Did you know what Father’s Day has to do with diabetes? Dollars Against Diabetes (D.A.D.) has been around for over 35 years. So while many dads around the country get the b-b-qs ready, there is another group of DADs getting ready to help raise money for your kids and mine; so that one day a cure may be found.
The various locals of the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) around the country, mostly surrounding Father’s Day each year, give of their time to run a D.A.D.s Day event in cities and towns across this great country of ours……..in fact over 70 different events will occur throughout the year but many around D.A.D.’s Day.
Years ago, the men (and women) of the NABTU stood on street corner intersections and asked for donations from the motorists while stopped at traffic lights. While many still do it this way, others organize golf tournaments, softball tournaments, motorcycle poker runs, and many other events. In fact they even organize a huge event called the Labor of Love weekend which will raise over $700,000 this year alone. They have done this for years and years until they had enough money to build one of the largest buildings of hope in the world today for those living with diabetes, they built the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).
The union members were out in full force every Father’s Day weekend until they raised enough to build the DRI…..that is a lot of people giving up a lot of time. The building was completed and then donated to the University of Miami (UM)…….that’s right, donated.
Presently, 87,000 square feet of research happens every day. Virtually every organization you can think of are supporters of the DRI; JDRF, ADA, NIH, are but a few. That is a testament of the DRI’s collaborative effort and also the caliber of the actual work. This is not one scientist working on one project, this is many scientists working on many aspects because it will take a lot to get us to the finish line.
Once the building was opened, the work of the NABTU continued and now their donations have topped over 50 million dollars over the last 35 years. They stated they wanted to fund research to find a cure, and they continue that today and will continue until a cure is found. By donating the building to UM, it ensures that once a cure is found, the building can be easily transferred to another scientific field, so the money raised is not in the brick and mortar; it is to what happens on the inside.
Many people know about the Diabetes Research Institute, but many also do not. Many do not know of the long list of wonderful organizations that have funded the DRI through competitive grants, meaning that the DRI is not merely handed money; they had to earn it with scientific proposals applied to almost every organization which contributes. It’s also funded by generous private donors who believe in providing ‘seed money’ for scientific projects that need to be proven to obtain those larger grants. Single dollars to millions are generated by individuals, as well as corporations and organizations
It’s quite a complex place with much going on but know this, as you eat your hotdog and hamburger this weekend, that a group of women and men from around the United States gave of their precious time this week, and this weekend, to do one thing—-to raise money to find a cure for your kids……and for my kids. To get rid of diabetes forever. To all of them we say thank you and God bless you as this Father’s Day was spent for D.A.D.s Day.
I am a diabetes dad.
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