The 11th Annual Taste of the Vine & Auction fundraiser hosted by the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute of Santa Barbara was held on a warm summer day that brought throngs of attendees to support the continuing quest for prevention, treatment and a cure for diabetes, which affects 25 million Americans.
This year’s fundraiser was again held at QAD’s facilities atop the bluffs of Summerland overlooking the Pacific Ocean as 450 attendees were greeted by stunning views and the elegant sound of Society Jazz featuring crooner Glenn Novack.
The site quickly filled to capacity by late afternoon as guests mingled on the lush expanse of lawn sipping beverages and feasting on a vast selection of dishes at concession stands from more than 40 of the finest Central Coast wineries and breweries, caterers and restaurants.
Second-year board president Ellen Goodstein, who has been a board member for six years, spoke with Noozhawk of how her interest and work began with the organization.
“When he was 13, my eldest son was diagnosed with diabetes, so since then there’s not much I can do besides raise money for research and that’s been my focus,” she said. “The statistics are really daunting. First of all, the costs of treating people with diabetes, but it’s estimated by the year 2020 that one in every third person born will develop diabetes in their lifetime.”
Across the room, potential bidders gathered around an assemblage of silent auction items, while elated raffle winners took home prizes ranging from a $150 family season pass for Santa Barbara Foresters, a tour and tasting for six people at Le Vigne Winery, a$40 gift card to Our Daily Bread, $100 gift card from Gelson’s, and a $100 gift certificate for either Olio Limone Ristorante or Olio Pizzeria.
Kara Hornbuckle of Bishop Garcia Diego High School was one of four speakers at the event who addressed the topic of diabetes and pregnancy with her own life experiences.
“The bottom line with Sansum is that they gave me the best gift of a lifetime. They gave me the knowledge to have perfect control of my diabetes through my pregnancy and they helped me to give birth to my son, Lucas,” Hornbuckle said. “And now I’ve been able to maintain really, really great control with the health of my diabetes.”
A unique way to support the mission of prevention, treatment and cure for diabetes was offered through Fund-a-Cure, featuring emcee Drew Wakefield, who offered 100 percent tax-deductible gifts. The options for assisting these life-changing programs included “Diabetes and Pregnancy,” the “Artificial Pancreas Project,” “Diabetes Education” and “Outreach for the Underserved, Youth Programs Designed to Prevent Diabetes,” as well as “General Support.”
Terra Hillyer, a stay-at-home mom for her two children, ages 4 and 9, addressed the concept of hope, touching on the artificial pancreas system and the clinical research studies performed at SDRI that have allowed her to follow her passion of the outdoors.
“In January of 2001, I climbed with 19 people up the highest peak of South America, and I had three things in common with those people,” she said. “I had a love for the outdoors and a passion for outdoor activity. All of us were Type 1 diabetics, and all of us were told upon diagnosis that within five years there would be a cure.”
Hillyer went on to discuss the challenges of waiting for a cure.
“When I was told that at diagnosis, it gave me a sense of hope but continued to dissipate over the years,” Hillyer said. “And, being involved with artificial pancreas research studies here at SDRI has given me that second sense of hope, showing me what could be happening down the pipeline.”
The Sansum Diabetes Research Institute is collaborating with world experts and researchers at UC Santa Barbara not only to find a cure but to make an artificial pancreas that will automatically measure a patient’s blood sugar and provide insulin to help save lives.
Guests sat at tables shaded from the afternoon sun by large umbrellas at tables adorned with beautiful centerpieces of “California Treasure” from Tomelene and Mark Montgomery of Squash Blossom Pottery that were also available for bid.
Other exciting items were offered during a live auction featuring Gabe Saglie and John Palmenteri. The duo’s lively and infectious gift for gab entertained the crowd and succeeded in drawing high numbers on items, including “Cruise for the Cure”; along the Santa Barbara coastline for 15 guests aboard the Shark’s Parlour, a Mammoth Village condo for three nights, and a week at Casa Romance Escondido in Puerto Vallarta.
One of the other main topics of the day was addressed by David Pettitt, M.D., a senior scientist at SDRI for 15 years, who spoke of pressing issues with youth and diabetes and local work with Santa Barbara and San Marcos high schools.
“The biggest issue with youth today is they’re inactive and overweight, and that leads to Type 2 diabetes,” he said. “So we’re getting a lot more Type 2 diabetes and a lot more children are getting very obese at young ages.”
Gifts to preserving Sansum’s legacy can also be made in other ways, such as bequests, life income trusts and gift annuities. To learn more about these and other giving opportunities call the Development Department at 805.682.7638 for a confidential conversation with a planned giving director.
As another chapter in this ever-popular event came to a close, guests gathered belongings to say goodbyes while others didn’t want the evening to end, lingering to soak in the last rays of sunshine and warmth.
All of the estimated $100,000 proceeds will go to SDRI, dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of diabetes in children and adults.
The Sansum Diabetes Research Institute thanks all sponsors for their generosity, including:
» Estate level: Rabobank N.A. and the Bialis Family Foundation
» Magnum level: Thomas Crawford Jr. and Nancy Crawford, Alfred Mann, James and Amy Sloan.