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JDRF, the leading global nonprofit organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, will present Mary and Jay Rickman, Lexington residents, with the JDRF Palmetto Chapter Living and Giving Award at the Hope Gala – Field of Dreams on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Spirit Communications Park, home of the Columbia Fireflies. As the Hope Gala’s Honorees, Mary and Jay Rickman will be recognized for their outstanding commitment to JDRF’s vision of a world without T1D.

The Living and Giving Award will be presented to Mary and Jay Rickman, founders of AMCOL Systems and Columbia’s Greek Festival. Mary and Jay became involved with JDRF after their grandson, Jacob, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of 6 months.  More than anything they dream of a cure for their beloved grandson. Together, the Rickman family and AMCOL Systems have been champions for the Palmetto Chapter by raising awareness and funds to advance medical research for the past 13 years. The award will be presented during the event by the gala’s Chair, Amber Bland.

More than 300 guests are expected to attend this year’s gala in support of JDRF. Proceeds from the event will go toward research to cure, prevent and treat T1D. Last year’s gala event raised more than $240,000 for the Palmetto Chapter.

According to Kevin Simmons, Executive Director for the Palmetto Chapter, the black tie optional event will include a cocktail reception; a multi-course dinner; silent and live auctions; JDRF’s signature Fund A Cure program, during which contributions may be made directly to research; and an after party on the Spirit Communications Park concourse. Amber and Scott Bland of Lexington will serve as the Gala chairs, and Mary Sturgill will serve as the event’s master of ceremonies.

Individual tickets are $150.00 each and table sponsorships are available. For more information on event details; sponsorship, donation and ticket options; an auction preview; advance registration and volunteer sign-up forms, please visit palmettohopegala.org or contact Beth McCrary at JDRF Palmetto Chapter at 803-782-1477 or by email at emccrary@jdrf.org

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF or call 803-782-1477.

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