The 6th Annual South Florida Chapter Gala of Hope will be held on November 17, 2016, at Ferrari Maserati of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event has raised $700,000 over the last 5 years, and organizers Fiorenna Fuentes Israel and Jennifer Miller Smith have set a goal of raising $200,000 for this year’s event.
The evening will entail a night of luxury as the annual soiree features a deluxe open bar, cocktail hour entertainment by Alex Fox, hors d’oeuvres, and live and silent auctions. The evening will also include an amazing show by internationally renowned artist Michael Israel.
Jennifer Miller Smith’s daughter Madison has SMA type II. Despite having SMA, Madison is an incredibly bright and active girl. She loves to swim, act, go to school, play softball and swim with dolphins.
“Cure SMA has given my family endless support – everything from resource booklets developed by experts to help keep my daughter healthy, along with opportunities to connect with top SMA specialists and other families affected by the disease at the largest SMA conference in the world each year,” Jennifer says. “I’m dedicated to Cure SMA and co-founded the Gala of Hope because I know that we are close to a treatment and cure. I hope that this year’s gala will be the biggest yet so we can fund even more research to help us reach a breakthrough in our daughter’s lifetime.”
Fiorenna Fuentes Israel’s daughter Mia also has SMA type II. “I started the Gala of Hope six years ago when my daughter Mia was diagnosed with SMA. Mia was a perfect baby, but around her first birthday we noticed her muscles getting weaker. I visited over 20 specialists without any answers, but finally on her second birthday she was diagnosed with SMA. I was told to go home and make Mia comfortable, that there was nothing we could do for her,” Fiorenna says. “I reached out to Cure SMA after this devastating diagnosis. Cure SMA gave me hope and connected me with other SMA families that have helped our family in so many ways. The work supported by Cure SMA and the hope that there will be a treatment and cure for SMA inspired me to start the Gala of Hope.”
Our thanks to Jennifer, Fiorenna and their families for their incredible dedication and hard work in putting this event together. Thanks also to all the generous sponsors who are supporting this event.
To see a complete list of sponsors, visit the South Florida Gala of Hope website.