Varnum attorney Richard T. Hewlett is the new President for the Metro Detroit/Southeast Michigan Chapter of JDRF. His term began July 1.
As President, Hewlett said his primary goal is to raise awareness of type I diabetes and generate funds to help find a cure and prevent complications that result from the disease. In addition to his board activity, Hewlett has personally helped to raise more than $700,000 for diabetes research through his “Swing to Cure” golf outing held annually since 2008.
In a letter to Hewlett following this year’s outing, Dr. Peter Arvan, Chief of the Metabolism Endocrinology and Diabetes Division at the University of Michigan, noted the importance of fundraising efforts.
“What you have done for us is exactly what we would like to do for the community of patients with diabetes – help people to get their work done, and help people make their lives better so they in turn can give back to the rest of the world,” Arvan said. “I am more convinced than ever before that our research really matters and what we are bringing to the table is going to change the lives of people with diabetes.”
Hewlett has served the JDRF board for the past five years, but his affiliation with the organization goes back to 1999, shortly after his son, Jeffrey, was diagnosed with type I diabetes as a 4-year-old. At that time, the Hewlett family began helping to organize fundraising activities including “Walk to Cure” events to raise money for diabetes research.
In 2008, Hewlett, himself a U of M football alum, and his late wife, Chris, started “Swing to Cure” diabetes, a golf outing at the University of Michigan Golf Course featuring current and former U of M football players and coaches as celebrity guests. Over the years, coaches including Gary Moeller, Lloyd Carr, Jerry Hanlon, Brady Hoke and Jim Harbaugh have attended the event, the proceeds of which benefit JDRF and the University of Michigan Diabetes Center.
Hewlett is a partner in Varnum’s trial law group, where he focuses on construction law and litigation, business litigation and commercial matters. He has extensive experience with construction claims and assisting clients with a variety of contract-related matters. He also has extensive experience representing sports and entertainment clients and with internal investigations.