2020 High Hopes Gala

We are going virtual! 

The High Hopes Gala is coming to your home on November 14 as we move to a virtual party. We’ll still be bringing you the excitement of celebrity guests, the joy of meeting two of our young patients and the pride of honoring one of our esteemed faculty, not to mention both live and silent auctions and a dance party. If you chose to sponsor the event, you will also have the option of receiving a gourmet dinner for you and your guests to enjoy. You won’t want to miss this.

This distinctive black-tie event raises $1.5 million annually for Joslin's High Hopes Fund, which provides immediate support of our most critical needs - whether that's funding a promising new research project, educating a patient on new technology or supporting patient care that seamlessly address all areas of a complex disease. Our patients have no choice but to make diabetes their first priority, we hope you will choose to make it your priority too.

This year we need your support more than ever before. Your sponsorship or gift is important, meaningful, and deeply appreciated. Diabetes doesn’t stop and neither can we.

Our Honorees

Dr. Ronald Kahn

Global Achievement Award Honoree

C. Ronald Kahn - Chief Academic Officer, Senior Investigator, Head of the Section of Integrative Physiology and Metabolism, and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Michael Cavanaugh

High Hopes Gala Special Guest

Michael Cavanaugh
Broadway Star Hand Picked by Billy Joel as the Star of the Musical, Movin' Out

Millie Acampora

Spotlight on Hope Honoree

Millie Acampora
Pediatric Patient

Noa Asher

Merritt Levitan Youth Ambassador

Noa Asher
Pediatric Patient

2020 Gala Information

Gala Honorary Chair

Ann Lagasse

Gala Co-Chairs

Ryan Enright

Megan Kristiansen

Gala Committee Members

Corinne and Brian Acampora

Ayelet Asher

Ryma Bielkus

Zara Bielkus

Geno Chiavelli

Eleftheria Maritos-Flier, MD and Jeffrey Flier, MD

Joanna Leary and Mark Gatti

Susan Kahn

Ann Foillett-Peterson and James Peterson

Arlene and Lawrence Rand, MD

Michael Samuels

Diane McGillicudy and Scott Sherman

Kristin and Tobias Welo

There are many ways to support Joslin Diabetes Center through our High Hopes Gala. Proceeds from the Gala go to our High Hopes Fund which ensures we carry out our mission to prevent, treat and cure diabetes.

Become a Sponsor

  • Gala sponsorship is available at many levels for both corporations and individuals. This year, we are bringing the Gala to you! As a sponsor, you will receive gourmet meals delivered to your home if you are hosting at home or to your guest’s homes. You can also opt out of receiving the meal for a near full tax deduction. For more information, please click here to view our gala sponsorship opportunities.

Purchase Tickets

  • Show your support by purchasing tickets to the High Hopes Gala. Nearly all of your ticket price is tax-deductible. Tickets can be purchased online for $500 for the virtual event.

Make a Donation

  • If you can't attend this year's gala event but would like to make a donation to support our mission, please click here. All proceeds will go to our High Hopes Fund. Your donation is entirely tax-deductible.

Donate an Auction Item

  • Our event would not be the same without the generous support from businesses and individuals from all over the country who donate goods and services to our Live and Silent Auctions. If you have an item that would be a perfect addition to our auction, please submit the auction donation form or contact Caitlin Enright at caitlin.enright [at] joslin.harvard.edu.

There are Gala sponsorships available at many levels for both corporations and individuals. For more information, please view our 2020 Gala Sponsorship Packet to see our sponsorship opportunities.

If you would like to become a sponsor of this event, please contact Brenda Goodell at brenda.goodell [at] joslin.harvard.edu or call 617-309-2412.

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors for their generous support!

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors 

Bronze Sponsors

Joslin's Gala event will feature incredible live and silent auctions with many wonderful items and packages up for bid. Categories for the silent auction are: Created for You, Fashion & Beauty, Sports, Explore & Experience and Dining Out.

This year, we will be using an electronic bidding system that will allow you to bid from your own mobile phone for the live and silent auctions. You will receive information on the weeks leading up to the event on how you can register and bid on these items before the Gala starts.

If you would like to donate to our auction, please submit the auction donation form or contact Caitlin Enright at caitlin.enright [at] joslin.harvard.edu or call 617-309-2531.

Thank you to our 2020 in-kind donors for their generous support!

Michael Cavanaugh is the new voice of the American Rock & Roll Songbook and a charismatic performer and musician made famous for his piano/lead vocals in the Broadway musical Movin’ Out. Handpicked by Billy Joel to star in Movin’ Out, Cavanaugh evokes a style rivaling the Piano Man. He appeared in the show for three years with over 1,200 performances and received multiple accolades. The show culminated in 2003 with both Grammy and Tony award nominations.

