5Qs with Jon Krebs, Co-Chair of the Annual Kidney Ball

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Jon Krebs, president of Madison Heights Glass Co., is co-chair of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s annual Kidney Ball. The event is taking place tomorrow at MotorCity Casino in Detroit and DBusiness Daily News spoke with Krebs about his experience with kidney disease and how tomorrow’s event can aid with education and prevention.

  1. DDN: What inspired you to get involved with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan?

    JK: I got involved with the foundation approximately four years ago and as the event grew, I became more and more involved with raising funds and securing sponsors for the event. So Dan Carney, who worked with my father on the Kidney Foundation back in the 70s, reached out and asked me to get involved. My father passed at 45 from kidney disease and he ended up heading up the Michigan Foundation for Kidney Disease. With me being an entrepreneur and looking for a charity to work with, by chance, a friend of mine made a donation in my name and Dan Carney noticed my last name and asked me to be involved.
  2. DDN: What can people attending this year’s event expect?

    JK: I’ve been to quite a few events like this throughout Detroit, but this one always seems to have a certain energy to it. It’s a light, fun atmosphere and everyone comes together to make sure it’s a good time, especially at the after party. It’s a Casablanca theme just to put more of a fun spin on it, so it’s going to be white tuxedoes and getting dressed up, which adds a fun, special touch to the event. There’s also a silent auction beforehand and a VIP party for our bigger sponsors. Then dinner is going to be light and fun, and after dinner we’ll head into the Sound Board where we’ll have late night appetizers, mingling, and lots of dancing.
  3. DDN: Anything else people might be excited about?

    JK: There will also be a silent auction where we will have a vast amount of items that people have donated, and it’s a big fundraiser for us. Some of the items we have include trips to Italy, weekends away, products from jewelers and spas, but the big ones are from Duane McLean (executive vice president for business operations for the Detroit Tigers) and he and the Ilitches have been very generous as far as the suites and ball games that will be available. Last year there was a Tigers Coach for a Day package in the live auction that was really exciting.
  4. DDN: What is your mission in collaborating with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan?

    JK: My personal mission is to help people living with kidney disease and people that have been through the disease, such as myself. I’m not affected by the disease through diabetes, though many are, but I’m a survivor of the disease myself and I know how it’s affected and changed my life. We’re hoping to raise $600,000 tomorrow, so with the money raised, we will help send kids with kidney disease to camp and help families that are in financial need for things like dialysis and other related expenses.
  5. DDN: Is there anything people might not know about kidney disease?

    JK: I think that education is the most important thing, as 70 percent of kidney disease cases can be prevented just through education, so that’s a big priority for us. Just knowing how to take care of your body can make a huge difference, so we’re trying to get the word out and help people as much as we can.

The Kidney Ball will take place tomorrow at MotorCity Casino in Detroit. Ticketing information can be found here.

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