Empire Ball aiming to raise record $1.5M for diabetes research
With developer William S. Macklowe serving as its guest of honor, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s Real Estate Division is hoping to raise a record $1.5 million at its 13th annual Empire Ball to be held at the Grand Hyatt on Wednesday, December 14.
Last year, supported heavily by the New York real estate community and its affiliates, the Empire Ball fundraising event generated over $1.3 million in contributions.
Located at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in cure-focused research and a pioneer in islet cell transplantation.
Macklowe launched the William Macklowe Company (WMC) in July, 2010 after a distinguished career as president of Macklowe Properties. He is being honored with the DRI Leadership Award for both his philanthropic efforts as well as his contributions to New York City.
Other award winners at this year’s event are Michael Rodriguez, president of Alliance Building Services, who will receive the Camillo Ricordi Humanitarian Award, and Richard A. Laskowski, vice president of Vanguard Construction and Development Company, who is being honored with the Distinguished Service Award.
“I am delighted and honored by the tremendous outpouring of support we continue to receive from our friends in the New York real estate community that enables us to continue our efforts to find a cure for diabetes, an insidious disease that adversely impacts the lives of millions of people of every age and background,” stated Peter L. DiCapua, chief operating officer for Atco Properties & Management, Inc. and chairman of the DRI Real Estate Division.
“If history repeats itself again this year, as it has in the past, the 2011 Empire Ball will be our most successful fund raising event ever.”
There are nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes – making the disease one of the biggest health concerns in the U.S. today. Since 1983, the New York real estate community and its affiliates have raised more than $28 million for diabetes research.
The idea for an annual fundraiser was initiated by Charles Rizzo, principal of The Rizzo Group, after learning of his daughter’s diagnosis with diabetes. Rizzo and DiCapua, along with 10 other members, founded the event. For 15 years, the annual fundraiser was called the Pyramid Ball. In 1998, the event was renamed the Empire Ball and began supporting the DRI.
Over the last 28 years, the event has become the real estate social and fundraising event of the season. Past honorees include: Alton Marshall, Former Secretary of State under Governor Rockefeller; Businessman William “Bill” Shea, for which Shea Stadium is named; Charles Urstadt; David Baldwin; Gerald D. Schein, Lizanne Galbreath; Edward S. Gordon; John Catsimatidis; Joseph “Dee” Dussich; Frank Sciame; and Jody Durst – all heads of corporations and leaders in their respective industries.
Tickets to the event are still available for purchase. For more information on tickets, advertising opportunities and other ways to support DRI, please visit www.diabetesresearch.org/2011EmpireBall.
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