Diabetes Research Institute Hits the Jackpot
at the Love & Hope High Rollers Night
Alice Rodd O’Rourke, Alitza Weiss, Caroline Weiss,
Dr. Camillo Ricordi and Sandra Levy

Sir Barry and Lady Linda Gibb

It was a night of prizes, surprises and fun at the Love & Hope High Rollers Night, which benefited the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and its mission of finding a cure. Held at the iconic Nobu Hotel Eden Roc Miami Beach on Saturday, March 9, the casino-themed event raised nearly $400,000!

Approximately 300 of South Florida's crème de la crème walked the red carpet into a lavish cocktail reception, where they mingled with celebs like Sir Barry Gibb and his lovely wife, Lady Linda Gibb, who serve as Love & Hope's International Chairmen, and baseball great Ron Darling, who serves on the DRI Foundation's national board. Las Vegas-style showgirls decked in red feathers and sparkling beads then beckoned the crowd to the ballroom for dinner and dancing.

Executive Chairman Sandra Levy welcomed guests, then turned it over to WPLG Local 10 morning news anchor Jacey Birch, mistress of ceremonies, who thanked the evening’s top sponsors: the Caroline and Alitza Weiss Family Foundation, National Chairman Kathy Simkins and the Simkins Family Foundation, and Barbara Shapiro. But it was Alitza Weiss who delivered the evening’s biggest surprise when she announced that they would be doubling their donation to the DRI to a total of $1 million!

A spot-on Marilyn Monroe impersonator, accompanied by “Elvis Presley,” took the stage to perform “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” It was the perfect lead-in to the evening’s auction, which boasted a signed Roberto Coin ladies’ white gold and diamond bracelet valued at $35,000, among other fabulous items. Feeling lucky (and generous!), attendees moved into the casino to play blackjack, craps, roulette, and slots—all for chances to win designer-named prizes and one-of-a-kind treasures.

Other sponsors who made this evening possible: Sandra Levy, The Tonkinson Foundation, Sharon Gustafson Florescue and the Florescue Family Foundation, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Joseph Lubeck and American Landmark, Barry Smith, Maurice Greenberg and The Starr Foundation, Roberta & Harvey Chaplin, Betty Madigan Brandt, Kathryn Chesler, Marilyn Fellman, Eleanor Kosow, Helene & Mark Kovens, Lenore Toby Simmons, Jill Viner, Dennis Cunningham and Perfect Vodka, J.P. Morgan Securities, Town of Golden Beach and Saks Fifth Avenue.

For more information, contact the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation at 954-964-4040 or visit DiabetesResearch.org.

Nicole Simkins, Alice Rodd O’Rourke, Michael Simkins
and Kathy Simkins

Barbara & Marcia Shapiro

Dr. Camillo Ricordi, Mercedes Bach, Jay Skyler

Dr. Anthony Japour and Sandra Levy

Darren & Heather Parker, Daisy Bank, Dr. Henri Ford, Caroline Weiss and Dr. Camillo Ricordi

Dr. Camillo Ricordi, Alitza Weiss, Sir Barry and Lady Linda Gibb

Sandra Levy and Eleanor Kosow

Sir Barry Gibb and Ron Darling

Marilyn Fellman, Raysa Hernandez, Dr. Colleen Enis and Dalia Glottmann

Love and Hope High Rollers Crowd

Betty Madigan Brandt and
Walter Miller

Kathy Simkins, Barbara Kaufman
and Ali Gibb

Dennis Lehman and Kelley Kosow

Dr. Julio Frenk, Sandra Levy and
Brittany Pushkin

Rick and Margarita Tonkinson

Craig and Jillian Posner

Felicia and Dennis Cunningham

Kathy Simkins and Stephen Alger

"Marilyn Monroe" and Marco Selva

Travis and Stacy Gibb

Marcie Belenke, Rhoda Stern and Irving Heller

Nikki Simkins, Barbara Kaufman, Mercedes Carlson, Sue Olsen and friend

Lenore Toby Simmons

Kathryn Chesler and Judy Clark

Ellie Bernstein playing craps

Marlene Berg and Erin Hager

Jacey Birch and Showgirls

Esther and William Belfer