28th Anniversary MS Gala and Fashion Show presented by DBS Financial Group / MassMutual

James Dunn, Ann Marie Dunn, Howard Bienenfeld, Carol Lasek, Mitch Starr, Blake Starr, Steve Jackman, David Schulman, Phillis Oeters, Deborah DelPrete, Karen Dresbach, Carrie Schulman

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, South Florida Chapter recently held its 28th Annual MS Gala & Fashion Show presented by DBS Financial Group/MassMutual at the Broward County Convention Center. More than 1,000 people attended the event, which has become one of the most prestigious fundraisers in the community.

The distinguished Hope Award was presented to Phillis Oeters, Corporate Vice President of Government and Community Relations of Baptist Health South Florida. Oeters serves on several community boards, including, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Beacon Council, United Way, Nat Moore Foundation, Actor’s Playhouse and Orange Bowl. She was 2009-2010 Chairman of the Orange Bowl Committee and Chairman of the Board from 2003-2008 of the Neurologically Injured Compensation Fund for the State of Florida, a billion dollar fund responsible for caring for children injured at birth.

“Phillis was a natural selection for the Hope Award,” said Karen Dresbach, President of the National MS Society, South Florida Chapter. “Her remarkable efforts to better the entire South Florida community are unsurpassed, and we are all amazed by her dedication to bettering this community.”

For her third consecutive year, Deborah DelPrete chaired the event, and with her guidance, the Gala and Fashion Show raised $500,000. To date, nearly $5 million has been raised by the gala 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.

Carrie and David Schulman, principles of DBS Financial Group/MassMutual, served as the title sponsor for the event. The Schulman’s have been involved with the gala since its inception in 1983. For the eighth year in a row, designer Rene Ruiz dazzled the audience with the debut of his Fall 2011 collection for women and men, and gave Supermodels for a Day an opportunity to strut down the runway in a design made especially for them. Ruiz is credited for helping South Florida become an international fashion center. His Coral Gables atelier showcases ready-to-wear designs, as well as cocktail, eveningwear, bridal and custom couture.

The runway models glittered with exquisite jewelry provided by J.R. Dunn Jewelers, the official jewelry sponsor of the MS Gala and Fashion Show.

Generous sponsors included Philanthropic Partners, Michele and Steve Jackman, Platinum Sponsor, Bienenfeld, Lasek and Starr, LLC and the exclusive Automobile Sponsor, South Florida Audi Dealers.

For further information, contact Monica Whiting at 954-731-4224; 1-800 FIGHT MS; or visit nmssfls.org.

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