Giving Back

Short Hills Family Foundation Honored at DREAMS in the City Gala

Besner Family: Leslie, Willa, Greg and Lana. Credits: DRI

SHORT HILLS, NJ - A Short Hills family and their foundation, Willa's Wish Foundation, Inc are being honored at the DREAMS in the City Gala for their work to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Greg, Leslie, Willa and Lana Besner will be on hand at the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) hosted gala in New York City. The elegant evening serves to highlight the groundbreaking research going on in the field of type 1 diabetes. 

Willa Besner was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2006, a few days after her fourth birthday. Since then, she and her family have been committed to finding a cure for type 1. Their involvement with the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) Foundation dates back to the year 2007 when the Besner's served on the committee for "Carnival for a Cure" in NYC. 

Greg Besner later went on to join the Northeast Regional Board of Directors for the DRI Foundation. In addition to their generous work with the DRI, Greg and Leslie Besner founded the Willa’s Wish Foundation in 2012 in Willa’s honor with the goal to raise $1 million dollars within ten years, and the mission to donate 100% of the net proceeds to help fund efforts to cure Type 1 Diabetes. 

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The Besner family hosts an annual event each fall in New York City called “Willa’s Wish Cocktails for a Cure.” This annual event has raised close to $400,000 to date, and the Besner family donates a portion of the funds each year to the DRI. 

The DREAMS in the City gala is on Thursday, May 4 at Cipriani 25 Broadway. 

Additional information on the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) can be found at  Willa's Wish Foundation Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Information is available at

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