Bursteins work to raise awareness of diabetes



Increased fatigue.

Extreme hunger.

Excessive thirst.

These symptoms are examples of the type of signals your body may be sending if you have diabetes.

Seven percent of the United States’ population has diabetes and 6.2 million people are unaware that they have the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Caryn and Marshall Burstein are working hard to make sure those numbers change for the better. As co-chairs of the ADA St. Louis chapter’s annual gala, Chasing The Cure, on May 5, at 4 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Clayton, they want to spread the word about diabetes and how people can help.

“We hope to attract 400 attendees and raise $256,000 to help the ADA prevent and cure diabetes,” said Caryn. “As of Friday, April 27, we’ve sold 385 tickets.”

The Bursteins have brought their experience and design talents to the event, according to Sue Batterson with the ADA. “They work very well together,” Batterson said. “They are enthusiastic as designers and volunteers.” In addition to all their other duties, she said the Bursteins arranged to have horses in front of the Ritz and their daughter Sydney on one of the horses, dressed as a jockey.

Helping society is nothing new for the Bursteins, they have been stressing the importance of helping others since their daughter was able to understand. “When Sydney was old enough, she would go into her closet and select something to give away, either a toy or outfit,” Caryn said. “Now she has become a very giving person.” For the past 10 years, since they opened their store CLB Interiors, 8125 Maryland Avenue in Clayton, the Bursteins have been selecting one non-profit to benefit from their efforts. “We have donated to the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross,” Marshall explained, “and Big Cat Country in Dallas.” He said that with so many organizations out there that need their time and money, they just pick one and try to make a difference.

This year’s “Chasing the Cure” gala begins with a pre-event cocktail hour when guests can sip mint juleps and enjoy various games. David Cohen, the organist at United Hebrew, is donating his time to play the piano during this cocktail hour. At 5:15 p.m., on large television screens, the Kentucky Derby will be telecast live. Guests can donate money for tickets that they place on the horses. “One name will be drawn from the horses that win, place, and show,” Caryn said, “and the winners will receive a gift for their donations.” To continue with the Derby theme, the Marshalls will be judging the hat and tie contests.

Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the live auction at 7:30. Some of the items available during the live auction include a three-night package for two to next year’s Kentucky Derby, a night at the Ritz Carlton, an ATV, and private dinner parties. The silent auction of 150 items will feature sports memorabilia and tickets, among many other gifts. A special silent auction table will feature gift baskets to raise money to send kids to Camp EDI, the camp for kids with diabetes founded by Gloria Hirsch.

To buy tickets to attend the gala, or for more information, contact Sue Batterson, (314) 822-5490, extension 6827. She will accept reservations until Friday afternoon. Donations, which can be made in honor or memory of someone, can be sent to the ADA, 10820 Sunset Office Drive, Suite 220, St. Louis, MO 63127.