Dodging Diabetes for Joslin
Friday, July 23, 2010
Back in 2005, Anna Tiedeman Irwin was looking to organize a fundraising event that required no athletic ability, was a lot of fun and wouldn’t intimidate people from participating. The movie Dodgeball had just come out and served as inspiration for the First Annual Dodging Diabetes Charity Dodgeball tournament.
Enter Elizabeth Kramer, also a Washington, D.C. native, who had just organized a charity road race as part of her job at a non-profit organization.
Introduced through their mothers—both dedicated Joslin supporters—Anna and Elizabeth hit it off and combined Elizabeth's event organization and non-profit expertise with Anna's idea and public relations background to launch Dodging Diabetes™. Both have younger brothers living with type 1 diabetes and wanted to support Joslin.
Since then, the organization has held five tournaments and raised a total of more than $60,000 for Joslin's High Hopes Fund through the annual dodgeball tournament in the D.C. area.
"It's all by networking and word-of-mouth—just friends telling friends about the tournament and the cause," explains Kramer.
"In the past five years, we've grown from a tournament of 12 teams and a donation of $4,500, to our latest tournament where we brought together 34 teams and raised more than $18,000," Irwin says.
Irwin and Kramer chose Joslin as their charity because of the great work Joslin-trained doctors have done for their brothers. Irwin's brother had been treated at Joslin. Also, they have roots in the Boston area, as Kramer's mother grew up in Boston and Irwin earned her master's degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
"Joslin does so many different things through innovative, ground-breaking research and you have such a great cause which does so much for the diabetes community," says Kramer, who visited Joslin this month. "It's so great to actually see, in person, where our charity is making an impact."
Dodging Diabetes just signed a five-year contract with its venue, Champions Field House. "We can confidently say the tournament will take place in March for the next five years," says Irwin. "We hope to continue to raise our profile in the D.C. area to attract more teams, more sponsors and more supporters—and to inspire others to create their own unique events to raise money for diabetes research and treatment!"
"Dodging Diabetes has an active and growing online community that supports our tournament and our mission," she adds. "We encourage people to follow us on Twitter and become a fan of our Facebook page as well as visit our award-winning website. Most of all, we hope that people will help us spread the word about the great work Joslin is doing for diabetes research, treatment and education."