Jerry Pauzus works with several programs including the DAD’s Day Campaign, United Way Project Ramp, Children’s Hospital, Festival of Trees, Cancer Fund Raising, and Dollars Against Diabetes.
Pauzus got involved with Dollars Against Diabetes, an annual campaign spearheaded by the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. It is one part of the Blueprint for Cure program, which was created to bring working men and women together to raise money to fight a cure for diabetes. This cause particularly touches him because his son Daniel was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of two.
Pauzus opted not to just live with the disease and be complacent; because of his son, he became involved with Dad’s Day. When he started with the program, there was not much fund raising activity in the Detroit area for the campaign. Pauzus knew that had to change, and he dedicated himself to make an immediate difference. He contacted other parents of diabetic children and his union friends initially. He mobilized a network of volunteers that would specifically work on fundraising. His eight year commitment to DAD’s Day has made the Detroit chapter area, which was previously not in the top fifty cities for fundraising, number one in the United States.
Pauzus’ leadership, influence, and determination are the reasons for the chapter’s success. Thousands of dollars have been raised to help find the cure for diabetes. His organizational skills, commitment, and dedication has resulted in their chapter growing from eight members to more than 300 members. The volunteers work on busy street corners requesting donations from passing motorists to benefit diabetes research. They have also utilized golf tournaments, raffles and other local events to raise money.
With Pauzus as the DAD’s DAY Chaiman, union members, civic organization, and community leaders have come together working toward the same goal – finding a cure. As George Bush said, “The DAD’s DAY program is a shining example of volunteerism in action and a reminder of how we as American citizens must learn to measure success – not by the sum of our possessions, but for the good we do for others.”
Because of Pauzus’ son Daniel, who is challenged personally with the disease of diabetes, he has refused to take it sitting down. He has opened the community’s eyes to the disease, is a staunch advocate of finding a cure, and will continue to work diligently to raise money to do so.