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Ray Allen Golf Classic and Ray of Hope Luncheon

January 27, 2014

Miami, FL (February 3, 2014) NBA All-Star Ray Allen scored big after taking a shot against type 1 diabetes last week – raising more than $550,000 for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) and JDRF. With the help of his wife, Shannon, and South Florida philanthropists Andria and Javier Holtz, Allen co-chaired and hosted the Ray Allen Golf Classic and Ray of Hope Luncheon presented by Hublot at the exclusive La Gorce Country Club on Miami Beach January 27.

More than 700 family, friends and philanthropists came out for golf and lunch, including Allen’s fellow Miami Heat teammates Chris Bosh; Lebron James; Rashard Lewis; Roger Mason Jr.; and; former Heat star Alonzo Mourning, and actress Gabrielle Union, who is also engaged to Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade.

Guests got to bid on exclusive items at silent and live auctions throughout the events. During the ladies’ luncheon silent auction, more than 100 vintage designer handbags went up for grabs, along with other fashionable items. Later in the day, there was another silent auction for the golf participants, which featured an autographed blown up photograph of “The Shot” Ray Allen made that helped the Miami HEAT win its third NBA Championship, along with other priceless signed sports memorabilia from Dwyane Wade, MLB great Ken Griffey Jr., Miami Dolphins’ Mike Wallace, New York Knicks’ Tyson Chandler and more. 

Three one-piece, limited-edition Hublot watches, the sneakers Allen wore during the last NBA Finals, and other Ray Allen-signed memorabilia were among the highly-coveted items claimed at top dollar during the live auction, for which Ray served as auctioneer with comedian and writer Chris Spencer, while Ray’s mother, Flora, modeled and displayed the items.

During the golf tournament awards dinner, Allen took the time to thank attendees and explain how their support is helping JDRF and the scientists at the Diabetes Research Institute get closer to finding a cure for their 7-year-old son Walker and millions of other children and adults affected by type 1 diabetes.

“We had the opportunity to tour the Diabetes Research Institute last week, and we saw what they do first hand. They are the ones that we really rely on. When we talk about finding a cure, they are the ones who are in the lab every single day really making it happen,” said Allen. “Everything that you guys have done here today helps this man [DRI’s Dr. Camillo Ricordi] find a cure for us. And one of the great things I learned about him in the lab is that he has people all over the world that are collaborating to eradicate this terrible disease.” 

The Allen family, including sons Wystan, Wynn, and Rayray and daughter Tierra, is committed to helping support critical research to find a cure for Walker, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 17 months old.  A member of JDRF’s 2013 Children’s Congress, Walker and his family traveled to Washington, D.C., this summer to advocate for renewal of the Special Diabetes Program – a federally-funded initiative that accounts for roughly one-third of all diabetes research funding in the United States.  Allen has also established the Ray of Hope Foundation, which supports a number of charitable organizations that assist children in need, including JDRF.

The Holtz family has raised nearly $2 million for the cure-focused work of the Diabetes Research Institute with their previously held events. Their son, Andrew, now 19, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just after his 7th birthday. His older siblings, Matthew and Nicole, have always been involved in the family's fundraising effors, and the events are extremely well-supported by their family, friends, and colleagues.

During the program Andrew addressed the audience with a heartfelt speech."The fact that you are all here for me and Walker is really just amazing. And I feel so lucky to have you all in my life,” he said. “I was 7 years old when I was diagnosed with diabetes and I had no idea what it all meant. And Walker is 7 years old, but he's been living with this since he was a baby and look at him, he's the happiest kid in the room. He reminds me a lot of myself when I was that age. He really is such an inspiration to me, and to all of us."

Event sponsors included: Presenting Sponsor Hublot; Gold Sponsor The Holtz Family; Dinner Sponsor Maria & Sheldon Lowe and Family; Sterling Sponsor Balogh Family Foundation, Wayne and Arlene Chaplin, Michel & Lauren Deller, Marquis Bank, Miami Heat, Dr. Brigitt Rok and Mr. Alan Potamkin, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC; Bronze Sponsor Brodson Construction, Hilary and Richard Cooper,  Inserra Shop-Rite Supermarkets, Morrison Brown Argiz & Farra LLC; FJ Pollak, TracfoneStearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.; Diamond Sponsor Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, Lisa and David Desmond, Janie Kupferman;  Beverage Sponsor Southern Wine & Spirits; Goody Bag Sponsor Air Jordan; and Golf Shirt Sponsor Perry Ellis.


From left to right, Back row: Matthew Holtz, Nicole Holtz, Andrew Holtz, Javier Holtz, Andria Holtz, Shannon Allen, Ray Allen, Wystan Allen Front Row Kids: Wynn, Walker, Rayray


Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) supporters and colleagues: Manager of Donor Relations Aimee Siegel-Harris, Regional Board member Lindsey Inserra, National Board member Bonnie Inserra, DRI Foundation CEO Joshua Rednick, St. Development Director Gary A. Kleiman, DRI Directore Dr. Camillo Ricordi, National Board member Sheldon L. Singer

Ray Allen limited edition timepieces by Hublot, presenting sponsor



Walker Allen poses with Maria Fernanda Alvarez and Tatiana Botero, who all have type 1 diabetes

Auction winner Paul Cejas with Co-Chairs Ray and Shannon Allen and Andria and Javier Holtz


Designate Sponsor Level David and Lisa Desmond, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation COO Deborah Chodrow, and Co-Chair Ray Allen

Shannon Allen with comedian and writer Chris Spencer, who led the live auction along

Co-chair Andria Holtz, Diane and Aristotle Ares, and Adrian Ares-Sherman

Co-Chair Ray Allen addresses Ray Allen Golf Classic dinner guests
Co-chair Andria Holtz, Lebron James, and Andria's daughter Nicole

Chris "Birdman" Andersen and Diabetes Research Institute COO Dr. Mitra Zehtab


Lebron James and Laurie Jennings of South FL Local 10 News



Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
200 S. Park Road, Suite 100
Hollywood, FL 33021
[P]   (954) 964-4040
[TF] (800) 321-3437
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