Our Cause….Our Passion


Is NIcole wearing insulin producing cells?

Welcome to morobinbarrystories.com Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans everywhere who would like to share and read stories of fun, joy, love and inspiration for Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. (Andy is not forgotten and is included at times). If you’d like to share a story, email it to me at morobinbarrystories@gmail.com. Stories will be posted often and many will appear in my book, which is in the Neverland of editing right now. At times, I will post articles about Gibb events, which I hope the fans will enjoy.

April 19, 2018

Here is part of the reason the Gibb family loves attending events and continues to work for this most worthy of charities: the devotion of the staff and its goal.


I can’t explain the energy, the camaraderie or the spirit of the Diabetes Research Institute staff as they work together with a common goal. There is a quiet strength of purpose, coupled with a respect for each other’s  roles and talents. These men and women are assisting the scientists and all of the researchers as they search for the cure, echoing the words of their leader, Dr. Camillo Ricordi, who is determined to stop this deadly disease from affecting the next generation.

When talking one-on-one with various team members at the High Rollers Night event on April 14, I posed the same question “Why do you love your work with the DRI?” The responses were the same, although the words were different. “We’re a team, and it really does take a village.” “We work for a cause that is so much larger than we are”. “I’m inspired every day by the dedication of everyone I work with”.  “I’m working for a cause that makes a difference in peoples’ lives”.


Staff checking in guests outside of the Faena Forum

On this warm Saturday afternoon in Miami Beach, the staff arrives and faces a 10-hour work day ahead. The mood is light but focused, if that makes sense. Everyone is getting organized as they prepare for the hundreds of attendees who will descend on the Forum in two hours.

I met “Kit” Wills, the new Director Development for the Florida region of the DRI. She is tall, elegant and lovely, and has been with the DRI for almost a year now working in a demanding position. From the look on her face to the inflections of her voice, she responded to my question with sincerity and emotion. “Everyone has such passion and dedication to the cause.” It’s clear that she is inspired by this cause that has kept Barry and Linda Gibb as supportive and active donors and participants for over thirty years.

Sheryl and Dan Saper work outside, greeting guests with big smile and great energy. Lauren, Joelle, Lori, Karen and a long list of devoted employees go about checking everything from the seat counts in the ballroom area to the Reserved Table signs in the cocktail lounge.


Sheryl and Dan Saper—-Their energy makes me want to pull out my checkbook and donate to the DRI


Happy banquet supervisors getting ready for High Rollers Night

The DRI employees check with the banquet staff, the bartenders and everyone else who will have a role in keeping this night rolling along without a moment’s hesitation.


Checking the place cards for table assignments….



Model on stilts welcoming guests outside of Faena Forum

Yes, they are even checking on the model outside, who parades on stilts and gives an edgy feeling to the casino theme of this fundraiser. I asked this lovely model how she was balancing herself so well and she commented to me, “It’s easier than walking on stilettos”.

As I watch them work, their words echo in my head. “It sounds cliche, but we are all cogs in the wheel. One doesn’t work alone.” “I know it sounds trite, but we all have a passion for this cause.”


See what I mean? Smiles for miles and happy to be a part of this event—love them…….


By the end of the night, the staff is exhausted, but funds have been raised, the guests have loved every minute of their experience and the memories of another successful event are bright and clear in the minds of each person involved. Whew! I’m tired just remembering all the work and energy that was expended by this dedicated group of dynamic people.

It makes one want to help in any way possible, so please go to the Diabetes Research Foundation website and donate, create a fundraiser, buy a shirt,  or become a DRI Insider.

After all, “it does take a village”.


About morobinbarrystories

Anne Jakowenko, the blog author, has been loving the Bee Gees for decades while raising her sons and teaching college students Speech Communication and English skills at her alma mater, Syracuse University, where she received her Master’s degree. She has also taught for SUNY Oswego and Barry University. Currently, Anne is teaching for the State College of Florida while she continues to collect stories for her book, My Life with the Boys.
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4 Responses to Our Cause….Our Passion

  1. Lydia Damron says:

    Thank you for this information and article. My friend Liz Deni who is in her mid 60s now, has been wearing an insulin pump for a long time. And she is actually one of the longest surviving people with diabetes as severe as she has it who is still alive and has been asked to speak at different diabetes events in California. My father had diabetes my sister has diabetes my grandmother died with diabetes it’s all over our family. My grandmother even had her legs amputated back in the day.
    She was one of the first people to take insulin.

  2. L says:

    Dear Anne, Hello…Very nice article(blog post)!  I hope many people will go to the Diabetes Research Institute website and donate! Take care,Lynette

    From: MoRobinBarryStories To: lynette_yorks@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2018 5:16 AM Subject: [New post] Our Cause….Our Passion #yiv7802817845 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7802817845 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7802817845 a.yiv7802817845primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7802817845 a.yiv7802817845primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7802817845 a.yiv7802817845primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7802817845 a.yiv7802817845primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7802817845 WordPress.com | morobinbarrystories posted: “Is NIcole wearing insulin producing cells?Welcome to morobinbarrystories.com Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for Bee Gee fans everywhere who would like to share and read stories of fun, joy, love and inspiration for Barry, Robin ” | |

    • Thanks for the comment, Lynette. I hope so, too. Just think if every Bee Gee fan donated $5 in the Gibb name, they would raise millions easily! How I wish they would…..hope you are doing well….take good care of yourself and your son..

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