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Houstonians delight in cannonballs, cocktails, and puppies at virtual gala

Houstonians enjoy cannonballs, cocktails, and puppies at virtual gala

JDRF Gala Fielding & Meredith Cocke, Alexander Cocke
Fielding and Meredith Cocke and Alexander Cocke. Photo by Barbara Perlick
JDRF gala Travis, Caris and Freyja Lauritsen
Travis, Caris, and Freyja Lauritsen. Photo by Barbara Perlick
JDRF virtual gala clockwise from top left Perri, Michael, Madison and Andrea Soper .jpg
(Clockwise from top left) Perri, Michael, Madison, and Andrea Soper. Photo by Barbara Perlick
JDRF virtual gala Amber Bretches Porter Bretches
Amber Bretches and Porter Bretches.  Photo by Barbara Perlick
JDRF virtual gala William Hagans and Norton
William Hagans and Norton.  Photo by Barbara Perlick
JDRF virtual gala DeAndre Carter
Houston Texans player DeAndre Carter.  Photo courtesy of DeAndre Carter
JDRF Gala Fielding & Meredith Cocke, Alexander Cocke
JDRF gala Travis, Caris and Freyja Lauritsen
JDRF virtual gala clockwise from top left Perri, Michael, Madison and Andrea Soper .jpg
JDRF virtual gala Amber Bretches Porter Bretches
JDRF virtual gala William Hagans and Norton
JDRF virtual gala DeAndre Carter

What: JDRF’s “The Power of Us: From Start to Finish” virtual gala

Where: Small screens throughout Houston and beyond

The scoop: Houstonians donned their pajamas and best black-tie attire for the annual JDRF gala, which, this year — like so many others — went virtual. Dubbed “The Power of Us: From Start to Finish,” the gala raised more than $1.2 million for JDRF’s mission to fund and nurture type 1 (T1D) diabetes research.

The event was emceed by Drew Dougherty, who hosts Texans TV and is himself a type 1 diabetic (his tuxedo and shorts combo was not to be missed). Guests joined the live YouTube event from their living rooms, beds, and even their pools, all while donating to Fund A Cure and bidding on silent and live auction items.

Auction items included a vacation to Beaver Creek, dinner and a wine tasting at local favorite B&B Butchers & Restaurant, and an adorable Goldendoodle puppy. Other sought-after items included a premium wine cellar with one-of-a-kind wines selected by The Tasting Room owner, Jerry Lasco; a week-long vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico; and an 11-day stay at a beautiful home in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Meanwhile, guests cheered each other on through the chat feature and engaged in friendly, competitive bidding wars, led by Stokes auctioneer Jim Jungers. Local photographer, Barbara Perlick, donated her time and stopped by a few of the board members’ homes to capture a few of these unique scenarios. (Some supporters even reported doing cannonballs after large Fund A Cure donations — not your typical way to close a gala. But why not?)

Who: Multiple guests, including honorees, Peggy and Robert Kruckemeyer, shared inspiring words about their journeys with type 1 diabetes and JDRF. DeAndre Carter of the Houston Texans, also a type 1 diabetic, also stopped by. The gala also featured special video messages from T1D patients and WWE superstar, Lacey Evans.