Cancer Support Community Greater Miami Heart & Star dinner raises $210,000

Cancer Support Community Greater Miami Heart & Star dinner raises $210,000

Pictured (l-r) are the Heart & Star dinner honorees Alina Villasante and Amy Hollub with Pamela Zakheim, founder and president of Cancer Support Community Greater Miami.

The Cancer Support Community Greater Miami hosted the annual Heart & Star dinner at the Coral Gables Country Club and raised $210,000 to fund free cancer programs and honoredAmy Hollub and Alina Villasante for their service.

Hollub received the Champion of the Human Spirit award as a cancer survivor for being a beacon of light and hope for others faced with the same diagnosis.

Villasante received the Champion of the Community Spirit award for her philanthropic and community leadership.

More than 300 people attended the event in March and all proceeds generated were earmarked to fund free CSCGM cancer programs and services provided for patients and loved ones. For more than 13 years the CSCGM has helped those impacted by cancer, improving their quality of life by providing educational and emotional support.

From the start, the mission of the non-profit organization has been to help cancer patients with research-based psychosocial services from the moment of diagnosis. Since 2002, the CSCGM has seen more than 24,500 patients and family members, from young children to senior citizens.

“Amy and Alina are deserving honorees who have done so much for cancer awareness and our community in general,” said executive director Danielle Spiegelman. “We were grateful and proud to pay tribute to them as our 2015 Heart & Star Award recipients. They are advocates for the CSCGM and their alignment with our mission does so much to increase our awareness.”

Hollub received the Human Spirit award after surviving five years of advanced stage ovarian cancer and vowing “to put cancer in its place.”

Not only did she overcome the disease, she transformed her adversity to triumph with grace and determination. She strives to empower other women with knowledge and to advocate for their healthcare wellness and treatment. Her journey served as the catalyst for the annual Rock N Run event. She chairs the 5k run/walk and cardio dance class, a fundraiser that annually benefits six cancer charities that fund research, promote awareness of early detection and prevention or provide services to women with cancer.

Villasante, creator of Peace Love World, received the Community Spirit award to honor her for global charitable work and personal contributions to the community. Villasante champions causes such as cancer awareness, autism, multiple sclerosis and Haiti relief. The Peace Love World philosophy is to spread peace, love and happiness. Villasante not only stitches inspirational quotes into the fabric of her clothes, but also threads the same qualities into the fabric of her life.

Miami native CBS4 anchor Cynthia Demos was mistress of ceremonies for the dinner. Joyce Andrews, Carmen and John Arasi, Chanin and Adam Carlin, Adrian Dubow, Nicki Friedland, Arlene Kahn, Arthur Hertz, Angie Martinez, Maria Padron, Candy and Rodger Popkin, Sabrina Robinson, Aida and Joseph Roisman, Dara Salky, Debra Schottenstein, Pam Shapiro, Edie Spiegel, Tracey Spiegelman, Mia Villasante, Carole Wright and Pam Zakheim served on the dinner committee.

CSCGM is located at 8609 S. Dixie Hwy.

For more information, call 305-668-5900, email to or go to

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