Love and Hope Ball 2011

Story and photos by: Carmen Lopez

Here I was again! For the second year in a row, I was here at the Love and Hope Ball held in Hollywood, Florida. It was February 19, 2011. It was exciting to be here again at the Westin Diplomat.

My daughter Jennifer, with help from her handy GPS, had expertly navigated the streets of Miami and Hollywood to get us to the Ball, and here we were! As usual, the decorations were beautiful; we were surrounded by lots of lush red roses and dazzling arrangements were everywhere. My real reason for coming to the Ball was to see Barry and hopefully to hear him sing. Today was THE day!

Heart Decoration, Love And Hope Ball

I fell in love again today: with the Bee Gees, with their music, and of course, with Barry! Amid the glittering Love and Hope Ball decorations, I was hopelessly and unabashedly awash in a torrent of emotions. I had had the pleasure of meeting Barry and his family in 2010, and I had been impressed by him and his equally affable family. I had even had my picture taken with Barry! He is a lovely man inside and out. Everything was delightful: gorgeous gowns and delectable food. Certainly a feast for the eyes and the palate!

I didn’t see Barry right away, but I did see members of his family. Even the grandchildren were there. T.G. Sheppard and Kelly Lang were the featured entertainers, and they were great, but I was waiting for Barry. Finally, right at the very end of the Ball, T.G. announced that Barry would sing a few songs. Just what I’d been waiting for! First, he sang To Love Somebody, and as the first sounds of his familiar voice filled the air, tears streamed down my cheeks. Then he dedicated Words to Lynda. What a treat to hear my favorite song sung in such a loving way to his adoring wife. Afterwards, he sang Islands in the Stream with Kelly Lang.

Barry singing "Words" for wife Linda

This was an evening that I will always remember. It was the first time that I had heard Barry sing in person! I was in the same room! I was breathing the same air! What a night! Unfortunately, the evening had to end, in spite of my futile efforts to put on the brakes so I could prolong this night. His bodyguard and some policeman came and escorted him out…Sigh!

left: Yvonne Gibb    right: Ashley Gibb

While my daughter and I were waiting for the valet to bring our car, I spotted Yvonne standing by a limousine. She looked fabulous,and I asked her if I could take her picture. She graciously consented, and she mentioned that Sammi had not come, because she had just had a baby. She was so proud and happy; it is no wonder that she looked so good.

My overriding emotion at the end of this unforgettable evening was a profound sense of gratitude for the monumental contributions that Barry and the Bee Gees have made to our musical heritage. I am just one of millions of fans who enjoy immensely the riches that they have created. What a treasure!

video of Barry singing words during Love And Hope

The DRI Report about the Love And Hope Ball:

Barry After the Concert
copyright Laura Terrell