Diabetes foundation host fair during football game


Children from middle school to high school lined up Saturday on the Set of Florida A&M’s Campus for a parade to cure diabetes. 

The event was hosted by the Prince Hall Shriners Foundation Diabetes Initiative

For the fourth year, Shriners dedicated a weekend of events that consisted of a golf tournament Friday, a health care fair, youth challenge and the FAMU vs. South Carolina State University football game on Saturday to spread awareness about diabetes.

The Prince Hall Shriners Foundation is a fraternal organization that helps the community and makes diabetes its main focus. The foundation has partnered with the American Diabetes Association to launch this initiative.

With the partnership, the foundation has committed to raise $1 million within 10 years. The football classic was held at Albany State the first two years. However, the organization was looking for a larger venue, and FAMU agreed to host the third annual football classic in 2011.  

“This is our second year at Florida A&M, and our idea here is to bring awareness,” said Dr. Otis Kirksey, health chairman of the event. “You have a football game with 25,000 people and you talk about diabetes we’re educating. And as long as we’re educating, we can impact the disparities as it relates to diabetes and the African-American community.”

The Prince Hall Shiners Foundation is prepared to give the ADA $100,000 in its commitment to reach $1 million in 10 years. The foundation also gave scholarships at the FAMU vs. South Carolina State football game.

Homer Buchanan, imperial potentate of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine, said the event is not just to fight diabetes but to get pre-diabetes testing.

“Juvenile diabetes is a major concern not only for us but also for the community that we are a part of because it’s prevalent in our society,” Buchanan said.

Children who participated in the parade marched from the Set to a health care fair at the Walker-Ford Community Center near FAMU’s campus.

Local businesses, such as the Office of Minority Health, Tallahassee Memorial Diabetes Center, 2-1-1 Big Bend and Big Bend Hospice, were participants of the health care fair. 

Guests were given healthy foods such as apples, grapes and muffins to support the fight against diabetes. They were also given free blood sugar measurements and blood pressure screenings.