Portland, June 10th 2015. The American Diabetes Association and Father’s Day Council of Oregon and Southwest Washington honored three outstanding Portland business leaders at the third annual Father of the Year Awards Dinner:  Rob Maletis, President of Maletis Beverage, Executive Vice President of DiabetOmics, Inc. Dave Gunderson, and Dr. William Johnson, President of Moda Health. The awards dinner raised over $300,000, with over 470 guests in attendance supporting the honorees. Pictures are National Chair Elect of American Diabetes Association (ADA) Robin Richardson; Michael Greene, Board Chair of ADA Oregon/SW Washington;  honoree’s Rob Maletis, Dave Gunderson, and Dr. William Johnson; and Andrea Bruno, Executive Director of ADA of Oregon/SW Washington chapter. (photo credit, Andie Petkus)

Board Members of the Oregon/SW Washington chapter of the American Diabetes Association Ruth Bangert, Natasha Holstein, Gary Holstein (husband to Natasha Holstein) and Betsy Hartley.

Board Members of the Oregon/SW Washington chapter of the American Diabetes Association Ruth Bangert, Natasha Holstein, Gary Holstein (husband to Natasha Holstein) and Betsy Hartley.

Board Member Dr. Andrew Ahmann; Jordan Schnitzer, accepting the inaugural Darlene Cain Award on behalf of parents Arlene and the late Harold Schnitzer; and Kevin L. Hagan, National Chief Executive Officer of American Diabetes Association.

Board Member Dr. Andrew Ahmann; Jordan Schnitzer, accepting the inaugural Darlene Cain Award on behalf of parents Arlene and the late Harold Schnitzer; and Kevin L. Hagan, National Chief Executive Officer of American Diabetes Association.

The Association recognizes men from across the nation annually for the outstanding strength, commitment and love they exhibit as fathers. “Father of the Year” honorees have both attained success in their chosen field or endeavor, and carved out time to teach and mature their children, while also becoming good citizens and proud members of the community.

The Association awarded the inaugural Darlene Cain Award to Arlene Schnitzer and the late Harold Schnitzer for their leadership in the fight to Stop Diabetes.  Jordan Schnitzer, son of Arlene and Harold, accepted the award on behalf of his parents. The Schnitzer’s founded the Safe at School program, a program that allows families to send their child with diabetes to school and feel confident that the school will be prepared to provide the diabetes care that meets their child’s needs, as well as The Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center at OHSU, the premier diabetes center in the country.  The Darlene Cain Award is the highest award bestowed by the American Diabetes Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington and is given in memory of Darlene Cain; a passionate volunteer and community leader who dedicated her life to preventing and curing diabetes and improving the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

In attendance was the new National Chief Executive Officer of the American Diabetes Association, Kevin L. Hagan. The Father of the Year Awards Dinner was his first site visit since he began his tenure with the Association on June 1, 2015. Hagan joins the Association from Feed the Children, one of the largest charitable organizations in the world.

The awards dinner featured heartwarming videos paying tribute to each honoree as well as a special appeal video highlighting Paige Maas, an 11 year old with type 1 diabetes from Camas, Washington, and her family’s journey with diabetes.  The special appeal portion of the event raised over $150,000.

Moda Health was the premier sponsor of this year’s event.  Gold Sponsors were Maletis Beverage, Novo Nordisk and Spirit Media. Silver Sponsors were Fred Meyer, The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, The Portland Trail Blazers and DiabetOmics, Inc.  Media Sponsor was Pamplin Media Group.  Wine Sponsors was Ste Michelle Win Estates. Centerpiece Sponsor was Washman Car Washes. In-Kind Sponsors were Pacific Seafood and The Original Cakerie.

The Father of the Year Awards are hosted in 35 cities across the country in collaboration between the American Diabetes Association and the National Father’s Day Council. The regional councils in each city are comprised of volunteer community leaders, who strive to heighten the meaning of fatherhood, while raising funds for philanthropic purposes.

All proceeds benefit the American Diabetes Association, founded in 1940 and celebrating 75 years of discovery, innovation and progress towards its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Over 29.1 million children and adults throughout our country are affected by diabetes and pre-diabetes; nearly one million of those live in Oregon and Southwest Washington.  A quarter of those living with diabetes do not know they have it. If current trends continue, 1 in 3 American children born today face a future with diabetes.                                 

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