While driving back from a road trip, four East Bay college buddies cooked up an idea in the car which lead to the founding of Active Charity.
The local non-profit organization has helped raise over $2 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation since its founding in 2005.
Dan Michie, who is from San Ramon and is the director and co-founder of Active Charity, says the proceeds from the charity events are given directly to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Michie, along with California State University of Chico pals, Jason Skeoch, Ryan Ashburn and Rob Nowacek plan fundraising events throughout the year.
"We realized that if we had taken all of the money we gambled and had lost, we would have a lot of money to give to a cause," Michie said.
Michie says the group takes no compensation for their time organizing and promoting the events out of the money raised.
"We chose the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation after a friend's son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes," he said.
Most recently, the group held a black tie Monte Carlo-themed fundraiser on Feb. 1 at the Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, which raised $20,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In the past, the event was a poker night fundraiser but this year, the group decided to make some changes to entice women to join in the fun. About 125 people attended the game night that included bunco, blackjack, craps and roulette.
Michie says their largest fundraiser is their annual golf tournament.
"For the first golf tourney we raised $120,000," he commented. "Last year, we raised over $550,000 to support the JDRF."
According to Michie, they are already planning for the next golf tournament.
"This will will be the 'Summer Classic at Wente' in August," said Michie. "We hope to raise $500,000."
"The families, the people and the connections we have made...these people have inspired us," Michie said. "They make it easy to keep going."