Piedmont Triad Hope Glows Gala Sets Record…and the Fundraising Continues!


February 17, 2024, was not only the date of the Piedmont Triad Hope Glows Gala, but also marked Gala Honoree Brittany Carroll’s 7,664th day living with T1D—only six days shy of her 21st  “diaversary” (the anniversary of her T1D diagnosis).

That’s 7,664 days (and counting) of highs and lows…of finger pricks and CGMs…of insulin and uncertainty.

Brittany and her mom, Gala Honoree Vanessa Carroll, and their entire family have been on their T1D journey since Brittany was only 12. They’ve made it their mission to turn Type One into Type None every day since Brittany was diagnosed.

Thanks to Vanessa and Brittany, the Piedmont Triad’s first mother/daughter Honorees, and all our 2024 Hope Gala participants—attendees, remote bidders, sponsors, donors, and volunteersthe Gala has raised over $1.82 million, and we’re well on our way to $1.9 million and beyond!

Hope Glows Gala Honorees Vanessa and Brittany Carroll  (with Rider), surrounded by their family and Gala Chairs Jenni and Ryan Newkirk, credit Lynn Donovan

No one—with the exception of Vanessa and Brittany—saw this coming. From the moment they accepted this role, they set their sights on breaking fundraising records, with the goal of funding as much research as possible to advance cures for type 1.

Vanessa and Brittany had another, personal goal: Ten years ago, Roy Carroll (Vanessa’s husband and Brittany’s father) was honored at the Breakthrough T1D Gala. That year, the Gala raised $1.2 million for T1D research. Vanessa and Brittany were determined to best Roy’s total…and they did.

More than 100 volunteers worked for three months before the Gala to create a spectacular 80” x 45” chandelier that flew above the heads of Gala guests during dinner, transforming the ballroom into an inspiring, “glowing” space. Every year, Gala Event Experience Chairs Wendy Calloway and Alejandra and Cliff Thompson design a unique, breathtaking chandelier, and work with volunteers to bring their vision to life. This signature element of the Hope Gala sets it apart from any other fundraiser in the Piedmont Triad.

Nearly 800 people attended the Hope Glows Gala at Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, with many others watching the livestream and participating remotely. Guests enjoyed the Silent Auction preview and a reception with music by Jessica Mashburn and Evan Olson; marched in a parade into dinner led by Cunningham Heavenly Sounds, the shout band from United House of Prayer for All People, and Paper Hand Puppets; gasped at the enormous chandelier in ballroom; delighted in performances by Greensboro Performing Arts; bid furiously on Live Auction items; purchased a huge number of entries in the Windsor Jewelers Sweepstakes; danced at the After-Party to Sleeping Booty; and made Fund A Cure gifts ranging from $50 to over $200,000.

During the Gala, guests:

  • Dived into the Carroll family’s personal T1D journey and how it has affected Brittany, her parents, her grandmother (who also has type 1), and her sisters, Fund A Cure Chairs Madison Carroll Snyder and Hayleigh R. Carroll;
  • Learned about the lives of other families and individuals dealing with T1D;
  • Heard from three kids with T1D—14-year-old Meagan Durham of Martinsville, Va., 9-year-old Journey Freeman of Winston-Salem, and 9-year-old Jude Wong of Greensboro; and
  • Witnessed the presentation of the Beverly Berry Living and Giving Award to Vanessa and Brittany Carroll by Gala Chairs Jenni and Ryan Newkirk.

Brittany, who has followed in her mother’s footsteps by immersing herself in the local Breakthrough T1D community and serving on the Breakthrough T1D Piedmont Triad Board, is a passionate advocate for people and families living with T1D. When she hears of a newly diagnosed person, she reaches out and helps them acclimate to their “new normal.” She is especially active on social media, educating the community at large about the signs and symptoms of type 1 and helping people understand that this disease needs to be cured—and, just as importantly, raising awareness that insulin, which people with type 1 must inject every day in order to live, is not a cure.

While the Gala has already set a new fundraising record for Breakthrough T1D in the Piedmont Triad, Brittany and Vanessa are not finished! They are aiming to raise even more to fund vital research to cure type 1 and improve the lives of all people affected by this disease.

o propel diabetes research, while honoring Brittany and Vanessa and their passion for a world without T1D, supporters may:

  • Make a tax-deductible Fund A Cure donation to Breakthrough T1D in any amount by:
    • Visiting tinyurl.com/CarrollFAC to make a secure online donation, or
    • Mailing a check to: Breakthrough T1D Piedmont Triad Gala, N.C. Chapter, P.O. Box 1550, Hagerstown, MD 21741-1550.
  • Purchase a one-year Dormie Network membership, which may be used at any of the six (soon to be seven) Dormie locations. After the 12-month trial is over, people who have taken advantage of this offer will be able to continue as a dues-paying member of the Dormie Network without ever paying the $20,000 initiation deposit. Get more information and sign up at tinyurl.com/JDRFDormie

Thank you to our Gala Volunteer Leadership Team on their spectacular efforts:

  • Gala Honorees Vanessa and Brittany Carroll
  • Gala Chairs Jenni and Ryan Newkirk
  • Community Chair Alejandra Thompson de Jordan
  • Fund A Cure Chairs Madison Carroll Snyder and Hayleigh R. Carroll
  • Auction Chair/Co-Chair Houston Satterfield and Rachel Cannon Percival
  • Corporate Chairs Kathleen Kelly and George Hoyle
  • Event Experience Chairs Wendy Calloway and Alejandra and Cliff Thompson

To watch all or part of the 2024 Hope Glows Gala livestream, visit tinyurl.com/WatchJDRFGala2024. To see hundreds of photos from the 2024 Hope Gala, visit jdrftriad.smugmug.com.

Thanks to our amazing 2024 Hope Glows Gala Sponsors!