By Todd Cohen
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Piedmont Triad chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has received its biggest gift ever, a $1.5 million contribution from Amy and Michael Barry of Greensboro to support a new research center at Harvard Medical School.
The Beverly Berry/JDRF Center for Immunological Tolerance has been named in honor of Ann Barry’s mother, who was diagnosed with Type I (juvenile) diabetes at age 31.
Michael Barry, who serves on the chapter’s board, is chief financial officer of The Fresh Market, the Greensboro-chain founded and headed by Ray Berry, who is married to Beverly Berry and is Ann Barry’s father.
The company has been a corporate sponsor of the chapter since it was founded in 1995, holding an annual “Sidewalk Sale” fundraising event, sponsoring the chapter’s annual Hope Gala, and supporting a team in the annual Walk for a Cure each fall.
And Ray and Beverly Berry both serve on the chapter’s Friends Council, a group of business leaders who advise the chapter on fundraising and development.
“This family are true supporters of JDRF and its mission to find a cure for diabetes, and this gift can only hasten the hope for a cure,” says Mike Conrad, the chapter’s executive director.
The new research center is directed by Diane Mathis, a graduate of Wake Forest University, and by Christophe Benoist, who lead research labs at Harvard Medical School and the Joslin Diabetes Center, both in Boston.
“We have helped this cause very near and dear to our hearts, and will continue to do so,” Michael Barry says. “And there’s hope we will be able to find a cure soon. This research will hopefully be one of the building blocks that can lead to something magical in the future.”
Since it was founded in 1970 by parents of children with juvenile diabetes, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has awarded more than $900 million to diabetes research, including grants of more than $98 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
This year’s remaining walks, which have a combined goal of raising $1.3 million for diabetes research, are scheduled for Oct. 22 in Burlington and Nov. 5 in Winston-Salem. For information, call 336.768.1027.