JDRF’s $7 Million Gala






Who wouldn’t have leaped to their feet when the board lit up an astonishing $7 million raised at the JDRF One Dream Gala’s finale?

Toasts are in order for the 40-year-old Illinois chapter that has raised funds for life-saving research, setting a global record for the organization seeking breakthroughs in curing, preventing and treating type 1 diabetes and its complications.


Over 2,000 guests mix and mingle during the dinner portion of the evening.

Guests in the Arie Crown Theatre during the Live Auction portion of the evening waiting anxiously to bid on items such as a trip to Italy, a trip to Turks and Caicos, a Super Bowl experience, and much more.

Dessert Sponsor, Pure Circle, provided ice cream to the more than 2,000 guests before they headed into the Arie Crown Theatre for the program.

Over 2,000 guests and 400 volunteers at McCormick Place bid in silent and live auctions including the chance to create your own personalized wine barrel — 252 bottles — with eight people in five sessions to taste and perfect the blend, labels created by the donor City Winery.  The rock band Third Eye Blind not only wowed guests that night but also donated an up-close evening with bidding winners.


2019 JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala co-chairs David and Carrie Carlson.

2019 JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala Fund A Cure co-chairs, Michael and Sarah Alter, chatting with Krista Gallagher, JDRF Illinois Board Member.

Glen Tullman (Executive Chairman and Founder, Livongo) poses with Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle.

JDRF Illinois Board President, Mike Roche, with his wife, Linda.

Honorary Corporate Chair Greg Wasson and his wife Kim Wasson, both of Wasson Enterprise.

Gala Co-Chairs David Carlson and Carrie Carlson, Fund A Cure Co-Chairs Michael and Sarah Alter, Fundraising Chair Glen Tullman, Board President of JDRF Illinois Mike Roche and Honorary Corporate Chair Greg Wasson proved that the event which began 40 years ago as a Rolls Royce Raffle just keeps getting better and successful.


NBC5’s Allison Rosati and Rob Stafford graciously host the evening year after year.

2019 JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala Fund A Cure family – Tommy, Joe, Marisue, and Patrick Lacher – being interviewed by NBC5’s Allison Rosati and Rob Stafford.

JDRF Illinois 2019 One Dream Gala Fund A Cure family members take a minute to revel in the record-breaking night for type 1 diabetes research.

The program, emceed by NBC 5 Chicago’s Allison Rosati and Rob Stafford, ended with the signature JDRF Fund A Cure program, a Gala tradition. The Lacher family — Joe, Marisue, Tommy and Patrick — shared their story of life with T1D and afterwards guests raised their bid cards to fund JDRF’s most crucial research priorities.


Glen Tullman, after the announcement of his $1 million gift.

Fundraising Chair Glen Tullman, who received recently the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award, honoring leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to social change and reflect Robert Kennedy’s passion for equality, justice, basic human rights, concluded the Fund-A-Cure program with a donation of $1 million — making this the largest Fund A Cure gift in JDRF Illinois’ history.


JDRF Illinois’ Young Leadership Committee takes time to pose on the Blue Carpet before a night full of volunteering.

2019 JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala co-chairs, David and Carrie Carlson, with Ken and Amy Aldridge of the steering committee.

2019 JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala co-chair, David Carlson, announces the record-breaking $7 million fundraising total.

JDRF Illinois 2019 One Dream Gala Leadership Committee Celebrating a record amount of money raised for type 1 diabetes research.

We bet those unstoppable JDRF volunteers and staff are already hard at work to top even that incredible $7 million total at next year’s Gala. May their dream of a cure, backed by their commitment, come true very soon.


For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow them on Twitter: @JDRF.


Photo Credit: Lynn Persin and Mila Samokhina.