone (at all price points)—including fashion items, jewelry, artwork, travel experiences, a beautiful Golden Retriever puppy, and so much more!

• We’ll make announcements about special entertainment and other Gala happenings and let folks in on a few secrets in the weeks leading up to the Gala

“See you” on May 15! If you have any questions, please email Eleanor Schaffner-Mosh at or Danielle Hayes at