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DREAMS in the City 2016

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DREAMS in the City

On Thursday, May 5th, the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) Foundation held its Dreams in the City gala at Cipriani 25 Broadway in Manhattan.  Though this was the 11th iteration of this signature event, it was notable for a number of fresh takes – a new logo, a new venue, a new emcee, a revamped mission-based auction, and a tuned-up menu.

Cipriani 25 Broadway is a New York City-landmark that features inlaid floors, marble columns, magnificent murals and soaring 65-foot-high ceilings.  Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while admiring their lofty surroundings and bidding on a vast array of silent auction items.  As they sat down to dinner, they were welcomed by Master of Ceremonies Chris Wragge, Co-Anchor of CBS 2 News This Morning and CBS 2 News at Noon.  Chris welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming.  He introduced event co-chair Samantha Shanken Baker, who echoed Chris’s thanks and who underscored the importance of this event, which, over a decade-plus, has raised more than $6.5 million for the cure-focused research of the DRI.

Samantha recognized her co-chair colleagues, Bonnie Inserra, Meryl Lieberman and Young Professionals’ Chair Lindsey-Inserra Hughes, and she invited Bonnie and Lindsey up to present the evening’s honoree, Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN and 2015 AADE Diabetes Educator of the Year, with the event’s Dare to Dream award.

Susan was chosen for this special recognition for her remarkable dedication and commitment to improving the lives of people with type 1 diabetes.  Before presenting Susan with her award, Lindsey indicated that the “dream” represented by the award is for a cure and, until that day arrives, Susan’s heroic work continues to help others overcome obstacles so that they may live their most fulfilled and optimal lives.  In his subsequent remarks, Dr. Camillo Ricordi, Director of the Diabetes Research Institute, also extolled the wonderful work of Susan and her colleagues, and he indicated what a central role nutritional education plays, and how it is so helpful, in the treatment of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Susan’s many supporters and fans gave her a standing ovation and many rounds of applause throughout her touching and heartfelt remarks.  The theme of Susan’s speech was “Do More for the Cure,” a mantra she reiterated in a lovely poem that she co-wrote.  Susan was pleased and grateful for all of the support, and thanked in particular Hope Warshaw, president of the AADE, for being there.  Susan made many new friends during the course of the evening, with her sunny smile, engaging personality, and delight in meeting so many people united by the same mission. 

Following the program, guests enjoyed dinner, followed by dancing to the pumped-up music of The Jay Prince Band.  Guests also partook of a dessert bar set in a lounge area. 

This wonderful evening would not have been possible without the kind and generous support of the many supporters and friends of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.  Warmest thanks are extended in particular to our 50-Carat Sponsor, The Inserra Family; Platinum Sponsors The Marino Family, Kantor Family, Century 21 Construction & Lodi Markets, the Shanken Family Foundation, and the Stacy Joy Goodman Memorial Foundation; and Diamond Sponsors Meryl Lieberman & Dr. Howard Gould and Mallory & Bradley Buchmann; John Reisman; Signature Bank; and Donna & Ed Sirlin.

Above is a representative sampling of photos from the event.  To see the entire gallery, please visit

Photo credits: Marc S. Levine Photography & Bob Mitchell

Thank you for being a contributor for DREAMS in the City! Join Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and Fashion Tech startup Ashley Chloe Inc. to further your support for a good cause. 20% proceed of every purchase on will be donated to Diabetes Research Institute Foundation to further their research effort! Enter Promo Code "DREAMS" on checkout.

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Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
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