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Barry Gibb Rocks Crowd at Sold-Out 40th Anniversary Love and Hope Ball

February 15, 2014

More photos below!

Hot off the heels of his “Saturday Night Live” cameo and U.S. media tour, music legend Barry Gibb performed an exclusive concert for a sold-out crowd of nearly 800 people at the 40th Anniversary Love and Hope Ball, which benefited the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, on February 15.  Gibb’s performance at the black-tie gala – combined with November’s Preview Party – helped raise nearly $1 million this year. The event was held in honor of two hardworking ladies (pictured above with International Chairman Linda Gibb), Life Chairman Sonja Zuckerman, who has been at the helm of Love and Hope for all 40 years, and Executive Chairman Sandra Levy for more than two decades of dedication, as well as DRI Director Dr. Camillo Ricordi for his commitment to finding a cure for diabetes. 

Gibb treated guests to an extraordinary, full-length concert, during which he took time to recognize the important work of the Love and Hope Committee and the DRI, reminding guests of their critical role in helping to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.

“They work very, very hard. So, let’s not forget that’s why we’re all here, and that is to raise money for diabetes research,” said Gibb. “And hopefully one day there will be a cure, but it won’t happen without all of your help.”

Gibb then continued to rock the crowd with a little help from his own family – paying tribute to his late brothers Andy, Maurice and Robin – which included an emotional duet of “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” with Maurice’s daughter, Samantha Gibb, and a powerhouse solo performance by Gibb’s son, Stephen,  of “On Time,” a song written by Maurice.  Other members of the Gibb family watched from the front row, including Gibb’s wife, Linda, who has served with him as International Chairman of Love and Hope and to whom he dedicated a special performance of the song “Words.”

The 90-minute concert – which had guests dancing nonstop from beginning to end – featured hits like “More than a Woman,” “Jive Talkin’,” “To Love Somebody,” and “You Should Be Dancing,” and ended with Gibb giving a poignant rendition of “Immortality,” which he said was the best song he and his brothers felt they had ever written.  After the stage dimmed, Gibb came back for an encore performance of the song “Tragedy,” before thanking the crowd and taking time to greet guests and pose for pictures.

Prior to the concert, guests were treated to a cocktail reception featuring contemporary décor, which included lavish centerpieces with bright red and pink fresh roses, and tables adorned with elegant silver-sequined cloths that made the room sparkle, plus Love and Hope’s traditional rose and heart ice sculptures. After greeting old friends among hors d’ oeuvres and martini bars, attendees were ushered into the Grand Ballroom. The candle-lit tables set a romantic tone throughout the ballroom, which featured lush centerpieces adorned with fuchsia, red and yellow flowers, all while the band Soul Survivor warmed up guests and got the party started performing live renditions of timeless and top 40 hits.

Mistress of Ceremonies Belkys Nerey, Emmy Award-winning journalist and anchor of WSVN News, greeted guests and acknowledged Zuckerman, Levy and Dr. Ricordi during the dinner program. She also recognized the following honorees for their commitment to helping the DRI find a cure for diabetes: Honorary Chairman Shirley Harris, Anniversary Honorees Janie and Ronald Kupferman, Love Honorees Barbara and Norman Shapiro, Hope Honorees Mercedes and David Carlson, Ruby Star Honorees Sandy and Senator Paul Steinberg and Gold Star Honoree Sheila Wohl, as well as National Chairman Kathy Simkins. Nerey also thanked event sponsors: The GEO Group, Global Trend Alert, Landmark Trust, Neiman Marcus, Perfect Vodka, Margarita and Rick Tonkinson, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Zuckerman concluded the program by uttering her time-honored phrase, “Let’s eat, drink and have a ball.”

The dinner and show were followed by a lively after party that featured a popular DJ and a decadent Viennese table filled with endless amounts of desserts – including several ice cream flavors, bananas foster, panna cotta with raspberry drizzle, macaroons, Starbucks coffee and more. The fun-filled evening came to a close with guests dancing until the wee hours of the night.

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Photo credit:  Andrew Milne

 

Honorary Chairman Shirley Harris with Sam Banks

Hope Honorees Mercedes and David Carlson

Anniversary Honorees Ron and Janie Kupferman

 

Love Honorees Barbara and Norman Shapiro

 

Ruby Star Honorees Senator Paul  and Sandy Steinberg

 

Diabetes Research Institute Director Dr. Camillo Ricordi and his fiancée Patrizia Verduci

 

National Chairman Kathy Simkins and Life Chairman Sonja Zuckerman

 

Joseph and Pamela Lubeck of Landmark Residential

 

Betty and Michael Wohl

 

Preview Party Hostess Isabel May and Hildine Potashnick

 

Margarita (far left)and Richard Tonkinson (second from left) and friends

 

DRIF President and CEO Joshua Rednik and wife Debi with Andria and Javier Holtz

 

Donna and George Zoley of The GEO Group

 

Life Trustee Serena Simkins

 

Executive Chairman Sandra Levy and Sid Levy

 

Tova Liedesdorf (middle) and friends

 

Ashley Gibb, Country music duo Kelly Lang and T.G. Sheppard, Linda Gibb and Therese Gibb

 

Kathryn Chesler, Dr. Camillo Ricordi, Fran and Mel Harris, and Patricia Frankel

 

Nancy and Jerry Blair

 

Marilyn Fellman and Diane Sepler

 

Helene and Marc Kovens

Judy and J.P. Newell

Rhoda Stern and Red Heller

Jill and Robert Rosenhaus

 

WSVN News Anchor and Love and Hope Ball Emcee Belkys Nerey with Grammy Award-winning musician Rudy Perez

 

Mrs. Lenore Toby Simmons

 

DRIF Vice President Tom Karlya (Diabetes Dad) with Walgreens Market Vice President Roy Ripak and his wife, Vivian

Representing Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour, sponsor

The tables were draped in sequined cloths.  It was quite a site!

Representing Neiman Marcus, sponsor

 

National Board member Sheldon Singer and Barbara Singer

 

National Board member Bonnie Inserra with Lindsey Inserra-Hughes and John Hughes

 

DRI's Dr. Jay Skyler with National Board member Ramon Poo

Florida Board Chairman Dr. William J. Rand with his wife, Debbie (left), and DRI's Dr. Cherie Stabler with her husband, Scott Anderson

Barry and Beth Cohen sang an amazing tribute to Barbara Steisand.

Michael and Jenna Gibb with Michael and Sari Adicott

Stephen Gibb

Barry Gibb

Samantha Gibb



 

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