Diabetes group honors benefactor

Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — At age 31, with a five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter, Beverly Berry of Greensboro was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Eleven years later, she and her husband, Ray, joined the newly-formed Piedmont Triad chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Since then, their family company, The Fresh Market, has contributed $1.5 million to the research organization, including $900,000 the company has raised at its annual “Sidewalk Sale” of hotdogs and root-beer floats.

At its 2008 JDRF Hope Gala on Feb. 23 at the Koury Convention Center, the charity honored Beverly Berry, who died Nov. 11, 2007, by renaming its Living and Giving Award in her memory.

At the event, Roy Carroll of The Carroll Companies was named the first recipient of the Beverly Berry Living and Giving Award.

The announcement, recognizing Carroll’s annual “Building an End to Diabetes” project that has raised nearly $500,000 in the past three years, was made on the fifth anniversary of the day his family learned their eldest daughter, Brittany, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

The gala, which the charity says raised nearly $1 million to support research to find a cure for diabetes, also honored Aldona Wos, former U.S. ambassador to Estonia, for her support and interest in diabetes research.

Beverly Berry “was a true spokesperson for diabetes and for our organization,” says Mike Conrad, the chapter’s executive director. “Her commitment and passion to find a cure will live on through this award, through the memories that will never be lost and also through the generosity of The Fresh Market stores.”

The partnership with The Fresh Market now has expanded to include JDRF sneaker sales and other fundraising events at all the grocery chain’s stores in the Southeast and Midwest.

The Fresh Market says its fundraising for JDRF grew 30 percent in 2007.

Beverly Berry, who during the last five years of her life lived with ovarian cancer, which affected her diabetic control, said in 2005 that she “had not been thinking about a cure for me” in her work on behalf of the foundation, “but for the many children who will get this disease.”

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