Linda and Pearson "Pete" C. Cummin:
Philanthropy in Motion- Setting the Pace
Published November 2005
Greenwich, Connecticut's Linda and Pete Cummin have long been leading the fight against diabetes as passionate supporters of the American Diabetes Association and its Research Foundation. For 10 years, the couple has been providing invaluable volunteer leadership as well as generous financial support to keep the Association running strong and moving in the right direction.
As Pinnacle Society members since 1997, Linda and Pete have consistently supported the organization’s Nationwide Research Program. Raising funds for diabetes research is important to the Cummins for several reasons including the fact that Pete himself has had type 1 diabetes for 41 years. He is also keenly aware that diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in the world.
"Almost everyone knows someone who has diabetes. Helping that someone and others like them is a great reason for supporting diabetes research," Pete stated. "And given the epidemic-like growth in the disease and its complications, supporting diabetes research should be important to everyone, even people who don't have the disease."
Linda, also, is all too familiar with the demands diabetes can place on the affected individual and their family. This has led her to support diabetes research.
"My mother lived with type 2 diabetes for most of her life," Linda said. "Better health care and the development and improvement of drugs to treat diabetes enabled my mother to reduce her insulin needs and better control the disease. Her hemoglobin A1C went from 9 to 5.8. Without new discoveries, it can be easy to get discouraged and to lose interest. By finding new ways to fight diabetes, everyone is encouraged to work harder."
The Cummins became involved with the Association after receiving a direct mail solicitation. Upon reviewing the letter and thinking of their experience with diabetes, Linda suggested to Pete that he become involved with the organization. The Cummins eventually made their first major gift to the Association. Soon after, they contacted their local American Diabetes Association office to become more involved.
Since then Pete has served as a member of the National Board of Directors and twice as vice-chair of the Research Foundation Board. In this role, he has helped raise millions of dollars for diabetes research. While still a very active member of the Research Foundation board, Pete continues to assist the local Leadership Council of Fairfield County, Connecticut with its fund-raising efforts.
In addition to Pete's efforts, Linda has also graciously assisted in welcoming new donors and volunteers to the organization. "We have hosted events at our home and many of our guests have commented to me that they were struck by the number of people this disease affects and by the realization that they are not alone. Diabetes can be a very lonely disease," Linda stated. "It is very rewarding for us to be able to bring people in to help the cause."
"We put our money to work in the American Diabetes Association Research Foundation and encourage other people to do so because we know that somebody is going to put in the dollar that funds the scientist who finds the cure," said Pete.
"And while we haven't found a cure yet, we have heard numerous presentations from many of our researchers that are most encouraging. The progress being made is truly significant."