On Saturday, October 1, 2011, Etra Fine Art in the Design District hosted ‘The Art of A Cure’ fundraiser in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), South Florida Chapter. The cocktail and silent auction event was attended by about 100 people. Major sponsors were: Bacardi, Cancio Johnson & Echarte PL, Navarro Discount Pharmacy (Miami Lakes), MarComPOP, Coconut Grove Jaycees Foundation, Paella Party, Misha’s Cupcakes, and Moe’s Party Rental. Silent auction items were donated by: OLA, Marriott New York Eastside, Meat Market, Mayi, The Raleigh Hotel, Shula’s 347, The Betsy Hotel, Michael’s Genuine, Gibraltar, Islander Resort, Randazzo’s Little Italy, Angelo Dundee’s 5th Street Gym, Green Monkey, The Dining Room, Perricone’s, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, The Biltmore Hotel, Fleming’s Steakhouse, Exhale Miami, Emena Spa, Gigi, Yard House, Gansevoort Miami Beach, The Forge Restaurant, Seasons 52, Asia de Cuba, Old Lisbon, and Ocean Pointe Suites. Other donations were made by: Delicias de Espana, Costco, and Bottles in Miami Lakes.
“My goal was to raise $10000, but we exceeded it to raise over $12000,” says event organizer Nicole Hernandez.
Hernandez was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes four years ago. Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting every organ system that strikes children and adults suddenly, and lasts a lifetime. As many as 3 million Americans are living with Type 1 diabetes, and more than 30,000 children and adults are diagnosed every year.
“After being diagnosed, my world turned upside down,” states Hernandez. “Once I educated myself about the disease and learned how insulin affects my body, I started to change my lifestyle and focus on spreading the word about Type 1 Diabetes.”
After participating in the JDRF, South Florida Chapter’s 2010 ‘Miami Walk to Cure Diabetes,’ Hernandez decided that she wanted to do more by holding her own community fundraising event. “The event is called ‘The Art of A Cure’ because I wanted something that had potential to stick for years and my vision was to do the event at an art gallery because I wanted a venue that was beautiful in itself.”
Hernandez credits Etra Fine Art owners Stefano Campanini and Alicia Restrepo for the success of the event because they were willing to help out in any way possible. She explains, “As soon as I sent Stefano an email telling him about my vision and asking if he would donate his venue for the cause, he called me within 10 minutes saying – let’s do it!”
Etra Fine Art has been the backdrop to many social events, poetry readings, theatre performances, and inspiring lectures. The gallery has hosted events that include an autism benefit where funds were raised to restore a playground at the Blue Lakes Elementary’s Autism Academy and a fundraiser alongside ‘Friends of WLRN’ and ‘Arts For Learning.’ In 2010, Etra Fine Art donated over $10000 in artwork to sponsor Miami-Dade County Public School’s ‘Sixth Annual Education Awards.
“From the first conversation, Nicole and I became good friends. This event shows how Miami can be a close community because so many people pitched in to help her reach her goal,” says Stefano Campanini.
Besides hosting events, Campanini plays an active role in supporting the community. He is a board member for Arts For Learning (a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing teaching and learning through the arts) and is founder of the non-profit organization La Casa de la Mujer de las Americas that creates community centers for families headed by women who are fleeing civil war or domestic violence in Colombia. His new business ‘Wine by the Bay’ located in downtown Miami will also serve the community by supporting local artists and hosting community events.
To learn more about the South Florida Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (based in Fort Lauderdale), visit http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?