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Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
(800) 989-0900

News Release
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month;
American Diabetes Association to Host Fund-raising Gala on November 1, 2003
MEDIA CONTACT:Krista Howell, ADAMary B. Ingarra, Yankee Gas
Office:1-800-842-6323, ext. 3534(860-665-6212
MERIDEN, Conn., October 23, 2003 – One in three Americans has diabetes and they don’t even know it. As the American Diabetes Association (ADA) prepares to observe National Diabetes Awareness month in November, the organization is focusing attention on raising awareness of the disease as well as advocating on behalf of the 17 million Americans afflicted with it. That’s why the first day of National Diabetes Awareness Month – November 1st – is the date for the Connecticut/Western Massachusetts area ADA’s 10th Annual Hall of Merit Gala. This black-tie Gala is the organization’s premier event to raise funds for research, outreach and education.

Gerry Brooks, popular television news anchor from WVIT-TV 30, will host the Gala. Among the 28 area corporations sponsoring the event, are gold sponsor Yankee Gas Services Company and silver sponsors: Aetna, Connecticut Light & Power, Day, Berry & Howard, LLP, Iroquois Gas Transmission System, Lifescan, Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Pfizer, Inc. and Travelers Property Casualty.

This year's Gala will honor Dennis E. Welch of Newington, Conn., president and COO of Yankee Gas Services Company, and Carolé Mensing, RN, of Avon, Conn., ADA's president of healthcare and education, for their longstanding support and commitment to the organization. This fund-raising event, held at the Aqua Turf in Southington, Connecticut, is expected to raise $125,000 for diabetes research, outreach and education; last year's Gala raised $85,000 for the group.

According the ADA's research, of the 17 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, only 11.1 million have actually been diagnosed with the disease. In Connecticut, an estimated 173,000 people have the disease. Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because the symptoms can seem harmless. Early symptoms of diabetes include: frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability and blurry vision. Recent studies indicate the early detection of diabetes and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes. People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and other chronic conditions. In Connecticut, someone is hospitalized for diabetes-related complications every two hours; their average hospital stay is seven days.

The economic impact of the disease on the U.S. economy is significant. ADA studies show that in 2002, a total of $92 billion in direct medical expenses were attributable to diabetes. Diabetes is associated with higher rates of lost work time, disability and premature death. However, the ADA emphasizes that diabetics can improve their overall health and lower their risk of long-term problems by taking simple steps including choosing foods wisely, exercising regularly, reducing stress levels and making modest lifestyle changes.

For more information on the ADA's Hall of Merit Gala on November 1, contact Nanette Char, event chair at (860) 665-6210. For information on symptoms and treatment of diabetes, contact the American Diabetes Association, 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or www.diabetes.org.


The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading nonprofit health organization providing diabetes research, information and advocacy. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association conducts programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, reaching more than 800 communities.

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