Set to the theme “An Evening of Treasures,” the 33rd annual Love and Hope Ball was held on February 17 at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood. More than 600 guests entered a cocktail reception bathed in silvery hues, where many were thrilled to “find” treasures such as furs, jewels and other fabulous prizes. After, they dined and danced the night away in a ballroom aglow in tones of gold. This spectacular black-tie gala, in combination with December’s Preview Party, raised more than $1 million for the cure-focused work of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
“This is more than just a charity,” said musical legend Barry Gibb, who serves as the fundraising group’s International Chairman, along with his wife of 26 years, Linda. “It’s a family of people who have worked together for years and years to overcome this terrible disease.” Linda, who is very hands-on within the Love and Hope committee, added, “We have made so much progress.”
In honor of their dedication and longtime support of the cause, this dynamic couple received the 2007 Diabetes Research Institute Leadership Award during the event’s dinner program, which was emceed by Mr. Miami Beach Michael Aller.
Also recognized that evening were the event’s honorees, including Humanitarian Honoree Tova Leidesdorf, Honorary Chairmen Gary Koenig and Laura Ciel Koenig, Love Honoree Denise Rubin, Hope Honoree Lisa Perri-Molina, VP and GM of Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour, Cocktail Reception Hosts Sandy and Senator Paul Steinberg, Silver Star Florence Frank, and Preview Party Underwriter Isabel May. Aller also presented the key to the city of Miami Beach to Executive Chairman Sandra Levy. Young professionals Therese Gibb, Jamie Jo Harris, Michelle Rubell and Nicole Simkins were introduced as members of a new group called the Young Society of Love and Hope. The festivities continued as Life Chairman Sonja Zuckerman announced her time-honored phrase, “Let’s eat, drink and have a ball!”
For more information on the Love and Hope Ball or the Diabetes Research Institute, call 954.964.4040 or visit www.diabetesresearch.org.