The Gilmores’ daughter, Margaret, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in 2007, at the age of 14

 With the efforts of a strong cadre of volunteers led by Gala Chairs Paul Fulton and Betsy Saye, the virtual (and free) program will provide inspiration, entertainment, and many ways to further JDRF’s mission

Greensboro, North Carolina, April 30, 2021. JDRF – Piedmont Triad will honor community leaders Susan and Martin Gilmore at its 21st annual Hope Gala, which will take place virtually on Saturday, May 15.

Although this year’s event will be livestreamed, the Hope Gala typically attracts 1,000 guests and alternates between Greensboro and Winston-Salem. The largest annual charity event of its kind in the Triad, the Hope Gala has raised at least $1 million to fund type 1 diabetes (T1D) research in nine of the last 10 years, raising approximately $18.8 million in its first 20 years.

Gala Honorees Susan and Martin Gilmore inspire everyone they meet. Not only is Martin—a Founder Partner of Five Points Capital—an eight-time Ironman finisher, but the couple have one overriding passion: A vision of a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D), the autoimmune disease that their daughter, Margaret, was diagnosed with in 2007, at the age of 14.

While attending the 2007 Hope Gala in support of friends whose child has type 1, Susan listened closely—and with an increasing sense of dread—to the symptoms of T1D, which matched what Margaret was experiencing. The next morning, the Gilmores rushed Margaret to Brenner Children’s Hospital, where she was diagnosed with T1D. Although Margaret has managed her diabetes independently since day 1, from the moment of Margaret’s diagnosis, Susan and Martin have devoted countless hours volunteering to help JDRF cure, prevent, and treat type 1.

When former Gala Honoree Paul Fulton, who led the Triad Hope Gala into the “modern” era in 2011 (when the event raised over $1 million for the first time), and Paul’s daughter Betsy Saye, whose son Stephen was diagnosed with T1D shortly after Margaret and who has chaired several previous Hope Galas, asked the Gilmores to serve as Honorees, Susan and Martin agreed. Margaret also took on the role of Fund A Cure Chair. However, they had one condition: Paul and Betsy would have to sign on as Gala Chairs.

And so, the 2021 Gala leadership “dream team” was born. The passion, persistence, and vision of the Honorees and Chairs will be key throughout the Gala campaign, as JDRF aims to overcome the challenges of raising funds through a virtual event.

Martin, Susan, Margaret, Paul, and Betsy are delivering one message: “The pandemic has underscored the challenges of living with T1D, a 24/7 disease. People with diabetes are three-to-four times more likely to experience serious illness from Covid. We must continue supporting diabetes research to cure T1D and improve the lives of the millions of families affected with this disease. Now is the time to participate…now is the time to dig deep…now is the time to give…now is the time to advance diabetes research!”

The members of the volunteer Gala leadership team are fully committed to supporting Martin and Susan and delivering a successful event 

  • Gala Chairs: Betsy Saye and Paul Fulton
  • Corporate Chairs: Whit Edwards and Brett Hoge
  • Board Fundraising & Development Chair: Brad Calloway
  • Fund A Cure Chair: Margaret Gilmore
  • Auction Chair: Eva Mothershed
  • Event Experience Chairs: Wendy Calloway and Alejandra & Cliff Thompson

Because this is a virtual event, there are no tickets to buy, no need for an evening gown or a tux, and no babysitter to line up. We’ll be together in spirit, so everyone may participate via their phone, computer, or TV—no matter where they live!

Many JDRF supporters will host Watch Parties for family members and friends on Gala Night. Those who want to bring a bit of the famous JDRF “ballroom magic” to their own parties will receive an official Gala Party-Starter Kit by signing up as VIP Hosts.

Supporters who want to dine in style, but don’t want to prepare their own Gala dinner may purchase Celebratory Heat-and-Serve Three-Course Meals, prepared by Dion Sprenkle, Executive Chef for the Benton Convention Center. Meals must be reserved by Friday, May 7.

Winning Auction bidders and the Raffle winner will be able to pick up their items at an Auction Pick-Up Parade from noon – 3 pm at the Benton Convention Center loading dock on Sunday, May 16.

Visit to learn more, register, order meals, and gain access to:

  • The Windsor Jewelers Raffle, featuring an 18-karat white gold “Center of My Universe” pendant, commissioned specially for the Hope Gala, with a spectacular 1.03 carat round brilliant diamond surrounded by 17 round white diamonds on an 18k white gold cable-link chain. Raffle tickets may be purchased now
  • The famous JDRF Piedmont Triad Auction, encompassing approximately 150 packages at every price point. There’s something for everyone! Bidding will open online on May 10
  • Fund A Cure: An opportunity to make 100% tax-deductible gifts—ranging from $100,000 to $100—that directly fund T1D research
  • Program jam-packed with inspiring stories from families and kids living with T1D, along with a JDRF mission update, award presentations, and special entertainment, including:
    • T1D Choir, comprised of local kids and adults with type 1 singing an original song
    • American Idol Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks
    • Country music star Mark Wills
    • Sleeping Booty Band
    • Winston-Salem State University Symphonic Band
    • Nic Croucher, a Winston-Salem singer/songwriter diagnosed with T1D 35 years ago at age 11

To register, sponsor, or donate to the 2021 Hope Gala, please contact Eleanor Schaffner-Mosh at or visit


2021 Hope Gala Sponsors: JDRF thanks our sponsors, many of whom have supported T1D research for years. Major 2021 Hope Gala sponsors committed to date include:

Title Sponsor


Mission Sponsor

Five Points Capital and Its Affiliates RCP Advisors and P10 Holdings


Hope Sponsors


Sara Smith Self Foundation

Smile Sponsor

Wake Forest Baptist Health

BidPal Sponsor

CPI Security

Believe Sponsors

Cone Health


High Point University

IL Long Construction Company

Cocktail Hour/VIP Party Sponsor

Bank of America

Auction Pick-Up Parade Sponsor

Debbie and Steve Vetter

Dream Sponsors

Brown Investment Properties

Jacalyn and Brantley Whit 

Signature Cocktail Sponsors

Wendy and Brett Hoge

Marinda and Red Maxwell

Wish Sponsors

Wendy and Brad Calloway

Capital Development Services

Carlton Scale

Crown BMW

Elon University

Glen Raven

Hawthorne Residential Partners

HealthTeam Advantage

Mercedes Benz of Winston-Salem

Moore & Van Allen

PNC Bank


Reynolds American

Robinson Bradshaw

Simpson Commercial Real Estate



vTv Therapeutics



First Citizens Bank

Wells Fargo

Triad Business Bank

T.W. Garner Food Compan 

In-Kind Sponsors


The Printery

The Fresh Market

Thompson Traders

Windsor Jewelers

About Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that controls blood-sugar levels. T1D develops when the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. The cause of this attack is still being researched; however, scientists believe the cause may have genetic and environmental components. T1D affects children and adults, and people can be diagnosed at any age. As of now, there is nothing anyone can do to prevent T1D, and there is no cure.

About JDRF: JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to improve lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement, and our vision of a world without T1D. Learn more at or @JDRF on Twitter.

About JDRF in the Piedmont Triad: Now part of JDRF’s North Carolina Chapter, the Piedmont Triad Market provides support for those living with type 1 diabetes and raises awareness and funds for T1D research through a variety of events, including the annual Hope Gala; One Walks in the fall (Winston-Salem/Greensboro) and spring (High Point); the Ride to Cure Diabetes; and the Tennis to Tent to Tee event in Pinehurst. Learn more at, or @JDRFtriad on Twitter.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.