Noyes diabetes benefit nets more than $40,000

DANSVILLE — A true community effort at the Dansville Moose Lodge Saturday night netted more than $40,000 to help educate those suffering from Diabetes. More than 300 people were in attendance. “Bid Adieu to Diabetes” was an effort spearheaded by local attorney Lou Colella, who wanted to find a way to give back to the community. As a member of both the Dansville Lions and Rotary clubs, he gathered the two entities together, along with the Dansville Ambulance Company and Moose Lodge, to form this event.

“This money is going to serve diabetics in about a 40-mile radius of Dansville,” Colella said.

Funds were raised not only from local sponsors and ticket sales, but mostly through an auction of nearly 30 metals sculptures made by Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s metal trades students in Mt. Morris.

Carter Pellicano, a junior at Livonia High School, said the effort was fun yet challenging. He contributed with Shawn Dubowyk on “Garden Gnome” and with Braydon Reamer, Chase Teed, Billy Youngers and Bryce Lorenz on “Kiwi Bird.”

Though most bids went from a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars apiece, the highest bid went to “K9,” made by adult student Tom Young, which alone raised $11,000.

“K9” was made to honor Gibbs, a K9 service dog from Livingston County Sheriff’s Department, who passed away due to cancer last August.

“It was an extremely pleasant surprise to us when we found out he was doing it,” Sgt. Ryan Swanson, Gibb’s partner for seven years, said of Young’s effort.

The sculpture was immediately donated to the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department, where it will be displayed on the grounds.

“It’s pretty overwhelming,” Sgt. Chad Draper, who oversees the K9 unit and trained Gibbs, said of the community’s support.

Both sergeants were in attendance at the auction.

Out of the $40,000 grand total, more than $35,000 was raised through the metal sculptures alone.

“It’s incredible,” Noyes Health president and CEO Amy Pollard said of the results and community support. She said that though diabetes affects 30 million Americans, many people are not well educated about this disease.

“This is going to go a long way to provide education for people,” she said.

Patient education includes explaining how patients should take their medications, how patients should maintain proper diet and exercise, how they should test their blood, and helping people find programs that could reduce their medical costs.

“There is a lot of education, and understanding what diabetes is and what it does to your body, and how to live with that successfully,” Pollard said. 

Most insurances do not cover patient education, she added.

Since 2010, the GVEP students have raised about $250,000 in charitable causes for Livingston and neighboring counties through metal sculpture auctions.