Yamaha Cares Marathon Runners Raise $9,200 for Children's Hospital of Orange County

2/13/2009 [Corporate]

Hospital's Trial Net Program Researchers Study Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes

BUENA PARK, Calif. — An employee-based initiative dedicated to charitable works, Yamaha Cares has a dual purpose of spreading the gift of music as well as promoting education, arts and community development in the places where Yamaha employees live and work. And, as a recent fundraiser for Children's Hospital of Orange County's (CHOC) Trial Net program for juvenile diabetes research illustrates, the projects are often deeply personal, as well.

Yamaha Cares CHOC Diabetes Benefit
Left to right: Katrina Jewell, Dave Jewell, Dr. Susan Clark, Shawna Von Behren and Beth Jewell at the Trial Net donation event.
Three years ago, Katrina Jewell, daughter of David Jewell, Marketing Manager, Yamaha Drums, was diagnosed with Type 1 juvenile diabetes. Katrina, now 16, is an outpatient at CHOC, one of a handful of research facilities in the U.S. that is trying to find a cure.

"Katrina does great with her treatments," says Jewell. "I wanted to do something for her and also to help create more awareness." He contacted his daughter's doctor, Dr. Susan J. Clark, and Carol Baker, Vice President of Human Resources, Yamaha Corporation of America, and suggested that the Southern California Half Marathon in Irvine would offer a good choice as a fundraising target.

"People were already running for a variety of causes and I thought it would fit nicely into the time frame of The NAMM Show," said Jewell. "Nearly 20 people, including Yamaha employees and friends, ran either the half-marathon or the 5K race. Rick Drumm, president of musical instrument string company D'Addario, came out early from New York to run the race and we finished within a second of each other. Even in these tough times, I was pleased to see how many people stepped up to the plate."

Shawna von Behren and Sandra Torres, who also work at Yamaha, helped Jewell organize the fundraising effort. Cash prizes and door prizes, including a Yamaha BODiBeat for the person who raised the most money, were also contributed by Yamaha Cares.

The Jewell family and von Behren presented the $9,200 check to Dr. Clark in January. "She was ecstatic!" says Jewell. "The program at CHOC is one of only nine or ten in the U.S. that's trying to find a cure and working to reveal causes and preventative measures that may be taken. This donation will really help them with their important work."

The CHOC Diabetes Center is the first pediatric diabetes program in Southern California to be recognized for meeting and maintaining American Diabetes Association (ADA) standards of care guidelines. It is also one of the largest screening sites for the NIH-sponsored Diabetes Prevention Trial-1.

Baker, one of the founders of the Yamaha Cares program, conducts a monthly review with a committee of Yamaha employees to determine where support may be offered via product or cash donations, scholarships or other forms of assistance.

"The research program at CHOC is important to Dave because of his daughter, so it was a natural to go along with this project," said Baker. "It's a great cause, and we like helping CHOC in any way we can. I'm happy we were able to help get this going, and I see us continuing to support CHOC in the future." For the past few years, Yamaha Cares has also provided support for CHOC's Neuroscience Institute and Alissa's Angels support program.

Yamaha Cares is active in fundraising efforts for many other Southern California programs, including the Special Olympics, college music scholarships, The Boys and Girls Club, The Susan G. Komen Foundation, American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Make a Wish Foundation, Families of Camp Pendelton, Orange County Food Bank and Toys For Tots, to name just a few.

For more information on Yamaha Cares, visit www.yamaha.com/yamahacares, or write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; or e-mail infostation@yamaha.com.

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