On Saturday, October 20, JDRF hosted its annual Bourbon & BowTie Bash at the Duke Energy Convention Center, and for the fifth consecutive year realized a new fundraising record with over $300,000 raised to fund the JDRF mission to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes (T1D).
The event featured bourbon and cocktail tastings, silent auction, dancing, fashion show, and much more. While tasting food from over 30 different local restaurants and bars, guests had the opportunity this year to watch the Best Bartender competition happen live on-stage, followed by the fashion show, sponsored by Macy's, Bourbon Cousins and Kendra Scott. Local 12's Bob Herzog kept the energy high all night as the event emcee. Griffin Ross from Wiseguy Covington took home the prize as the Best Bartender, Flipdaddy's received the Best Restaurant award and Tres Belle was fan favorite for Best Sweets.
Bill Whitlow of Rich's Proper provided a welcome cocktail to guests, and his soon-to-be-open restaurant Rich's Proper received the Best Up-and-Comer award. Also new this year was the most meaningful part of the evening, the Fund a Cure video.
JDRF Executive Director Melissa Newman attributes this year's success to the video, "One of our young professional volunteers, Brooke Dorger, was very brave in sharing her story of the realities and challenges of living with T1D, " says Newman. "Guests were educated by her story, and also moved to donate. Through the Fund a Cure live auction alone, we raised over $90,000, which played a huge role in achieving a new overall record. It was such an awe-inspiring moment to see hundreds of bid cards in the air, as attendees were able to take a break from the food and fun and make a huge impact for our cause."
Brooke Dorger is a member of the JDRF Emerging Leaders Council (ELC), which is a group that plays a big role in helping to coordinate the event. This year's ELC co-chairs were Salena Burg and Kathleen Trubee. Sixteen "BowTie Barons and Baronesses " were selected this year to help in the corporate fundraising efforts, and to assist in promoting the event and securing new vendors.
JDRF Development Coordinator Jackie Oney led the overall event, and Senior Development Manager Becky Gaible took the lead with corporate sponsors. The ELC members who helped start the event when it originated in 2013 were also recognized on stage, and provided a custom Bourbon barrel top in appreciation.
All event proceeds benefit JDRF, a nonprofit organization working to find a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D). This year also marks the fifth consecutive year (every year since its inception) that the Bourbon & BowTie Bash sold out in advance of the event. Next year's date has been announced as Saturday, October 19, 2019 and will once again be held at the Duke Energy Convention Center. 2019 tickets will go on sale this summer.
Learn more about JDRF at https://www.jdrf.org/.