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Celebrities Help Fund Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center

LEXINGTON, Ky., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Every year, the Kentucky Derby brings celebrities from the worlds of Hollywood, sports and politics to Kentucky for the first weekend in May. And, every year, Louisville, Ky., resident Patricia Barnstable Brown hosts the biggest, most extravagant, star-studded Derby party in town -- the Barnstable Brown Gala.

Last year's attendees included Edward Norton, Tom Brady, Nick Lachey, Molly Sims, Bill O'Reilly, Terrell Owens and Hugh Hefner. The annual celebrity bash allows the Barnstable-Brown Foundation to support diabetes research, education and patient care in Kentucky, which ranks seventh in the nation for prevalence of the disease.

Barnstable Brown announced today that proceeds from the sales of the highly prized gala tickets -- which sell for $1,000 to $2,000 apiece -- will be used to fund the development of the brand new Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Kentucky.

"I am thrilled that all of our gala supporters can step back and see the wonderful work that the University of Kentucky is doing for diabetes," said Barnstable Brown.

The large-scale, proposed center at the University of Kentucky will bring together the university's breadth and depth of researchers, educators and clinicians focused on diabetes and obesity and organize them to attack the problem collaboratively and, therefore, faster.

"Kentucky needs few things more urgently," said Dr. Michael Karpf, the university's executive vice president for health affairs. "Patricia Barnstable Brown and her family are extraordinarily generous, and their gift takes us to a different level. There are few places that can organize around such critical health issues facing this country, so this really puts us in elite territory."

The gala was initiated in 1988 by Barnstable Brown and twin sister Priscilla Barnstable, former Wrigley's Doublemint twins who both were also cheerleaders at the University of Kentucky.

Proceeds from the gala have always gone to further diabetes research and care. Patricia Barnstable Brown's husband, Dr. David Brown, died from complications of the disease in 2003. This year is the first time the foundation has pledged funding to develop a center, and it has made the University of Kentucky its sole beneficiary.

SOURCE University of Kentucky
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