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South Florida Celebrates an Evening of Fantasy at the Fontainebleau to Raise Funds for a Diabetes Cure

Miami, FL ( February 8, 2016) It was an evening of love, hope and Fantasy at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Saturday, February 6 at the Love and Hope committee’s 42nd annual gala – which, in combination with the Preview Party, has helped raise nearly  $51 million to date for the for the cure-focused work of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI). More than 450 movers and shakers from across South Florida and beyond supported this great cause and had a fantastic time at the black-tie affair – which kicked off with a cocktail reception at the exclusive LIV Nightclub. Renowned as the quintessential nightclub of Miami Beach, LIV offered up all the eye candy and wild fun one would expect, replete with winged “fairies” sparkling from head to toe, colorful lights, heart-pumping music, and an endless spread of food and drinks.

After LIV, guests then moved to the Fontainebleau’s Sparkle Ballroom where they – upon entering – were greeted by gorgeous models adorned in exquisite luxury jewelry provided by Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour. Beautifully decorated tables with purple and silver sequined cloths and tall flower arrangements circled the dance floor while The Chase Band provided the music. Attendees also enjoyed bidding at the silent auction, which included exclusive getaways and one-of-a-kind items signed by several celebrities. 

During the program, Mistress of Ceremonies WSVN News Anchor and Deco Drive Co-host Lynn Martinez recognized the following honorees for their commitment to helping the DRI find a cure for diabetes: Humanitarian Honoree Francine Lowe, Honorary Chairman Barbara Shapiro, Love Honorees Donald and Barbara Kaufman, and Hope Honoree Dalia Glottmann. She also thanked Executive Chairman Sandra Levy and the hard-working love and hope committee for organizing the spectacular affair.  Recently inaugurated University of Miami President Dr. Julio Frenk said a few words on stage about the event’s contribution to progress at the DRI, as did Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient and Love and Hope International Chairman Barry Gibb, and noted that the DRI is his and his wife Linda’s “favorite charity.”

After dinner and the program guests enjoyed a special set by the popular New York duo Will & Anthony Nunziata – who serenaded the crowd with modern takes on classic songs. The night came to a close with guests dancing the night away and leaving with goodie bags that included gifts sponsored by Saks, and a $200 gift certificate for the new Kuro restaurant donated by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. Other generous sponsors included the Holland & Knight, Electra America, Perfect Vodka, and Tonkinson Financial.

For more information about Love and Hope or the Diabetes Research Institute, visit DiabetesResearch.org or call 1-800-321-3437.About the Diabetes Research Institute and FoundationThe mission of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now. The Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine leads the world in cure-focused research. As the largest and most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI is aggressively working to develop a biological cure by restoring natural insulin production and normalizing blood sugar levels without imposing other risks. Researchers have already shown that transplanted islet cells allow patients to live without the need for insulin therapy. Some study participants have maintained insulin independence for more than 10 years. The DRI is now building upon these promising outcomes by developing a DRI BioHub, a bioengineered “mini organ” that mimics the native pancreas. While various BioHub platforms are being tested in preclinical and clinical studies, the DRI is also developing strategies to eliminate the need for anti-rejection drugs and reset the immune system to block autoimmunity. For more information, please visit DiabetesResearch.org, call 800-321-3437, or Tweet @Diabetes_DRI.

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