By CRA News Service
Deborah DelPrete could not believe what she was hearing. Her friend and tennis partner, Monica Goldstein, had just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and broke the news.
“She said she could not play anymore and when I asked her why, she said she had MS,” DelPrete recalled that day, six years ago.
She wanted to help. So the Delray Beach resident began volunteering with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, South Florida Chapter.
“There were some days when I was playing tennis and she couldn’t even get out of bed,” she said.
Three years later, DelPrete was tapped to chair the organization’s main fundraiser – a luncheon, which features a fashion show. More than 1,200 of South Florida’s elite and philanthropic women attended last year, she said.
On Jan. 12, DelPrete, Monica Goldstein and another former chair, Carrie Schulman, will serve as honorary chairs for the 29th Annual MS Gala & Fashion Show.
The luncheon begins at 10 a.m. at the Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale.
Andrea Hampton is chair of this year’s event and the honoree is Carol Lasek.
The fashion show will feature the works of celebrated fashion designer Pamela Dennis, whose list of celebrity clients include Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson, Halle Berry, Madonna, Whitney Houston and Sharon Stone. Dennis has been praised by the fashion and entertainment communities through numerous awards. Her collections are sold in Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and specialty stores throughout the country.
The runway models will adorn with exquisite jewelry provided by J.R. Dunn Jewelers, the official jewelry sponsor of the MS Gala & Fashion Show.
The MS Gala & Fashion Show’s sponsors include Bienenfeld, Lasek & Starr, LLC, Dorit & Ben J. Genet, Genet Property Group, Inc., Air Berlin/Romantik Hotel Group, Celebrity Cruises and South Florida Audi Dealers.
Since her involvement, DelPrete has helped to raise more than $5 million to help the National MS Society fund research to find the cause, ways to treat MS, and, ultimately, a cure, she said. Additionally, the money goes toward programs that enhance knowledge, health and independence for the 15,000 people and their families affected by MS in South Florida.
“There are 6,000 people in South Florida who are living with MS and the money we raise help to fund cutting edge research and part go to educate the people down here with MS,” she said. “We [also] provide transportation for the kids to get to school. We do a lot locally.”
For more information contact Monica Whiting at the National MS Society, South Florida Chapter at 954-731-4224, 1-800 FIGHT MS or visit www.nmssfls.org.