Inaugural StayWell foundation gala hopes to raise more awareness on diabetes

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Guam – We’re just days away from the StayWell Guam Diabetes Foundation Gala featuring actress and singer Vanessa Williams who’s certainly the draw to this event, but we sat down with the organizers of the event who tell us about some of the amazing work they’re doing and the reason why everyone should be supporting this cause.

It’s the first ever gala for the StayWell Guam Diabetes Foundation which began with a simple mission: to raise awareness within the community on the devastating effects of diabetes in an effort to eradicate it.

The foundation is relatively new and are just getting their footing, but they’re coming out strong with their inaugural gala this Saturday. The foundation’s executive director Mike Brown shares with us some alarming facts about diabetes.

“The World Health Organization has declared Micronesia–we’re the largest island in the group–one of the worst places on the planet for diabetes. We have a very high percentage of our adult population that is actually diabetic. We have our children that are not getting enough exercise, they’re not eating right,” said Brown.

And the numbers for Guam are increasing year after year. For a disease that is curable and preventable depending on the type, Brown says it’s clear there isn’t enough awareness on Guam.

“We as a community have to pull our strength now to fight this disease. For too long, for too long it has just been wreaking havoc on everybody in our community and throughout the island,” noted Brown. “We just lost three really wonderful men from this island to this disease in Carl Gumataotao, Carl Butler, who actually is, I would say, the father of getting people aware of diabetes, and then John Salas, one of the most beautiful people you would ever know–three of the most beautiful people you would ever know.”

This weekend’s gala will raise funds to help in combating this disease. It will be a time for reflection, but will also be at time for some great fun with the main attraction, award winning actress and singer, Vanessa Williams.

Meanwhile, Brown says there will be some great raffle prizes and multiple grand prizes that include six hotel stays, three roundtrip tickets for two to Manila with two-night stays to Resorts World, as well as two roundtrip tickets to London courtesy of Philippine Airlines. DFS Guam also donated a $2,000 shopping spree to the event.

The event will be held at the Dusit Thani Convention Center this Saturday, March 17. Doors open at 6 p.m. for open bar and the event begins promptly at 7 p.m. Tickets are $300 each and Brown says there are still a few left so make sure to grab yours fast.