Better Makers: 40th Annual JDRF One Dream Gala Sets Global Record in Quest for Type 1 Diabetes Cure

On Dec. 14, the JDRF Illinois Chapter hosted its 40th Annual JDRF One Dream Gala at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event set a global record for JDRF by raising $7 million “to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications.” More than 100 JDRF Galas take place in the U.S. every year.

During the gala’s signature Fund A Cure program, the Lacher family (Joe, Marisue, Tommy, and Patrick) spoke to the more than 2,000 guests in attendance about living with T1D before a live auction. Fundraising Chair Glen Tullman donated $1 million — the largest Fund A Cure donation in JDRF Illinois history.

JDRF Illinois Chapter gala Lacher family
The JDRF Illinois 2019 One Dream Gala Fund A Cure family — Tommy, Marisue, Joe, and Patrick Lacher — take a minute to revel in the record-breaking night for type 1 diabetes research. (Photo by Lynn Persin.)
JDRF Illinois Chapter gala Glen Tullman Toni Preckwinkle
Glen Tullman (Executive Chairman and Founder, Livongo) poses with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Tullman generously donated $1 million to the Fund A Cure portion of the evening, making this the largest Fund A Cure gift in JDRF Illinois history. (Photo by Lynn Persin.)

The event was emceed by NBC 5 Chicago’s Allison Rosati and Rob Stafford, and Third Eye Blind performed hits like “Semi-Charmed Life” and “Jumper.” Along with Tullman as Fundraising Chair, the gala was co-chaired by David and Carrie Carlson and Fund A Cure was co-chaired by Michael and Sarah Alter. Greg Wasson was the 2019 Honorary Corporate Chair.

The JDRF Illinois Chapter’s local corporate partners are Aldridge Electric, Allscripts, Capgemini, CIBC, Ford, Kemper Foundation, Land O’Frost, Launch!, Livongo, NBC Chicago, PureCircle, Sidley Austin Foundation, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and Wasson Enterprise.

JDRF Illinois Chapter gala Allison Rosati and Rob Stafford NBC 5 Chicago
NBC5’s Allison Rosati and Rob Stafford graciously host the evening year after year. (Photo by Lynn Persin.)
JDRF Illinois’ Young Leadership Committee
JDRF Illinois’ Young Leadership Committee takes time to pose on the Blue Carpet before a night full of volunteering. (Photo by Mila Samokhina.)
JDRF Illinois Chapter gala Greg Wasson Kim Wasson
Honorary Corporate Chair Greg Wasson and his wife, Kim Wasson, both of Wasson Enterprise. (Photo by Mila Samokhina.)
2019 JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala Fund A Cure Co-Chairs Michael and Sarah Alter
2019 JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala Fund A Cure Co-Chairs Michael and Sarah Alter chatting with Krista Gallagher, JDRF Illinois Board Member. (Photo by Lynn Persin.)
2019 JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala Co-Chairs David and Carrie Carlson
2019 JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala Co-Chairs David and Carrie Carlson with Ken and Amy Aldridge of the steering committee. (Photo by Lynn Persin.)
JDRF Illinois Board President Mike Roche with his wife, Linda
JDRF Illinois Board President Mike Roche with his wife, Linda. (Photo by Lynn Persin.)

Anna Carlson writes the weekly Weekend 101 column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine, and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital