diana ross / lois pope


Legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Singer Diana Ross Wowed Attendees;
Las Vegas superstar comedian Rita Rudner Had Gala-Goers In Stitches With Laughter

With apologies to the late, great Frank Sinatra, it’s not only love that is better the second time around. Indeed, in an encore performance that was as dynamic and awe-inspiring as the one she gave the previous year, legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer Diana Ross wowed the capacity crowd of more than 600 at LIFE’s 26th Annual Lady in Red Gala with a rousing concert of some of her greatest hits. And if that weren’t enough, the crowd was rolling in laughter as Las Vegas superstar comedian Rita Rudner once again delivered side-splitting one-liner after one-liner. And then everyone was on their feet, literally, dancing the night away to the tunes of the Danny Beck Band.

All this, and more, helped make the gala – sponsored by distinguished philanthropist Lois Pope and LIFE, Leaders in Furthering Education – on Friday, January 3, 2020 at The Breakers “one Supremely amazing affair,” exclaimed Mrs. Pope, who created the gala and served as the evening’s host.

“What a tremendous night! I can’t think of a better way to start 2020 and a new decade for LIFE,” she added. “So, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you in this room and all of our supporters across the country. Your dedication to all the important initiatives we enthusiastically support is life-transforming.”

Speaking of which, the event raised more than $1 million and benefitted disabled veterans through the “Pups4Patriots” program at the Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs at American Humane. This unique program takes dogs languishing in shelters and provides them with special training and certification so that they can be partnered free of charge with disabled veterans as therapy dogs.

A special highlight of the evening was a presentation from Mrs. Pope to distinguished philanthropists Patrick and Milly Park. They received the Tiffany Shooting Star Award for their stalwart support of LIFE and their ardent commitment to the vitality of the greater Palm Beach community.

“My dear friends Patrick and Milly are kindred spirits who are sharing their passion and commitment to life’s great purpose: That is to ensure the betterment of humanity and to saving lives,” said Mrs. Pope. “This is beautifully made manifest through their leadership and generosity on behalf of national and international health care organizations and so many institutions right here in Palm Beach, including our very own LIFE Foundation.”

Mr. and Mrs. Park served also as chairpersons, with Mrs. Pope, of the Lady in Red gala, traditionally one of the highlights of the Palm Beach social and philanthropic season. The evening’s leadership also included: Christine Lynn, grand honorary chairperson; and Maude Cook, Holly and David Dreman, Dr. Robin Ganzert, Jan and Chip Malley, and Erika Rizzuto, co-chairs.

Corporate Ambassadors for the evening were Ambassador Realty Corp., Conair, Netjets, Tiffany & Co., Wells Fargo Advisors, and Gladys and Sy Ziv Foundation.

As guests entered the Lady in Red Gala for the cocktail hour, they were serenaded by the Palm Beach Symphony. Following cocktails, they entered the ballroom, which was magnificently decorated. Then came the exquisite dinner and dessert, followed by the performances by Ms. Ross and Ms. Rudner.

For more information on tickets and sponsorship opportunities or to receive an invitation to next year’s 27th Annual Lady in Red Gala, please call 561.582.8083 or email life@life-edu.org.

About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., & LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education)
As one of America’s leading philanthropists, Lois Pope has positively impacted the lives of individuals at the local, national and international levels. She has established three different organizations dedicated to helping those in need – those who are disadvantaged, marginalized, or forgotten because of disabilities, socio-economic status, neglect, age, abuse, and other barriers. They are the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Leaders in Furthering Education (LIFE), and the Disabled Veterans LIFE Memorial Foundation. Over the past quarter-century, she has been the driving force behind the Lois Pope LIFE Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine; a summer camp program serving thousands of disadvantaged children in Florida; a scholarship program for low-income students of enormous potential who desired to attend medical school and then go back to serve in their home communities; a program offering researchers with the means to pursue cutting-edge work in finding cures for terrible diseases; a clean water system in a Guatemalan village; an effort to aid refugee women in Sudan; an initiative that has resulted in nearly a dozen ambulances in Israel; and numerous partnerships with American Humane to expand rescue operations for dogs (cats and other animals) victimized by natural disasters and horrific abuse, as well as those who have fought alongside human soldiers on the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, she made a $12 million gift to establish the Lois Pope Center for Retinal and Macular Degeneration Research at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Palm Beach Gardens campus, the largest donation ever to the institute, and a $1.5 million gift to the Tri-County Animal Rescue to establish a state-of-the-art veterinary center offering low-cost and free care for pets from low-income families. She has also produced three documentaries with award-winning director Ric Burns: two focusing on the plight of disabled veterans in the U.S.– “Debt of Honor” and “VA: The Human Cost of War” – and a third called “Made for Each Other,” an insightful and moving film about the unique bond between humans and dogs dating back to the origins of both species.

Photo by Capehart