Miami Heat's Ray Allen Gears Up for the Ray Allen Golf Classic and Ray of Hope Luncheon Benefiting Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and JDRF - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Miami Heat's Ray Allen Gears Up for the Ray Allen Golf Classic and Ray of Hope Luncheon Benefiting Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and JDRF

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SOURCE Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

MIAMI, Fla., Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NBA All-Star Ray Allen and his wife, Shannon, have teamed up with South Florida philanthropists Andria and Javier Holtz and their families to co-chair the Ray Allen Golf Classic and Ray of Hope Luncheon, benefiting the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) and JDRF. Formerly known as the DRI Golf and Tennis Classic and Friends Celebrating Friends Luncheon, both events will take place on January 27, 2014 at the exclusive La Gorce Country Club on Miami Beach.

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Last season, Allen made "The Shot," which helped the Miami HEAT win its third NBA Championship.  Now, the Miami HEAT guard is focused on another type of shot – the insulin injections needed by his 6-year-old son, Walker, who has type 1 diabetes.  Allen's goal is to eliminate those shots by supporting cure-focused diabetes research.

"My family and I are excited to be co-chairing this special event with the Holtz family to support the important work of JDRF and DRIF," said Allen. "People with type 1 diabetes, including my son, must carefully manage their blood-glucose levels throughout each and every day, balancing insulin doses with daily activities. Managing this disease is a full-time role that affects the entire family. By supporting critical research, our goal is for all people to know a world without type 1 diabetes."

With participation capped at 144 golfers, the Ray Allen Golf Classic is sure to sell out quickly. Registration will begin at 10 a.m., followed by brunch at 10:30 and an 11:30 shotgun start on the prestigious course.  At 5 p.m., the event will finish with a cocktail reception and awards dinner, plus exciting live and silent auctions.

Registration for the Ray of Hope Luncheon will begin at 11 a.m.  The day will feature a meal and fashionable surprises, plus a silent auction highlighted by the popular vintage handbag corner.

The Allen family, including sons Wystan, Wynn, and Rayray and daughter Tierra, is committed to helping support critical research to find a cure for Walker, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 17 months old.  A member of JDRF's 2013 Children's Congress, Walker and his family traveled to Washington, D.C., this summer to advocate for renewal of the Special Diabetes Program – a federally-funded initiative that accounts for roughly one-third of all diabetes research funding in the United States.  Allen has also established the Ray of Hope Foundation, which supports a number of charitable organizations that assist children in need, including JDRF.

The Holtz family has raised nearly $2 million for the cure-focused work of the Diabetes Research Institute with their previously held events.  Their son, Andrew, now 19, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just after his 7th birthday.  His older siblings, Matthew and Nicole, have always been involved in the family's fundraising efforts, and the events are extremely well-supported by their family, friends, and colleagues.  

The Holtzes expressed, "We are delighted to be joining forces with Ray and Shannon to raise even more dollars to find a cure for this disease that affects our sons and millions of other kids. Together we will beat this thing!"

Sponsors include: Presenting Sponsor Hublot; Gold Sponsor The Holtz Family; Dinner Sponsor Maria & Sheldon Lowe and Family; Sterling Sponsor Dr. Brigitt Rok and Mr. Alan Potamkin, Marquis Bank, Miami Heat, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC., , Brand Jordan, Arlene and Wayne Chaplin, Balogh Family Foundation, Michel & Lauren Deller, Bronze Sponsor Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A., Morris & Brown, Hiliary & Richard Cooper; Diamond Sponsor Lisa and David Desmond, Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, and Inserra Shop-Rite Supermarkets, among others.

Additional sponsorship opportunities for both events are available at www.DiabetesResearch.org/Ray-Allen-Golf-Classic.  Register online or for more information, contact the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation at 954.964.4040 or info@drif.org; or contact JDRF at 954-565-4775.

About the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
The mission of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is to provide the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now.  The DRI at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine leads the world in cure-focused research. As the largest and most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI is aggressively working to develop a biological cure by restoring natural insulin production and normalizing blood sugar levels without imposing other risks. Researchers have already shown that diabetes can be reversed through islet transplantation, with some study patients living without the need for insulin injections for more than a decade. The Institute is now building upon these promising outcomes by developing the DRI BioHub, an integrated "mini organ" that mimics the native pancreas, containing thousands of insulin-producing cells that sense blood sugar levels and produce the precise amount of insulin needed in real time.  The Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation were created for one reason – to cure diabetes – which is and will continue to be its singular focus until that goal is reached. For the millions of children and adults affected by diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute is the best hope for a cure. For more information, please visit DiabetesResearch.org or call 800-321-3437.

About the JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF's goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people's lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D.

As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $530 million in scientific research in 17 countries.

For more information, please visit jdrf.org.

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