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The 2017 JDRF Cincinnatian of the Year Gala is the toast of the town every year, and for good reason. / WHERE: Duke Energy Convention Center / WHEN: May 13, 2017 / Image courtesy of JDRF Southwest Ohio

Cincinnati Will Bring Out Its Inner Superhero At The JDRF Gala This Weekend

Cincinnati’s benefactors, business leaders, young professionals, and budding creative class will be well represented at the JDRF Cincinnatian of the Year Gala.

And many of them will be wearing capes. Capes, because the Gala’s theme is “Superheroes for a Cure” -- and also because, well, doesn’t everyone look better in a cape?

Don’t answer that. Instead, focus your full attention on the 1,000 people -- cape clad and otherwise -- who will be giving their full attention to the JDRF cause this Saturday, May 13 at the Duke Energy Convention Center. Because that cause is the real story here, and it’s a good one.

JDRF Southwest Ohio

Type 1 diabetes impacts 1.25 million Americans. It’s an autoimmune disease that can strike at any age, and there’s no known correlation with diet or lifestyle choices. All of which explains why JDRF exists: To fund type 1 diabetes research with the hope that a cure can be found.

As to how JDRF accomplishes that purpose, the answer, quite obviously, is events like Saturday’s gala, which promises to raise a record $1.26 million. Other programming includes One Walk Kinds Island and Ride to Cure Diabetes.

It’s all part of a JDRF Southwest Ohio event calendar that is, to put it mildly, very successful -- so successful that JDRF Southwest Ohio ranks as the top fundraising chapter in the nation.

“Our strength lies in the incredible staff/volunteer partnership,” says Executive Director Melissa Newman, who has been at the helm of JDRF Southwest Ohio for six years. “We have an army of volunteers who are active in the community and who will stop at nothing when it comes to advocating for our cause and fundraising for JDRF.”

Cincinnatian of the Year

The JDRF Gala is the talk of the town every year for a reason. It’s an immaculately arranged and majestic evening of dining and entertainment. The band is always legendary, and every detail is incorporated into the theme, down to this year’s comic book event programs. Now for some details:

  • 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2017
  • Duke Energy Convention Center
  • Black tie optional, superhero capes encouraged
  • Silent and live auctions
  • Three-course dinner
  • Superhero Academy Afterparty featuring the Naked Karate Girls and DJ E-trayn

Uptown Rental Properties CEO Dan Schimberg will be the gala honoree for his impressive corporate fundraising efforts with JDRF. Meanwhile, gala chair Petra Vester has taken the lead coordinating gala volunteers and planning and logistics. JDRF will also recognize long-term volunteer Laura Cramer as its 2017 "Volunteer of the Year."

“Dan is our Superman, and Petra is our resident Wonder Woman,” laughs Newman. “All of the event details were executed under Petra’s leadership, and she has done an outstanding job leading our gala committee, which we refer to this year as our ‘superwomen of Cincinnati’. This team has truly outdone itself, along with Senior Gala Manager Becky Gaible, to put together what is sure to be an unforgettable gala.”


For more information about the Cincinnatian of the Year Gala (taking place this Saturday, May 13) and/or to purchase tickets, visit