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January 23, 2013 - MS Gala Luncheon

Where: Sheltair

When: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Time: 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Beneficiary: National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Mistress of Ceremonies: Karen Dresbach, President, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, S Florida Chapter

Honoree(s): Jodi, Fred, Lecia & Alie Rothman

Presenting Sponsor(s): Mass Mutual Financial Group DBS Financial Group

Gala Chairperson(s): Deborah DelPrete

Co-Chair(s): Monica Goldstein & Carrie T. Schulman

Committee Members: Kaatie Adler, Telsa Balick, Ila Davidoff, Amanda DelPrete, Diann Geronemus, Heather Geronemus, Barbara Glasser, Doreen Goodman, Georgia Gottlieb, Zerlina Kaplan, Nikki Levine, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Noreen Nezaj, Deirdre Osofsky, Jodi Rothman, John Shires, Karen Bussell Staller, Blake Starr, Nicole Valls & Marcie Weisman

President(s): Karen Dresbach

Libations: Wine courtesy of Barefoot Wine & Bubbly

Catering: Silver Lining in Flight Catering

Sponsors: TITLE SPONSOR: DBS Financial Group/Carie & David Schulman - MAIN CONCOURSE: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation - PHILANTHROPIC PARTNER: Jodi, Fred, Lecia & Alie Rothman - CAPTAIN SPONSOR: Bienefeld, Lasek & Starr, LLC/Carol Lasek, Howard Bienenfeld & Mitchell Starr & Lennar Foundation - JET SETTER SPONSOR: Sara & Todd Schulman - JEWELRY SPONSOR: J.R. Dunn Jewelers/Ann Marie, James & Sean Dunn - AUTOMOBILE SPONSOR: South Florida Audi Dealers - PILOT: Anidjar & Levine, PA, Bilzin Sumberg, El Sol Brands Inc/The DelPrete Family, Florida Power & Light, Greenberg Traurig, Jim Bavouser, Carols Ganzalez, Bruce Grundt, Darin McMurray, Mark Metheny, h.h.gregg, Michele & Steve Jackman, Jo-Ann & Ron Lee, Leo Goodwin Foundation Inc., Marsh & McLennan Agency – Seitlin, Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc, Sandie & Norman Schulman, Terra Group/The Martin Family & Ultimate Software – FIRST CLASS: Alene Too/Deborah Weismann & Elizabeth Schwartz, Cleveland Clinic Florida/Dr. Megan Rahmlow, Dolly & Merwyn Dan, Ila & S. Robert Davidoff, Day Pitney LLP, Lisa & Mark Delevie, Gerstle, Rosen & Goldberg, PA, Certified Public Accountants, Monica & Steven Goldstein & Family, Doreen & Steven Goodman/Arthritis Associates of South Florida, Mrs. Gloria Levin, Deirdre & Alan Osofsky, Lainie Simon & Andrew Gross – In Memory of Beatrice Weiss, Julie Talenfeld/Boardroom Communications, Talenfeld Zobel Families, Teva Neuroscience, Harriette Tucker Berger, University of Miami MS Center of Excellence & The Valls Vamily

Models/Fashions: Rene Ruiz, Coral Gables, Fl

Board of Directors: Fred Zuckerman, Chair; Joey Epstein, C.P.A., Vice Chair; Ed Pozzuoli, Vice Chair; Richard Cascio, Treasurer; Diann Geronemus, LCSW, Secretary; Kevin R. Conn, Merwyn E. Dan, Jay A. Josephson, Mark T. Knight, Pedro A. Martin, Kottil W. Rammohan, MD, Michael T. Rodriguez, Fred B. Rothman, Paul M. Sallarulo, Marcy Hahn-Saperstein, David Schulman, Brian Steingo, MD & Howard Zwibel MD; Karen Dresbach, President; Monica Whiting, Vice President of Development & Sylvia Hagler, MS Gala Founder

Blacktie Photos by: Ginny,

The Blacktie Photo Gallery is sponsored by:

30th Anniversary MS Gala Luncheon Reaches New Heights
    As Event Moved to Private Jet Hangar
Intl. Fashion Designer Rene Ruiz showcased his Spring/Summer 2013 Collection & JR Dunn adorned models with jewels

The MS Gala’s 30th anniversary celebration is taking off.  The annual luncheon was held Jan. 23rd at a lofty new location in 2013, the Sheltair airplane hangar. This hangar is home to South Florida’s sleekest private jets owned by some of the area’s business tycoons and social elite.
More than 1,200 guests from the tri-county area attended the prestigious philanthropic event, presented by The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s South Florida Chapter and DBS Financial Group/MassMutual, the title sponsor.
The MS Gala Luncheon has raised more than $5 million to help the National MS Society South Florida Chapter fund cutting-edge research, drive change through advocacy, facilitate professional education and provide programs and services designed for the 6,000 people with MS and their families.

This year’s honorees were Fred and Jodi Rothman and their daughters, Lecia and Alie.  The Rothmans, with a long-term commitment to philanthropy, learned firsthand about the concerns of MS when Alie was diagnosed with MS during her freshman year of high school. They are dedicated to finding a cure.

The family created a team for the MS Boca Walk raising over $650,000, and Fred became one of the top fundraisers in the country. Jodi now chairs the Boca Walk committee and Lecia created an interactive trivia game during the walk that is now implemented in all of the walks in South Florida. Alie started “the Alie Fund” for children with MS, which has raised almost $100,000 and is expanding nationally.

“This entire family is truly unique and humble in their steadfast approach to helping others,” said Karen Dresbach, President of the National MS Society, South Florida Chapter. “Their philanthropic efforts are a blessing to the entire South Florida Community and have made such an impact on the thousands of individuals living with MS.”

Carrie and David Schulman, principals of DBS Financial Group/MassMutual, served as title sponsor for the event.  The Schulmans have been involved with the Gala since its inception in 1983, providing continuous support.

 Three-time event chair, Deborah DelPrete, presided over the even and was assisted by honorary chairs Monica Goldstein and Carrie Schulman.

Fashion designer Rene Ruiz presented his Spring/Summer 2013 collection.  His eye for high-quality fabrics and personalized attention to the creation and tailoring of each garment has created an international following for his luxurious, original, and sophisticated designs. He has a loyal following of many well-known celebrities such as: shoe designer Lisa Pliner, Real Housewives of Miami’s Lea Black and Alexia Echevarria, “Basketball Wives” Executive Producer Shaunie O’Neil and Univision anchorwoman and journalist Maria Elena Salinas. His men’s collection clientele includes singer Enrique Iglesias and famed trial lawyer Roy Black.  Rene’s designs have appeared in top fashion magazines including W and Vogue.

The runway models all wore equisite jewelry provided by J.R. Dunn Jewelers, the official jewelry sponsor of the MS Gala & Fashion Show.

The MS Gala Luncheon’s generous sponsors also include Royal Caribbean International and the exclusive Automobile Sponsor, South Florida Audi Dealers, Florida Power and Light, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Tomy Mishali Salon & Spa.

For further information about the MS Gala Luncheon, please contact Monica Whiting at the National MS Society, South Florida Chapter at 954-731-4224; 1-800 FIGHT MS; or visit
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t.   Annually alone, through its national office and 50-state network of chapters, the Society devoted over $132 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested nearly $36 million to support 375 research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. 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 (344-4867).
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. 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 at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and over 2.1 million worldwide.

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