22nd Father of the Year Awards Gala
Father of the Year Awards
From 5:30 pm
At Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
$3.4 Million for Type 1 Diabetes Research and Care
Since 1995, Father’s Day Council Tucson has pumped more than $3.4 million locally into the research and treatment of type 1 diabetes, with the goal of improving care and uncovering clues that might someday lead to a cure. Through the 22nd annual Father of the Year Awards Gala on May 19, the nonprofit hopes to raise even more funds to aid the Steele Children’s Research Center at the University of Arizona in its groundbreaking work on the immunology and endocrinology of the disease, as well as providing education and outreach for Southern Arizonans living with type I diabetes. “The Father’s Day Council Tucson has been supporting the Steele Center for the past 20 years and that relationship is the only one in the entire country where a Father’s Day Council supports a local group, not a national one,” said Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan, director of the UA Steele Children’s Research Center. “We are lucky to have the Father’s Day Council support a local entity.” By honoring outstanding fathers in the community, Father’s Day Council Tucson is able to support critically important research. The 2016 Father of the Year honorees are: • Barry Baker, principal, Endurance Private Investments/Brahma Capital • George C. Larsen, principal, Larsen Baker • John P. Lewis, president & CEO, Commerce Bank of Arizona • Edmund Marquez, agencies owner, Edmund Marquez Allstate Agencies • Col. James P. Meger, commander, 355th Fighter Wing, U.S. Air Force • Thomas W. Warne, president, MSW Development Services “The Father’s Day Council Tucson is critical in its role to help the Steele Children’s Research Center work toward a cure for type 1 diabetes,” said Crystal Kasnoff, chair of the 2016 Father of the Year Awards Gala and executive director of Tucson’s January 8th Memorial Foundation. “As a person living with type 1 diabetes myself, I know the toll it takes on your body and your family. We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Fayez Ghishan as a leading, national researcher for type 1 diabetes in our community.” Proceeds from the Father of the Year Awards Gala help fund the Father’s Day Council Tucson Endowed Chair for Type 1 Diabetes Research at the Steele Center, which annually will fund a new researcher or physician. In addition, two doctors have been recruited, putting a total of five pediatric endocrinologists on staff. “With support from the Father’s Day Council Tucson, we’re looking at the immunology of diabetes. “It’s an autoimmune issue,” said Ghishan, who is also physician-in-chief at Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center, head of the UA Department of Pediatrics and the Horace W. Steele Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research. When the majority of people eat, they have an environmental tolerance to antigens, Ghishan said. This is not the case for people with type 1 diabetes. “We’re trying to figure out how to get that tolerance back again.” Ghishan said the council is instrumental in furthering this work. “The Father’s Day Council Tucson is the engine that drives type 1 diabetes research trials and clinical care.” With this kind of support, the Steele Children’s Research Center is poised to be a top-10 program, Ghishan said. “The goal is to build a renowned program. To do that, we need to attract top talent and you can only do that by offering endowed chairs, which offer stability.” Father’s Day Council Tucson was founded in 1994 by BizTucson Publisher Steve Rosenberg and his father, the late Howard Rosenberg. It’s affiliated with the Father’s Day Council New York, but is unique in that all proceeds stay in Tucson and benefit type 1 diabetes research and care.