Michael began playing at age seven, when his parents bought their first piano. Encouraged by family and friends, and inspired by his hero Billy Joel, Michael formed his first band at age 10 and began playing local functions, fine-tuning the craft that would become his chosen career. His first full-time gig as a musician was an extended engagement in Orlando, Florida, at a piano bar called Blazing Pianos. In January of 1999, Michael received an offer that would unknowingly change his life: an opportunity to play Las Vegas at the famed New York, New York Hotel and Casino. It was there that Billy Joel spotted Michael and joined him on stage one fateful night of February 2001. It only took two songs before Billy was convinced that he had found his new Piano Man: Michael Cavanaugh. Michael closed up shop at New York, New York and moved to New York City to work alongside Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp to shape the Broadway Musical that would be called Movin’ Out. In the lead role, he received both Tony and Grammy nominations.

With the close of Movin’ Out at the end of 2005, Michael began touring in his own right, creating a show that reinterprets the modern pop/rock songbook. Michael soon became one of the hottest artists in the private events market, and he continues to perform worldwide for company and charity events as well as sporting events including many PGA tour events, the SuperBowl, and the Indy 500. His interpretation of the modern rock/pop songbook led to Billboard calling him “The New Voice of the American Rock and Roll Songbook,” and he was recognized by Reuters as Entertainer of the Year for the private events market.

It wasn’t long before symphony orchestras discovered Michael’s talents and audience appeal. He accepted his first orchestral booking, “Michael Cavanaugh – The Songs of Billy Joel and More,” which debuted in April 2008 with the Indianapolis Symphony and continues to tour today. In October 2008, he signed with Warner/ADA to distribute his first CD, In Color. In June 2010, Michael debuted his second symphony show in the Generations of Rock series titled “Michael Cavanaugh: The Songs of Elton John and More” and then debuted his third symphony show, “Singers and Songwriters: the Music of Paul Simon, Neil Diamond and James Taylor,” in 2012. In 2015, he debuted his fourth symphony show: “Rockin’ Christmas with the Pops.” He continues to tour all four symphony productions along with performing with his band in performing arts centers and other public venues.

“The Way I Hear It”, his second commercial album, was released in April 2017, and it debuted at #17 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.

In 2020, Michael Cavanaugh reached the POLLSTAR Live75. The top 75 active touring acts in the country.

In 2019, our High Hopes Gala raised $1.47M for Joslin Diabetes Center’s High Hopes Fund to support our mission to prevent, treat and cure diabetes. The evening was a wonderful celebration of hope for patients and families. Joslin Diabetes Center awarded the “Global Achievement Award” to T.J.Maxx for their outstanding commitment to raise awareness for diabetes across the United States and for raising over $10 Million for diabetes care and research over the last 12 years. Henry Gay, a patient in the pediatrics department, served as the “Spotlight on Hope” honoree in 2019 and Toby Welo was introduced as our 2019-2020 Merritt Levitan Youth Ambassador.

Become a part of the diabetes cure by participating in our High Hopes Gala this November! 

Why are you holding a virtual gala?

  • The safety of our patients, employees and donors is of utmost importance to us. Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns an in person gathering of 500 people is not feasible. Our virtual Gala will feature many of the same elements as we have had in person.

How do I sponsor the event?

  • There are a wide variety of sponsorship levels available for individuals and corporations. Please view our sponsorship packet for a listing of sponsorship levels and benefits. We welcome your sponsorship.

Can I pay for my sponsorship with my Donor Advised Fund (DAF)?

  • Yes, you may pay for your sponsorship with your DAF. However, the IRS requires that you write an additional personal check for any “goods or services” you receive such as gourmet meals. Please call the Development Office at 617-309-2412 with any questions.

Who do I contact with questions about the Gala?

  • Please contact us by phone at 617.309.2412 or email rsvp [at] joslin.harvard.edu with any questions you might have about the event.

How do I purchase tickets?

  • Tickets can be purchased for $500 each on our website here. Since this is a virtual event, you will receive a near full tax deduction for this your ticket purchase.
  • By mailing your check to: Joslin Diabetes CenterOne Joslin Place, Suite 745Boston, MA 02215
  • By calling 617.309.2412

How do I attend a virtual Gala?

  • In the weeks leading up to the event, you will receive information from us with instructions on how to log in to the virtual event. If you sponsor the event, staff will reach out to you in advance to get information related to delivering gourmet meals to your home or the homes of your guests.

I plan on sponsoring the event. How do you provide gourmet meals?

  • Thank you for sponsoring our High Hopes Gala! As a sponsor, we are offering you the opportunity to receive gourmet meals for you and all of your guests (if you reside within 50 miles of Boston) whether you are hosting your guests in once location or in several locations. Details on the gourmet meals will be sent to sponsors in the weeks leading up to the Gala.

What if I don’t want the dinners sent to me or my guests?

  • As a sponsor you can opt out of our gourmet meal delivery and receive a greater tax credit as you will be receiving fewer “goods and services” for your gift.

What is the Emerging Leaders Ticket?

  • Emerging Leaders is a group of young professionals, under 40 years old, committed to Joslin's mission. Emerging Leaders may purchase tickets to the event at $100 where they will enjoy the virtual program and a Q&A with a Senior Joslin staff member.

What is the dress for the evening?

  • While usually “black tie,” the virtual nature of the event means you can be as dressy or as casual as you wish. Some sponsors will be hosting their guests in their homes in black tie and others plan to enjoy the gala in their pajamas!  We look forward to seeing everyone (especially during the dance party at the end of the event) in whatever they have chosen to wear.