Music Legend Barry Gibb Gives Spectacular Private Concert At Love and Hope Ball

The 38th annual gala, benefiting the Diabetes Research Institute, was A Family Affair.

University of Miami President Donna Shalala with Love and Hope Life Chairman Sonja Zuckerman

Held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, the 38th Annual Love and Hope Ball was truly A Family Affair for Barry Gibb and 600 others in attendance. While honorees shared the spotlight with their children and grandchildren, the music legend shared the stage during an extraordinary, full length concert with members of his own family. According to Life Chairman Sonja Zuckerman and Executive Chairman Sandra Levy, the spectacular gala, combined with November’s Preview Party, raised $1 million for the cure-focused work of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

“This is a magical moment…one of many tonight,” said Barry Gibb before asking his niece, Samantha Gibb, who is Maurice Gibb’s daughter, to join him in a duet of “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” that was full of beauty and soul. Later, his oldest son, Stephen Gibb, took center stage for an exhilarating solo of “On Time,” a song written by Maurice, which showcased Stephen’s prowess on guitar and gritty vocals. Barry’s entire family was in the front row, including his wife, Linda Gibb, who has served with him as International Chairman of Love and Hope for more than a quarter of a century.

During the dinner program, Mistress of Ceremonies Lisa Petrillo recognized the evening’s honorees: Grand Humanitarian Shirley Harris; Humanitarian Honorees Sheila Wohl and Family; Honorary

Love and Hope Executive Chairmen Sandra and Sid Levy with International Chairman Barry Gibb
Chairman Isabel May; Love Honorees Tova Leidesdorf and Family; and Hope Honorees Senator Paul and Sandy Steinberg. She also gave thanks to the sponsors: The GEO Group; Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour; Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour; Gold Coast magazine; and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Apropos of the evening’s theme, one other family was honored, the Love and Hope Family, many members of which have been working on the committee for 38 years.

“Most of us are fortunate not to have a personal connection to diabetes. This is a work of love, and we do it from our hearts,” said Zuckerman as more than 50 ladies of the dedicated Love and Hope Committee stood to receive accolades. “We believe the cure will come because of our hard work. We believe it will come from the DRI.”

University of Miami President Donna Shalala also addressed the audience, praising the groundbreaking work of the DRI and announcing that the DRI Foundation is leading UM’s Momentum2 campaign with a $100 million gift for diabetes research. She thanked guests, sponsors and committee members, assuring them that their “continued commitment is crucial.”

The evening began with a cocktail reception featuring contemporary black and white décor with timeless red roses and Love and Hope’s traditional rose and heart ice sculptures. After greeting old friends among hors d’ oeuvres and martini bars, attendees were ushered into the Grand Ballroom. Centerpieces featuring fuchsia roses and romantic candlelight towered over tables, where

Music Legend Barry Gibb, who has been part of the Love and Hope family for decades
caviar was presented on illuminated ice molds. Deep pink roses lit up the walls around guests as they enjoyed a delectable meal highlighted by veal chops and topped off by delectable desserts crowned with the chocolate silhouette of a family holding hands. After Zuckerman uttered her time honored phrase, “Let’s eat, drink and have a ball,” sparklers exploded throughout the room. Around a garden of magenta roses, dancing ensued to the tunes of Debbie Taylor & Standing Ovation. Party goers rushed toward the stage when the concert by Barry Gibb and His Band began.

Featuring hits like “Jive Talkin’,” “Words,” “To Love Somebody,” and “You Should Be Dancing,” the show lasted for approximately 90 minutes. The ballroom quieted when images of Robin, Maurice and Andy Gibb filled the screens surrounding the stage. Barry spoke of each of his brothers and gave tribute to them with a poignant rendition of “Immortality.” He rounded out the night with one of the Bee Gees most recognizable tunes, perhaps as a reminder that the Gibb family talents are “Stayin’ Alive” in the next generation.

Photos by Andrew Milne

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