HHDC Connect+Cure Gala Raises Record Amount for Diabetes Research

HHDC Connect+Cure Gala Raises Record Amount for Diabetes Research

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2019

Nearly a thousand gathered for the 2019 Connect + Cure Gala on October 22, 2019 to support the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center (HHDC) and celebrate the progress being made toward a cure for diabetes.

Now in its fifth year, the Connect+Cure Gala raised nearly $1.9 million, the most in the Gala’s history. Additionally, more than $196,000 was raised to specifically sponsor participants in Camp Blue Hawk, a residential camp program for children and teens, ages 9 to 17, with Type 1 diabetes.
“It was a tremendous evening of celebrating the ongoing progress being made in finding a cure for diabetes,” said Harold Hamm, lifetime HHDC Board Member. “In additional to celebrating, we spent time educating and informing on the work we still have to do. The amount of money raised will make a significant impact on diabetes research, and I am as confident as ever that we will find a cure for diabetes right here at HHDC in Oklahoma.”

The evening was emceed by three-time World Series champion and MLB Hall of Fame Manager, Tony LaRussa. Grammy award-winning singer Trisha Yearwood provided the entertainment, performing both her hits and songs from her newest record. Guests also enjoyed a meal inspired by Yearwood’s recipes.

Also awarded at the Gala, was the 2019 Harold Hamm International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes. Daniel J. Drucker, M.D., a professor of medicine at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mt. Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada received a $250,000 award for being named the 2019 Hamm Prize Laureate. Drucker’s discoveries have led to the development of two new treatments for Type 2 diabetes. The bi-annual award, the largest of its kind in the world, is personally funded by Hamm.

“It was a pleasure to be in a room full of Oklahomans raising awareness of a pandemic and celebrating the achievements that bring us closer every day to our goal for a cure,” said Jed Friedman, Ph.D., director, HHDC at OU Medicine, and associate vice provost for diabetes programs. “One in three Oklahomans has type 2 diabetes or is pre-diabetic and our state ranks fourth in the nation for diabetes . These numbers are tragic and unacceptable. Funds raised from Connect+Cure Gala will help us meet the goals of bringing talent, technology and teams to Oklahoma and help secure the future of in its efforts to prevent, treat and find the next cure for diabetes.”

Additional highlights of the evening included remarks by Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, recognition of Barbara Brown as the 2018-2019 HHDC Board Member of the Year, and and educational messages and videos on the need to allow generic insulin on the market.
The HHDC Connect+Cure Gala is a bi-annual event. Please look for information about the 2021 gala to be released at a later date.