Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition to Host ‘Dine in Denim’ Dinner for National Diabetes Day

Rockford, IL … The Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition will host the first annual Dine in Denim for Diabetes dinner in honor of National Diabetes Day at Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center on Friday, November 14th from 6:00 to 8:30 PM.

The dinner is intended to educate community members on diabetes awareness and prevention. Speakers include State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford), State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford), medical professionals, persons living with diabetes, and Rockford area students who have participated in the NIDC’s “Peppy Up” diabetes prevention program.

“Peppy Up” is a book with an engaging curriculum program that is helping 5th grade students at Rockford Public Schools work together to prevent Diabetes. University of Illinois medical and pharmacy students have helped the Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition create a school based curriculum to educate children how their environment impacts their health.  The curriculum features a “Peppy Up” food list, foods that help children prevent Diabetes; fun exercises; and highlights the importance of getting enough sleep. Students are taught that while Type 1 Diabetes is not preventable, Type 2 Diabetes is genetic and in some cases is preventable.

“Rockford is the fourth most obese city in the nation, and our community is at even greater risk for the epidemic of diabetes,” said Patti Nelligan, MS, RN, Children’s Diabetes Prevention Committee, Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition. “The Peppy Up program is an engaging opportunity for students to be mentors in their schools, families and communities to raise awareness of Diabetes and help prevent the epidemic. This campaign has been very positive for children, and children have eaten healthier from reading the book. Some RPS fifth graders will even make a special “Peppy Up” performance at the Dine in Denim dinner.”

“Diabetes Awareness day is intended to shed light on this silent but serious epidemic. Diabetes affects more than 800,000 Illinois adults whose medical expenses can cost up to 2.5 times more than

those without the disease,” said Rep. Sosnowski. “With one in three children projected to have diabetes by 2050, the Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition’s Peppy Up program is a welcome addition to the classroom and I applaud the work of Rockford Public Schools and the Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition for their commitment to improving children’s lives.”

“Rockford Public Schools has initiated numerous programs to improve the health of children and the community of Rockford and I am happy to be collaborating with the Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition (NIDC) to have our local college and high school students mentor younger children through the Peppy Up campaign and school curriculum,” said Dr. Ehren Jarrett, Superintendent of Rockford Public Schools.

“Diabetes Awareness Day provides an opportunity for legislators to partner with groups like the Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition to promote prevention and understanding of the serious disease. Diabetes can put someone at higher risk for heart attack or stroke, and for other complications, including kidney failure, adult blindness and amputations,” said Sen. Syverson.

For more information about the Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition, please visit, and to learn more about the Peppy Up program visit

The Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition (NIDC) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping persons affected by diabetes with quality care, education, and support.  Their mission is to provide services to people in 15 counties in Northwest Illinois regardless of income, color, gender, creed, language, or disability and help facilitate access to continuing care. The NIDC was organized in 1999 and currently supports and provides funding for various community campaigns designed to prevent diabetes through education.