Sweetness and Laughter Gala 2021

The Virtual Gala Series included fast-paced multimedia engagements over the course of a few months, which included updates in research and treatments, genetic screening, and nursing student education. Learn more and watch the inspiring personal stories, the “See the Light” Award honorees, and light-hearted entertainment in the links below!

young jedi warriors

Third Mini Event:

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 7:00-7:30 p.m. ET

Thank you for your support and for joining us for the final mini-event of our Virtual Gala Trilogy Series on May 19. While we could not be physically together, to see more than 300 smiling faces and participants on Zoom this year was a wonderful alternative.

We enjoyed laughter and inspiration with a link to the ultimate trilogy series Star Wars, including honoring our young Jedi Warriors fighting fatal genetic diseases! We also gained a deeper appreciation for the work MFRF does with our special partners, including: National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association (NTSAD) spanning 20 years, and our international nursing education programs at Florida International University Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The event concluded with an interactive Q&A with “See the Light” Honoree, Dr. Joan Keutzer, Former Vice President, Global Scientific Affairs, Rare Diseases Sanofi/Genzyme, and Dr. Rodney Howell, Emeritus Chairman of Pediatrics University of Miami School of Medicine and Founding Chair of the Congressionally-Mandated Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children, on the topic: “From the beginning of National Newborn Screening to the future where treatments and detection are ready together!

For those that missed the live event, you can find a replay on youtube here. Enjoy the show!

Second Mini Event:

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 7:00-7:30 p.m. ET

The second gala event was an even more dynamic and interactive than the first one! We enjoyed laughter around the classic TV show Cheers and celebrate programs with our partnerships, an array of Nursing Education Programs with the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing at Nova Southeastern University, and learned about exciting updates on breakthroughs coming from The Powell Gene Therapy Center at the University of Florida under the leadership of Dr. Barry Byrne, our MFRF “See the Light” Honoree from 2020!

The event culminated with the presentation of the “See the Light Awards – Nursing Education” honoree, Dr. Jo Ann Kleier, PhD, EdD, APRN, ACNP-BCExecutive Associate Dean at NSC CON, and an interactive discussion with Dr. Kleier and Dr. Byrne, “Spanning From Caring to Curing.”

For those that missed the live event, you can find a replay on youtube here!

Gallery Shot of Event 2
Event 1 - Bob Saget

First Mini Event:

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 7:00-7:30 p.m. ET

Thank you for your support and for joining us for the First Virtual Gala Mini-Event on January 27 – we were thrilled to see such a large turnout! The same number of people that have attended previous in-person Galas was matched at our first-ever Mini-Gala series event! We saw so many familiar faces and had a great time catching up and interacting with everyone.

We enjoy a laugh with Bob Saget, listened to heartfelt stories, and were able to have a deeper appreciation of some of our important partnerships and programs under Genetic Screening (JScreen) Nursing Education (Florida Atlantic University College of Nursing), and Research and Treatments (Sio Gene Therapies).

The event concluded with an interactive and engaging Q&A with our “See the Light” Award honoree Dr. Gavin Corcoran to explore the exciting clinical trial journey for children’s genetic diseases of the brain.

For those that missed the live event, you can find a replay on youtube here!

Major Sponsors

Thanks to our major sponsors!

Full Series Sponsor
Broken Sound Women’s Golf Association
Lisajane and Kevin Romer
Dr. Marcelle and Andrew Rosen
Karen and Eric Schiffer / Sheila, Dave and Sherry Gold Foundation

Research and Treatments Sponsor
Kathleen and Ronald Assaf
Alicia and Steve Bolze
Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen
Sio Gene Therapies

Genetic Screening Sponsor
Joan and Evan Deoul
“Nicci Friedland’s” Team
Linda and Harry Meran
Joan and Mike Siegel

Nursing Education Sponsor
Jody and Dr. Richard Bennett
Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing at Nova Southeastern University
Amy and Andy Grolnick
Christa & Argy Petros
Carole Romer
Kelly and Tom Sparks
Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences, FIU

“See the Light” Awards Sponsors
Drs. Lorrie and Dr. Lloyd Berkowitz
Aimee and Rabbi Dan Levin/Temple Beth El of Boca Raton
Stella and Cliff Marks
Susan and Barry Podolsky