October 2017 — Every year, like clockwork, Sandra Levy rallies her Love and Hope Committee for another fundraising season solely dedicated to helping the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) reach a cure.
This has been her tradition for more than four decades, and a true labor of love.
“Our committee are all volunteers. Wonderful ladies,” said Sandra, who is the group’s Executive Chairman and has led dozens of galas and luncheons that have raised more than $53 million for the DRI to date. “We give our time, talents, and money, and reach out in our community to help fund this important work,” she said of her group of enthusiastic members – who originally banded together to help a neighbor whose child had been diagnosed with the disease.
Since then, Sandra and the group’s mission has evolved from helping one person to helping the millions affected.
“The real motivation is that finding a cure is so important for so many struggling with this epidemic.”
Sandra says she personally feels a great sense of responsibility to helping people with diabetes and the DRI. She serves as a member of the National Board and Florida Region Board of the DRI Foundation. In recognition of Sandra and her husband Sid’s extreme generosity, the Institute’s sixth floor Cell Biology/Signal Transduction room was named in memory of her late daughter, Jennifer.
“We must support our scientists, and the work they are doing,” she said. “They are diligent…sharing information and collaborating with other scientists to cure this disease.”
The longevity and commitment of the Love and Hope committee have also inspired a younger generation of women who formed the Young Society of Love and Hope. They hold events that benefit the DRI year-round and often look to Sandra and the committee for guidance.
Sandra doesn’t hesitate when it comes to this cause and is showing no signs of slowing down. Her latest endeavor? Love and Hope High Rollers on March 10, 2018 – it’s a new casino event that Sandra and the committee hope will attract new supporters and raise big money.
“It has been 44 years and we are still together working,” said Sandra. “We’ll hopefully be able to celebrate when the cure is found.”