From 1997 through 1999, a total of 365 diabetes screening and awareness events targeting high-risk populations were held throughout New York State. These events were planned and implemented by community-based coalitions that received funding from the state's Diabetes Control Program. The American Diabetes Association's diabetes risk questionnaire was administered, and those individuals identified as high risk received a capillary blood glucose test. Screened individuals with glucose readings above the cut-off value (140 mg/dl or 110 mg/dl if fasting) were referred to a physician for diagnostic testing. A total of 32,954 individuals took the questionnaire, 27,237 received the blood test, and 1,564 were referred to a physician. Among those who were successfully tracked (n = 1,113), 354 were newly diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. Seventy-two percent of participants screened were aged 45 years and older, and 67% had a body mass index of 25 or higher. Only 15% were members of ethnic minorities, and uninsured individuals were also underrepresented at 10%. The entire initiative, including planning, promotion, and administration, required 5,428 person-hours of staff time and a total cost of approximately 262,000 dollars. Fifty-seven percent of the total cost was derived from in-kind support of the coalitions. The cost of detecting each new case was 741 dollars.