Diabetes Forecast

The Order of the Amaranth Raises Funds for Diabetes

By Benjamin Page ,

American Diabetes Association CEO Tracey Brown (second from left) accepts a check from the Amaranth Diabetes FoundationPhotograph by Beth Bergmann

How do you raise over $16 million? “You have to get creative,” says Charlene Tucker, president of the Amaranth Diabetes Foundation, the charitable arm of the fraternal organization known as the Order of the Amaranth. Founded nearly 150 years ago, the Order of the Amaranth promotes the virtues of truth, faith, wisdom, and charity.

In 1979, Amaranth partnered with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to make diabetes its philanthropic focus. With more than 13,000 members across the country, the organization focuses on fundraising at the local level. In Washington state, that can mean a dinner auction; in Florida, that might translate to a barbecue. Other groups host golf tournaments, motorcycle rides, 5K runs, even murder mystery parties.

Last year, Amaranth reached the $16 million mark. All of it has gone toward funding research grants through the ADA Research Foundation. Under the leadership of Supreme Royal Matron June Haas, who led the Order of the Amaranth in 2018–2019, the organization funded four projects at universities across the country. One seeks to understand the genetic risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Another is looking into regenerating the body’s insulin-producing beta cells. A third centers around heart attack prevention, and the latest project is looking into gastric bypass surgery’s ability to reverse type 2. Each of these works toward a shared goal. “We want to find a cure, and while we do that, we want to improve the quality of life for everyone with diabetes,” Tucker says. “Through research, we’re going to work with the ADA to figure that out.”

This summer, Haas passed the torch to Dorothy Kippie, the organization’s newest supreme royal matron. She has a few goals for her yearlong term, including raising $500,000. “It’s a big chunk of change,” she says, “but we can do it.”

To get there, Kippie wants to boost community outreach even further. “It’s bringing in the public, bringing in people we haven’t touched before,” she says. “We want them to understand what we do. We want them to help contribute to find a cure.”

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Interested in donating to the American Diabetes Association Research Foundation? Head here to learn more about the ways you can give.



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