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January 16, 2007 - MS Gala & Fashion Show presented by DBS Financial Group

What: The 25th Anniversary MS Gala & Fashion Show presented by DBS Financial Group Honoring Rene Ruiz was held at the Broward Convention Center

Where: Broward Convention Center

When: January 16,2008

Time: 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Beneficiary: National Multiple Sclerosis Society South Florida Chapter

Mistress of Ceremonies: Lisa Petrillo, Entertainment/Fashion Correspondent, WFOR/CBS 4 News

Gala Chairperson(s): Monica Goldstein

Committee Members: Monica Goldstein, Chairperson; Ellen Gentile, Program Coordinator; Andrea Hanpton, Gift Coordinator; Katie Adler, Telsa Balick, Amy Berry, KarenBussell, Billie Cohen, Deborah DelPrete, Shelly Forer,Diann Geronemus, Barbara Glasser, Georgia Gottlieb, Sherry Gottlieb, Laura Hollander, Zerlina Kaplan, Gloria Levin, Fran Levine, Maria Martin, Annette Martin Marquez, Lori Meyers, Brad Rosenblatt, Carrie T. Schulman, JoanShires, Stacey Udine, Marcie Weisman & Denise Zimmerman

President(s): Karen Dresbach

Libations: Wine courtesy of Barefoot Wine Distributed by Premier Beverage Company

Sponsors: TITLE SPONSOR: DBS Financial Group/Carrie & David Schulman; PHILANTHROPIC SPONSOR: The Valls Family; VIP BAG SPONSOR: The Paladin, Boca Raton & Coral Gables/Sunrise Senior Living Residences; JEWELRY SPONSOR: Levinson Jewelers/Robin & Mark Levinson; PLATINUM: Helen Marie & Alan, Susie & Ariel Edelsburg; GOLD: Dr. Sidney Beinfest & Harriette Tucker Berger; Bienenfeld, Lasek & Starr, LLC, El Sol Brands, Inc.; Ruth & Lou Brause & Family, James L. Ferraro, The Ferraro Law Firm; Shelly & Joseph Forer; Monica & StevenGoldstein & Family; Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Greenspoon Marder, P.A..; Lys & Bill Rubin, terra Group/Maria & Pedro Martin; Denise & Jordan Zimmerman Family Foundation

Menu: Smoked salmon w/traditional garnish & pumpernickel points; grilled chicken salad with chopped nuts, garnished w/rosted peppers, vegetables & feta cheese - poppyseed dressing or balsamic vinaigrette; dark chocolate marquise on a raspberry coulis

Special Thanks: The National MS Society would like to thank Chef Oliver Saucy, from Darrel & Olivers Cafe Maxx for his help in creating today's menu.

Models/Fashions: Rene Ruiz Couture and his wonderful models;and, Supermodels for the Day - Erin Blankstein, Dianna DelPrete, Carly Gross & Alie Rothman

Board of Directors: Fred Zuckerman, Chair; Ed Pozzuoli, Vice Chair; Joey Epstein, C.P.A., Vice Chair; Kevin R. Conn, treasurer; Diann Geronemus, LCSW, CCM, Secretary; Holly Giertz-Richardson, Phillip Harlow, Jay Josephson, Mark Knight, Alan Kurtz, Pedro Martin, Michael T Rodriguez, Fred Rothman, Paul Sallarulo, Carrie T. Schulman, Brian Steingo, M.D.; Howard Zwibel, M.D.; Karen Dresbach, Chapter President; Monica Whiting, Vice President of Development; Elizabeth Arce, Communications Coordinator & Sylvia Hagler, MS Gala Founder

Blacktie Photos by: Ginny Fujino, Director, Blacktie-South Florida

The Blacktie Photo Gallery is sponsored by:

 Family of Aminta
Family of Aminta "Cucha" Valls Viso


MS Gala & Fashion Show logo

25th Anniversary MS Gala and Fashion Show Presented By DBS Financial Group
Raises $ 600,000
Fort Lauderdale, FL – On January 16th, 1,500 guests attended the 25th Anniversary MS Gala and Fashion Show Presented By DBS Financial Group at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. This is the largest women’s MS luncheon and fashion show in the country and has become one of the most prestigious fundraisers in the community raising a record breaking $600,000 this year.
Monica Goldstein, the chairwoman of the event, out did herself by selling out the Gala for the second year in a row. Touching moments and surprises came throughout the event. The Valls family was presented with an award honoring Aminta Valls, who struggled with MS for more than 30 years. Also, past emcee and CBS Early Show Host Maggie Rodriguez sent a video message greeting all in attendance in particular her mother who has lived with MS for many years.
CBS4 Entertainment Reporter Lisa Petrillo emceed this year’s event. She presented the Hope Award to fashion designer Rene Ruiz. This was Ruiz’s fourth year in creating the fashion show for the MS Gala. Models in signature Ruiz Couture strutted down the dual runways draped in exquisite jewelry provided by Levinson Jewelers. Timeless elegance and exceptional craftsmanship have become the hallmarks of Ruiz’s original designs, making him the top designer for South Florida’s most powerful and socially elite. Ruiz’s Coral Gables atelier showcases ready-to-wear designs, as well as cocktail, eveningwear, bridal, and custom couture for women, men and children.
DBS Financial Group, lead by David and Carrie Schulman, came on board again as the title sponsor of the Gala for a second year. Before Carrie was diagnosed with MS, David was on the board of the National MS SocietySouth Florida Chapter. After Carrie’s diagnosis, the Schulmans, their family, and friends are active supporters of the National MS Society.
“Because the Gala has reached a great milestone this year, there was no question in David’s and my mind if we were going to sponsor this exquisite event again,” said Carrie Schulman. “We have attended this luncheon every year since my diagnosis of MS. In years passed I was actually the chair of the luncheon and have since passed that torch to some extraordinary women. This event is so important to me and so many others in our community, and I hope it continues for at least another 25 years.”
The event has raised nearly $4 million to help the National MS Society fund research to find the cause of MS, ways to treat MS, and, ultimately, a cure for the disease. Additionally, funds go toward programs that enhance knowledge, health and independence for the 15,000 people and their families affected by MS in South Florida.
“Our Chair Monica Goldstein, Honoree Rene Ruiz, our partners, donors and volunteers have truly outdone themselves this year. It is their dedication that drives this event to become more spectacular every year,” said Karen Dresbach, president of the South Florida Chapter of the National MS Society.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and it stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S., and 2.5 million worldwide.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS through research programs, services, and advocacy. The Society has invested over a half billion dollars towards research looking into the cause and cure for MS and is currently supporting 440 research projects around the world. We are people who want to do something about MS NOW. Join the movement at
Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at or
1 800 FIGHT MS (800-344-4867).
For further information on the Gala Luncheon, the National MS Society - South Florida Chapter, or MS please contact Monica Whiting at the National MS Society at 954-731-4224.
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Media Contact: Beth Cohen of Boardroom Communications at 954-370-8999 or email

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