Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

IL GIARDINO DI VENEZIA, 2008 In The Garden Gala Raises More Than $1.5 Million For Sylvester


The ballroom of the Miami Beach Convention Center was transformed into IL Giardino di Venezia, a magnificent garden of Venice where the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine hosted its bi-annual In the Garden Gala, Saturday, November 1, 2008.

This year’s In the Garden Gala, chaired by the dynamic leadership of Lily and David Serviansky, raised more than $1.5 million for cancer research at Sylvester. Through the help of the generous support of Honorary Grand Gala Chairs, Penny and Roe Stamps, and Honorary Gala Chairs, Calder Race Course, The Havenick Family and the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation, the evening proved to be a huge success for Sylvester. A highlight of the gala was the presentation of the Caroline W. Halpern Award to Joan and J. David Scheiner for their outstanding philanthropic leadership at Sylvester.

Nearly 800 of South Florida’s most generous philanthropists and community leaders, attended the black-tie affair which featured an elegant dinner, live entertainment by the Ruby Baker Orchestra, and a fantastic luxury silent and live auction, chaired by JoAnn Hildebrandt. The silent auction featured more than 150 luxurious items, including the especially popular “Lifesaver Wish List” items available for purchase for guests to fund research equipment and clinical trials for the cancer center. During the cocktail reception guests were serenaded by the operatic ballads of Cantor Steven Haas. Royal Caribbean’s Richard Fain emceed the live auction, which included an incredible NBC Universal New York package; four VIP tickets to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade; a private cooking class and an exquisite dinner for four with The Food Network’s own, Chef Ingrid Hoffman; two prime tickets to the 2008 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Corporate host Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour sponsored an exciting “Sakstini Extravaganza,” where guests purchased a $250 Limoncello Martini and had the opportunity to draw from an exclusive collection of gifts. Other corporate sponsors included: Akerman Senterfitt, Bilzin Sumberg Baeuna Price & Axelrod, LLP, Bloomingdale’s, Bluestein & Wayne, P.A., Buchanan Ingersol & Rooney, PC, FMSBonds, Inc., Fowler White Burnett, P.A., Gerstle Rosen & Associates, P.A., Holland & Knight, Landstar Devleopment, LEO A. DALY, INC, Macy’s Florida, Morrison Brown Argiz & Farra, LLP, Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour, Perry Ellis International, Rachlin LLP, Smith Barney Citigroup, South Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A., and Wachovia Wealth Management of Palm Beach.

In The Garden Gala raises funds to support research at Sylvester, which opened 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 Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Sylvester handles nearly 1,600 inpatient admissions annually, performs 2,700 surgical procedures and treats more than 3,700 new cancer patients. All Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the Miller School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center. In addition, Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in more than 200 clinical trials and receive more than $36 million annually in research grants. A major expansion has recently been completed. Deerfield Beach offers appointments with nearly 30 physicians from 12 of Sylvester’s 15 Site Disease Groups, complementary therapies from the Courtelis Center, and education and outreach events.

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