Another Reason to Smile


Welcome to! Please join me on twitter @morobinbarry. This site is for those 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, please email it to me at Stories will be posted often and some will be used in my book, which is in the final editing stages now! At times, I will post articles I have written about Gibb events that I hope the fans will enjoy.

October 19, 2018

After five years, it gets difficult to put a new spin on a fundraiser. Simply put, people attend all kinds of charity events to support their causes, and the goal is to raise as much money as possible. Not all events are fun; in fact, I’ve attended many that are down right boring. We’ve all been there, and we all know that the cause is great, but attending can be a chore.

This is not the case for the annual Haute Tea event sponsored by the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. By now, fans know this is a priority for the Gibb family, and their appearance alone generates funds. However, the Gibb ladies are not just pretty faces that show up. They are members of the Haute Tea Committee, and they believe in their cause. They work and they work and they spread awareness. For those who are unaware or need a refresher, the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller Medical School of Medicine, leads the the world in comprehensive research dedicated to curing diabetes. The goal is to restore natural insulin production and normalizing blood sugar levels without imposing other risks.

This year I had the joy of meeting Wendy Peacock, who is the first DRI Bio Hub transplant recipient. (check out her video on Facebook on my page or check She and her sister Kimberly came from San Antonio for this event and were excited to be involved. I could write a novel about how wonderful it is that Wendy is a walking testament to the DRIF scientists and their ongoing research, but I encourage you all to take some time and get to know her and her story.


Wendy on the right, smiling with sister Kimberly.



Wendy and the good doctor Ricordi

We chatted about her experience and her health. She is a walking miracle, thanks to the DRI. She told me, “I couldn’t say more about the incredible team I have here. They are amazing.”

When I asked her how she was feeling, she said, “I’m doing really well, and I’m so grateful to everyone here.”

I was humbled to meet Wendy, and she gives great hope to all Type 1 diabetics; it was emotional to simply talk with her, shake her hand, and laugh with her about the ongoing circus of fun surrounding her in the ballroom at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.

Each year there are honorees, and this year they were Linda Finkelstein and her daughters, Barbara, Pam and Robin. Of course, it always boggles my mind when I read in the program and discover the attributes of the current honorees. I am impressed and grateful to read about the 40 years of work Linda and her family have done on behalf of the DRIF.

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 10.45.53 AM

Then we have the man who has headed up the team of scientists at the DRIF since 1996, Dr. Camillo Ricordi. He brought Wendy and her sister to the event, and was a strong presence in the room all afternoon, as attendees wanted photos and a minute of his time.  I jokingly said to him, “It’s just you and room full of hundreds of beautiful women.” He responded, “Just for me!” He is a brilliant scientist and continues to repeat the DRIF goal-to cure diabetes.


Dr. Camillo Ricordi arriving with Wendy Peacock


Dr. Ricordi and the honorees Linda Finkelstein and her daughters, Barbara, Pam and Robin.

The staff, too, are a huge part of the success of this event, and I love every one of them. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES




It’s great to be with Laurie, Jill, Lauren and all the girls at this hectic, crazy, fast-paced event. They work long and hard to prepare for it, and then they buzz around the ballroom all day making sure there are no glitches or snags to hinder the many steps to success.

The Gibb ladies are just like everyone else when it comes to checking out the auction items and the ballroom and listening to the stories of Type I diabetes patients, eating the scrumptious lunch and catching up with other supporters. They, too, stare wide-eyed at the really awesome hats and heels in attendance.


Love this hat


Linda and Therese looking over auction items


Fun and glamorous




Cherries, anyone?


The longest table of elegance I’ve ever seen during set up early in the morning

So, the bottom line is that I had a ball while my adrenalin skyrocketed as the day went on. The live auction raised THOUSANDS of dollars, as did the silent auction and the raffle. The food was fabulous, the smile were broad, the chatter nonstop and the event a huge success. Congratulations to the DRIF for once again spreading awareness and raising funds to continue the fight to stop diabetes.



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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