JDRF Achieves New Cincinnatian of the Year Gala Fundraising Record

Dan Schimberg, pictured with his daughter Robin Schimberg Lee (left) in 1991, and at her wedding (right) in 2015.


CINCINNATI, OH – Nearly 1,000 Cincinnati area superheroes showed up at the Duke Energy Convention Center on Saturday, May 13 to help JDRF Southwest Ohio achieve a new fundraising record for its annual Cincinnatian of the Year Gala, raising over $1,455,350 to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D). Uptown Rental Properties CEO Dan Schimberg was named the 2017 Cincinnatian of the Year.

The event, which is always known for its over-the-top entertainment and integration of theme, was dubbed this year “Superheroes for a Cure”, a theme that Executive Director Melissa Newman couldn’t find more appropriate. “Our super man Dan (Schimberg) worked incredibly hard this year to ensure that we maximized our fundraising potential,” says Newman, “He certainly delivered on his promise to make this the best year ever by leading efforts for us to blow away our previous fundraising record.”

Schimberg was particularly driven to support JDRF, as his daughter Robin Schimberg Lee, now 29, was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 3. T1D is an autoimmune disease where the body destroys its own insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Not long after Robin’s diagnosis in 1991, Dan and his family got involved with JDRF through the local chapter, where Dan helped establish the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes program and has served as board president. Robin is one of an estimated 30,800 other residents of the Greater Cincinnati region who live with T1D.

In addition to Schimberg, JDRF honored long-term Laura Cramer as its 2017 Volunteer of the Year. Gala chair Petra Vester was also recognized for her leadership in coordinating the event, which this year wowed guests with its entertainment and theme. The event started with a bang, with a high energy performance including trampoline artists and aerialists dressed as superheroes, and it ended with a live Fund a Cure musical performance and touching presentation by Schimberg and his daughter Robin. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley read a proclamation declaring May 13 “Dan Schimberg Day”. From event programs designed as comic books, to capes with the JDRF logo as patron gifts, the theme was integrated throughout.

“I am truly humbled to be the recipient of this award by such an extraordinary charity,” said Schimberg. “JDRF is extremely passionate about a single issue; finding a cure. I share this passion and have since Robin was diagnosed 25 years ago. We have made extraordinary progress in both the care of type 1 diabetes and the elusive cure. We are very close and I am dedicated to doing everything possible to get us there.”


About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.

Locally, the JDRF Southwest Ohio chapter covers a 43-county territory spanning from Cincinnati/northern Kentucky to Dayton and Lima, Ohio, as well as southeast Indiana. The chapter raises more than $3.3 million annually, primarily through its walk, ride and gala programs. For more information, please visit swojdrf.org or connect with us on Facebook (JDRFSWOhio) or Twitter (JDRFSWOhio).


For more information about the Cincinnatian of the Year Gala and JDRF Southwest Ohio, visit swojdrf.org.

High resolution images from the event can be viewed and downloaded online here and here.