Saturday evening, March 12, 2011
After freshening up I headed back downstairs to the hotel foyer for a reception to meet all the other advocates that have come from all over the United States. It is so fantastic that all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii are represented. There were many of us who were here last year, there were many new advocates that were here for the first time and there were also quite a few “boomerangs” that had been active in previous years, took a break and are now back and ready to hit the hill again!!
It is so inspiring to me to see over 150 people, from so many different regions of the US and so many different walks of life, come together in one place with such passion. That all of them have the same goal… to advocate on behalf of so many living with Type 1 Diabetes and ultimately to find a Cure!
Dinner was served in the South Ballroom, and was followed by Vice President of Government Relations, Cynthia Rice kicking off Saturday night’s awards program. She and Government Relations Committee Chair, Rik Kirkland introduced last year’s Volunteer Chair of Grassroots Advocacy, Lorraine Stiehl (who, by the way, is absolutely amazing!) and she presented to us the NEW Volunteer Chair, Camille Nash . It was a wonderful evening celebrating the successes of the past year, and announcing of this years award winners.
- Judy Krtek of the Kansas City Chapter received the Above and Beyond Award
- Laurie DeSchyver from the LA Chapter won the JDRF Messenger Award
- Michelle Freedman from the Oregon/SW WA Chapter received the Stand and Deliver Award
- Jeanne Mansfield (that’s me!!) from the Orange County Chapter won the Thomas Edison award for her Type 1 Talk Presentation
- Jim Caleca of the Metro Detroit/SE Michigan Chapter received the Team Builder award
- Rookie of the Year award winners, Stacey Warnick from the Utah Chapter and Rosemary Fuller of the Eastern PA chapter
- Advocate of the Year, Mary Horn of the Greater Iowa Chapter
- Laura Chisholm of the Kansas City Chapter received the At Home on the Hill Award
- Lifetime Achievement Award went to Gary Henn of the Central New Jersey Chapter
I was surprised and honored to have received the Thomas Edison Award, but was feeling sad that my daughter-in-law Julie was not there to share it with me! Without her help and inspiration our Type 1 Talk at the Original Fish Company in Los Alamitos, would never have happenedl. Nor would it have been so successful without Wendi and Vanessa who made it all possible!
I also have to mention that sitting at the table next to me was a group of very enthusiastic young men and women who, I could see, were texting throughout the entire awards presentation!! At the conclusion of the presentation, several of them came over to congratulate Laurie and I and introduce themselves. That’s when and how this whole blogging thing all began!! They were a group of 9 people representing the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) that had been invited to share their stories and educate us on the impact the online community has in the support of all of those living with diabetes! As one of the oldest advocates in attendance, I could not let all these youngsters pass me by!! And so it began…Laurie and Scott promised to get me started and here I am!!