Gibbs and Fun at Faena Forum….

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

April 23, 2018–Love and Hope 2018 Pt. 5

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This year there was a new twist to the annual Love and Hope Ball. Instead of a formal event at the St. Regis Bal Harbour or the Fontaninebleau, DRI supporters were treated to a night of music, food and casino gaming in a nightclub atmosphere at the Faena Forum. The Forum is a performance event venue in Miami Beach and is used for art, entertainment and business presentations. There are eight halls, a rose marble amphitheater and five meeting rooms. To write that it’s impressive would be an understatement.

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Serving wine during cocktail hour….

When entering the Forum, I had a flashback of a memory, remembering that the first time I went to a Love and Hope Ball I felt that Eliza Doolittle and Professor Higgins were going to walk in, and then I’d have the chance to talk with Colonel Pickering. This year it felt more like a cross between Oceans 11 and going to the dance with Sandy and Danny in Grease. It was a fun atmosphere, and everyone was excited to take a chance on winning PRIZES. How about playing blackjack or roulette? Bidding on auction items (yes, Barry did donate a guitar), and dancing to the DJ playing Bee Gee music? Enjoying cocktails from one of the bars?

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cocktail room–2nd floor……time to party!

Part one of this event began on the second floor, where the cocktail reception was held. Gold tablecloths and light pink flowers  with touches of deep purple covered the tables. Decorations reminiscent of Las Vegas casinos (giant dice and slot machines) provided a light, happy feeling to the space. Not only were cocktails served, there was a buffet fit for royalty that guests could enjoy while having their drinks.

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Cocktail level on 2nd floor…..place cards in dice holders!

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cocktail hour veggies and hummus

In contrast, the dinner was served on the third level. The massive space was divided, with the round dinner tables seating 10-12 on one side, brightly decorated in red, white and purple and the gambling tables and bars on the other end of the room. Dinner was elegant, and the Gibb family was seated dead center. Throughout dinner, they greeted friends and fans and continued to pose for photos. During the short formal program, several of the key players were honored, among them Barry and Linda Gibb, who were Poker Sponsors (along with other dedicated DRI supporters). Barry was congratulated on his upcoming knighthood ceremony, and deafening applause filled the room.

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Barry’s guitar donated for the silent auction

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Beautifully elegant table settings

Literally hundreds of people again worked together for the success of this night, one of many planned for 2018. Not only Executive Chairman Sandra Levy, and National Chairman Kathy Simpkins, but a group of sponsors who were listed on the program (Casino Royal Sponsors, Black Jack Sponsors, Roulette Sponsors, Royal Flush Sponsors), started my head spinning. The tireless DRIF staff and Forum employees, as well as those donating from afar, helped make this dramatically different event a success on every level.

Although fans want to hear about the Gibb family and their every breath, I think it important to emphasize why they attend and what it means.

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Ashley and Therese at the cocktail hour

The Diabetes Research Institute exists for one reason, which is to cure diabetes. Every  event that take place raises funds for research. An important part of the DRIF fundraising is the Gibb family involvement, and their presence and support are invaluable to the work of what is lovingly called “The Federation”, scientists around the world working in tandem with the Florida home base.

Under the leadership of Dr. Camillo Ricordi, trials are currently taking place with participants who are willing and active in the fight against diabetes. Some of these studies are the Islet Transplantation Study, the DIPIT, Diabetes Islet Preservation Immune Treatment Trial and the POSEIDON Trial (High Does Vitamin D and Omega-3 Fatty Acid).

With their findings, the goal is to take the results from the laboratory and positively impact the lives of the patients. To make people well, to eradicate diabetes and to know that a cure is within reach is miraculous.

So use the Gibb model as your guide; follow their example. Check out the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation website, and become a part of the fight. The scientists thank you, the staff thanks you, the volunteers thank you; but most importantly, every person who suffers from this disease thanks you.

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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