Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

UM/Sylvester In The Garden Gala Raises Over $1 Million For Cancer Research


The University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center raised more than $1 million to benefit cancer research at the November 6th “Mysterious Gardens of the Amazon” In the Garden Gala in the Grand Ballroom of the Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel.

Nearly 900 of South Florida’s most generous philanthropists and community leaders joined Gala Chairs Fredi and Bob Consolo, Grand Gala Chair Cindy Davis Carr and 2004 Honorary Chairs Bob and Gloria Kolikof in the UM/Sylvester major cancer research fundraising initiative. “Designs by Sean” transformed the ballroom into the Mysterious Gardens of the Amazon and the dance floor was filled all night – as couples swayed to the sound of the Steve Chase Orchestra. The fantastic luxury silent auction, spectacularly chaired by Peggy and Michael Silver, featured more than 150 luxurious items and raised in excess of $125,000, with the highest bid garnered by the walk-on role to NBC’s hit drama “Las Vegas” donated by actor James Caan. Another highlight of the evening was the raffle of a one-of-a-kind $60,000 necklace, a unique wearable work of art created exclusively for this year’s “Mysterious Gardens of the Amazon” by the jewelry world’s premier artists, International Honorary Chairman, Barry Kieselstein-Cord.

Since the very first gala in 1992, Consolo, Silver, Gail Gidney and Elsie Sterling Howard have led the gala fundraising efforts, planning a fantastic evening every two years to increase awareness of the medical miracles happening at UM/Sylvester and to raise significant funds for research at our community’s premier cancer center.

“Over two years of planning has reaped fabulous rewards for cancer research tonight,” said Gala Chair, Fredi Consolo. Other well-known civic and community leaders included Media Chair, CBS-4 entertainment reporter Lisa Petrillo and Board of Governors’ Chair Joaquin Blaya with wife, Isabel, previous Gala Chairmen Fran and Mel Harris, Ambassador Paul Cejas and his wife, Trudy, Peggy & Joseph Armaly, Richard Booth, Irma & Norman Braman, B & Don Carlin, Roberta & Harvey Chaplin, gala benefactors Arlyn & Stephen Cypen, Denny & Paul Feinsilver, Constance and Michael Ferndandez, Pam & Gil Jacobson, Suzanne & Mark Levitats, Selma & Jeff Newman, Linda Richman, Joan & David Scheiner, and Susan & David Strauss. Traveling from Palm Beach County were: Arlette and Mike Baker, Gloria & Ron Berkowitz, Laura Cameron, Jayne & Chris Malfitano, Gail and Bob Milhous, Mary Ann and Paul Milhous, Barbara Pessel, Jeanne & Richard Spring, Harcourt Sylvester Jr., and Pat & Harold Toppel.

Elsie Sterling Howard was presented with the Caroline W. Halpern Award awarded by Renee Weiss for her commitment to raising research dollars for cancer. Howard has co-chaired the Special Events committee of UM/Sylvester for the past twelve years, organizing every fundraising gala since the first one in 1992. She is also a member of the Founders Society at UM/Sylvester.

UM/Sylvester was founded in 1992 to provide comprehensive cancer services and today serves as the hub for cancer-related research, diagnosis, and treatment at the University of Miami School of Medicine. UM/Sylvester handles more than 1,100 inpatient admissions annually, performs 2,800 surgical procedures, and treats 2,900 new cancer patients. All UM/Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center.

E-mail a Friend