Crystal Ball 2016
It was an evening of enchantment and elegance at the 18th Annual Crystal Ball, which brought together hundreds of Long Island’s most charitable families and individuals who all share a common goal: They want to see an end to diabetes. Held on May 14, 2016 at the Garden City Hotel, the sophisticated affair benefited the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), the world’s most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes. The evening’s focus was crystal clear and resulted in more than $400,000 raised for the DRI.
The event paid tribute to three exceptional young women, Dara Melnick, Edra Tepper and Maggie Luebs. These young women – all with type 1 diabetes and all supporters of the DRI- received the Rowland and Sylvia Schaefer Young Professionals of Valor Award.
Award recipient Dara Melnick and her family have a long history of helping others living with this disease and giving back – which started with her grandparents Rowland and Sylvia Schaefer, whom the award was named after for their decades of commitment toward a cure. The Schaefer’s will always be remembered as two of the DRI’s most generous donors and strong supporters of their granddaughter.
“I was diagnosed at 8 year’s old with a chronic disease that would forever change my life. I remember being rushed to the emergency room with my mom and grandfather being told I would have to change my diet and take shots for the rest of my life. For anyone this news was scary, let alone an 8 year old. For not one day, one hour, one minute can I truly put to rest my reality – there is no vacation. Dealing with the daily headaches, blurred vision, the emotional toll, hi and low blood sugar and continued physical impairments and severe complications is difficult. Each day in my, Edra and Maggie’s life is a true balancing act. I am grateful for the love and support of my husband Jeremy, my family and friends. I know one day we will see a cure and it will come from the DRI. It is such an honor to receive this award which is named after my beloved grandparents who years ago saw the promise of the cure at the DRI,” said Melnick.
Bruce Siegel, DRIF NE Region Co-chairman of the board of directors and Jonathan Tepper, DRIF NE Region board member went on to present the Rowland and Sylvia Schaefer Young Professionals of Valor Award to Edra Tepper. “This is a beautiful award. Thank you so much for this honor. I am so grateful for our friends Dara and Jeremy who have introduced us to the DRI. Since being diagnosed, my carefree way of life has been greatly affected by this terrible autoimmune disease. We have to find a cure for the children, for Maggie, for Dara for everyone. We are truly committed to the DRI and to their passion and commitment to finding a biological cure. Thank you again for this honor,” said Tepper.
Maggie Luebs was presented her award by Tony Childs, DRIF NE Regional Director. “It feels like the DRIF is part of my family. I appreciate the fact that I’ve grown up with the DRI and there has always been somebody there to help and understand my diabetes. I am confident that one day the researchers will lead us to the cure. It is amazing how dedicated the researchers are to finding a cure and everyone at the DRI. Thank you all for your financial support, which is necessary to finding the cure. It is my honor to receive this award,” said Luebs.
Co-chairs for the event once again were National Board member Bruce Waller, son-in-law of Rowland and Sylvia Schaefer, and his sister, Wendy Waller. The evening was highlighted by a special auction featuring unique items ranging from artwork and designer jewelry to a Rolex Watch Grand Sweepstakes prize provided by London Jewelers. Guests also enjoyed a cocktail hour, exquisite food and wines, plus dancing.
Not missing a beat, the Crystal Ball lived up to its reputation for the outstanding and active sponsors it has drawn year after year, and this year was no different. Presenting Sponsors were Bruce and Roberta Waller & Family; Fund-a-Grant Sponsor is the Fishlinger Family Foundation; Sparkling Sponsor Rachel and Bruce Siegel; Gold Sponsors the Manocherian Family, Robert Moss/Long Island Pipe Supply, Inc., Rooms to Go Foundation and Ms. Wendy Waller; and Silver Sponsors the Hatz Family and Northern Trust.
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Photos by Marc Levine Photography
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