Empire Ball


Empire Ball 2017

They call Paris the City of Light, but Paris has nothing on Manhattan; for on the night of Wednesday, December 13th, New York was ablaze under a blanket of blue. Four iconic towers – The Empire State Building, One Bryant Park, 4 Times Square, and One World Trade Center – were radiantly lit in blue, the international color of diabetes, to light up the sky for DRI.

This remarkable event commemorated the 34th annual Empire Ball, presented by the Real Estate Division of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) Foundation. Once again, the Grand Hyatt Hotel welcomed more than 800 members of the metropolitan real estate and construction community, as they united to raise $1.15 million for the cure-focused work of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. In its history, the Empire Ball has raised $37 million for diabetes research.

A lively cocktail reception that filled the hotel's ground floor was followed by dinner in the Empire State ballroom. During the program, Paul H. Teti, Partner at Normandy Real Estate Partners, was presented with the Empire Ball’s Leadership Award. Robert Mullen, Chief Executive Officer of Structure Tone, received the Camillo Ricordi Humanitarian Award. Jeffrey A. Duarte, Senior Vice President of Alliance Building Services, accepted the Peter L. DiCapua Distinguished Service Award.

The evening’s emcee, Michael Kay along with co-hosts Rick Cerone and John Sterling, kicked off the program by thanking all of the events’ wonderful, generous sponsors; singling out for special mention Robert Mullen and Structure Tone for their Presenting sponsorship, Jim Halpin and Platinum Maintenance and Paul H. Teti and Normandy Real Estate Partners for their co-sponsorship and Paul J. Amrich and CBRE and the Rinaldi Family and Madison Service Corporation for their Grand Patron sponsorships. Michael Kay also heralded the historic achievements of event founder Charlie Rizzo and Chairman Emeritus Peter L. DiCapua and recognized Steering Committee co-hosts, Steve Rizzo, Jim Halpin and Avi Itzikowitz.

DRI Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer, Joshua Rednik introduced a video segment illustrating the impact of a recent visit the honorees took to the Diabetes Research Institute in Miami. The group met with the University of Miami’s President, Julio Frenk and head men’s basketball coach, Jim Larrañaga, whose adult son has type 1 diabetes. Coach Larrañaga put the human toll of diabetes in perspective when he said that his son has endured 50,000 finger pricks and 50,000 injections since being diagnosed at the age of eight.

During the tour, the honorees met with DRI Director Dr. Camillo Ricordi and his staff of researchers and scientists. Each of the honorees came away grateful for and humbled by the work that these men and women are doing to find a cure for diabetes. Their incredible work would not be possible without the help of the wonderful supporters of The Empire Ball.

New to The Empire Ball this year was the band Stellar Mojo. And, back by popular demand was a menu that was thoughtfully sourced to include artisanal cheeses, grass-fed beef, and local, organic vegetables. Dessert included a sugar-free option.

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation congratulates each of the evening’s honorees and warmly thanks the many wonderful sponsors and friends of the Empire Ball.

The DRI Foundation offers Special Thanks to:

Lou Esposito and The Durst Organization
Brian Cury, EarthCam
Empire State Realty Trust

and to our Gift Sponsors:

The Inserra Family
L & L Holding Company, LLC
Onyx Equities
Palladium Window Solutions
Time Warner Inc.
William Macklowe Company

Event Photos
Photo Credits: Marc S. Levine Photography
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