Rockin' for Research raises $1.2 million to help JDRF fight Type 1 diabetes
Gastby-style glamour and a whole lot of generosity was on display last night at the Hyatt Regency for the 13th annual Rockin' for Research benefit.
The gala was held to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which funds scientists searching for a cure and for ways to alleviate the impact of Type 1 diabetes. It's a devastating autoimmune disease that kills beta cells in the pancreas, making it impossible for a person to absorb blood sugars without receiving regular doses of insulin.
Boston Pizza served up the largest donation, $210,000, followed closely by a $200,000 gift from Telus, which also sponsors the annual Telus Walk for the Cure in Stanley Park. The B.C.-based telecommunications giant has contributed $6.2 million over the years to fight diabetes.
The largest individual donation last night was a $50,000 pledge by the Aquilini family, who owns the Vancouver Canucks. The JDRF also auctioned off a wine-tasting event with Canucks general manager Mike Gillis and an autographed jersey signed by Ryan Kesler.
Other individuals at the dinner contributed another $200,000 in cash. Including the proceeds of the silent auction, the 500 guests contributed a whopping $1.2 million.
Rockin' for Research was created 13 years ago by Loverboy guitarist Paul Dean after his son Jake was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
It has since raised over $9 million, and over the years the entertainers have included Loverboy, Colin James, Jeff Healey, Powder Blues, Bif Naked, Stephen Kabokos, Jann Arden, Michael Buble, Jim Byrnes, Bill Henderson, Craig Northey, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Chilliwack, Paul Hyde of the Payolas, Saffron Henderson and Camille Henderson, and Stayin Alive—The Bee Gees Tribute.