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Promise Ball 2019

One Night to Make Dreams Come True

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger | Photos by Baxter Buck 

As guests arrived for the 19th annual Promise Ball benefiting the West Tennessee chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), they were greeted with a cocktail reception and JDRF Youth Ambassadors, a group of young people living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) who were the definite “stars” of the night. Hayden and Laura Simons were the 2019 Event Chairmen. The theme for this year’s gala was “One Night to Make Dreams Come True.” And that’s just what the evening was all about — making dreams come true, like finding a cure for Type I Diabetes in our lifetime.

Along with cocktails, guests enjoyed perusing items in the silent auction, many which promoted local events and attractions. Passes to STAX Museum, VIP tickets to Graceland, field box tickets to the Memphis Redbirds, tickets to see “Hamilton” at The Orpheum, a Grizz Luxury Box for 12, a dog portrait sitting by Jack Kenner, the opportunity to host a private event at Annesdale Mansion, a year’s membership to The Dixon Gallery & Gardens, a Girls Night Out Party at Betty Hays Boutique, and more. And, for a $50 donation, a Kendra Scott jewelry pull offered guests a blind box drawing for items valued between $50 - $295, with the proceeds going to JDRF. 

Welcoming remarks were made by news anchor WHBQ-TV, Fox 13 Darrell Greene, who served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. Raj Midha, President of the JDRF Board of Directors, presented the “Living and Giving Award” to the Godman family (Cecil, Summer and Becca). The award recognizes those who have taken a leadership role in supporting JDRF. Additionally, Ryan McClatchey was in attendance, surprising his parents, Barbara and Gene McClathcy, as he presented them with the Oscar “Bo” Carr Award in recognition of their volunteer endeavors on behalf of JDRF.

The evening’s Fund-A-Cure appeal was presented by Becca Clark. Auctioneer Mark Drilling led the crowd through a live auction, with guests bidding on ta bourbon whiskey tasting experiencex, travel packages, jewelry from Mednikow, a barbecue party for 50, commissioner artwork by Ken Lecco, and dinner for 8 in your home prepared by Chef Andreas Kisler. The heart-stealer of the evening was a beautiful, 12-week old British Labrador puppy from Robert Minor’s Duckhill Kennels.

When the bidding wars were over, it was announced that the gala had garnered over $455,000 for the organization. JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, and 85 percent of the proceeds from the 2016 Promise Ball will be used to fund T1D research and research-related education. The night was wrapped up by the band, Bonfire Orchestra, which brought people to their feet to dance the night away. 

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