Rock & roll for a cause

Valley father Bret Michaels is the featured guest and celebrity honoree at this weekend's 2012 Promise Ball to benefit the JDRF. Like international JDRF chair Mary Tyler Moore, Michaels is one of many Americans living with type 1 diabetes

I watched a lot of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” growing up during the ’70s. Fond as I am of all those comedic genuises who brought it to life, it’s not something I give much thought to anymore. 

But this week is different. Today cast member Betty White turns 90 — a solemn occasion President Obama marked by writing a lovely note requesting her long-form birth certificate. And cast member Ed Asner performs a play reading at the Arizona Biltmore to benefit the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company.

Turns out there’s a third reason for remembering all those memories of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” this week. It’s the 2012 “Promise Ball” — an annual black-tie gala benefiting the Phoenix chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Mary Tyler Moore serves as chair of the international JDRF.

Her new book, titled “Growing Up Again: Life, Loves and Oh Yeah, Diabetes,” recounts the years since her diagnosis with type 1 diabetes, includes discussions with children and adults living with the disease, and features information from experts looking for a cure — plus ways to improve the lives of those affected.

Grace, Annabelle & Avery attended the 2011 Promise Ball

The Desert Southwest chapter of JDRF holds its annual “Promise Ball” at The Phoenician in Scottsdale on Sat, Jan. 21. This year’s black-tie gala features special guest and celebrity honoree Bret Michaels, best known to my 22-year-old son Christopher as a member of the glamrock group “Poison.”

Christopher tells me he’s the proud owner of “The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock,” which features song like “Your Mama Don’t Dance” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”

Since learning that Michaels lives with type 1 diabetes, it’s been hard to hear that last one without thinking of all the children and adults who have to prick their fingers over and over again to test blood sugar levels.

Michaels, who lives here in the Valley, is best known to others as the winner of NBC’s third season of “Celebrity Apprentice.” Auction items at this weekend’s gala include tickets to a “Poison” concert with all sorts of VIP perks, according to Ken Brisa, executive director for JDRF’s Phoenix chapter.

If you’re wondering why it’s important that those not living with type 1 diabetes support the cause, consider this observation from Brisa — Everyone who has type 1 diabetes now used to be someone who didn’t. Think about it. Then rock on.

– Lynn

Note: Click here for 2012 “Promise Ball” ticket and sponsorship information.

Coming up: Can you hear the people sing?

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