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Diabetes Research Organization Honors SBE Founder Sam Nazarian At Century City Event

Renowned artist Sheppard Fairey contributed a heartfelt exhibit labeled “Cure.”
Renowned artist Sheppard Fairey contributed a heartfelt exhibit labeled “Cure.”

Leading type 1 diabetes (T1d) research organization JDRF honored SBE founder, Chairman, and CEO Sam Nazarian at its 11th annual fundraising held over the weekend.

This year’s “Imagine Gala” took place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, where generous donors showered the halls with exclusive items for the evening’s ‘Fund a Cure’ auction.

“The collaboration between JDRF and the sbe Foundation is one that I’m personally very honored to be a part of,” said Nazarian. “So many members of the SBE family have been affected by type 1 diabetes and having an opportunity to mobilize our company to help make a difference represents one of the most meaningful endeavors we have ever undertaken.”

Donations included VIP travel packages, signed athletic gear, and unique artwork.

Renowned artist Sheppard Fairey, himself a victim of T1d, contributed a heartfelt exhibit labeled “Cure.”

The style of the paining mirrored his recognizable “Hope” print from Obama’s campaign.

Attendees had the opportunity to bid on all donated items via Bidpal on their smartphones, and 100 percent of the proceeds went directly towards type 1 diabetes research.

JDRF was formed in 1970 when a group of parents joined forces to raise funds for their children diagnosed with type 1.

A doctor identifies T1d patients by their abnormally high blood sugar levels. A T1d victim’s pancreas fails to produce insulin, resulting in excess glucose in the blood.

T1d affects 10-15 percent of diabetics in the country, and although the disease afflicts people of all ages, it usually occurs before a person reaches the age of 20.

Alarmingly, recent USA Today articles report that diabetes rates have skyrocketed in teens and children in the last decade.

Many concerned people confirmed these studies at the event, including JDRF Board Member Andrea King.

King shared that her son was diagnosed with T1d on his second birthday. Although this painful reality caused her great grief, it prompted her active involvement in diabetes research efforts.

“I had no choice but to become involved to find a cure because it’s a terrible, relentless roller coaster of a disease,” said King. “It never stops, and it never sleeps.”

JDRF sponsors $568 million in scientific research in 17 countries, providing more than $110 million to research in 2012 alone.

The organization has continued expressing appreciation for all those who spread its mission, including seminal local forces like Nazarian.

“SBE and Sam have been generous supporters of JDRF LA since 2012 both at our annual gala and the Walk to Cure Diabetes,” said Gary Weiss, Gala Co-Chair and Co-
Founding Principal, LA Realty Partners. “We are incredibly grateful for all that he and his employees have done to help fundraise and spread awareness of this life-altering disease and are happy to honor him at our annual event.”

The JDRF LA Gala is one of the city’s largest fundraising events. Past honorees have included Nancy Reagan, Barbara David, Garth Brooks, and Annette Bening.

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