Love and Hope Ball 2011

Carmen Lopez tells her story to GSI
(Story and photo report: copyright Carmen M.Lopez).


Finally I was here at the Love and Hope Ball in Hollywood, Florida. For two years, I had wanted to attend this event: the sole item on my agenda being to meet Barry Gibb, and hopefully to hear him sing in person. I knew that Barry and Linda were the International Chairmen of the Diabetes Research Institute and I also knew that they would be there. My daughter Jennifer had accompanied me, and we had missed the cocktail reception, but now here we were at the Ball!

Since they hadn’t served dinner yet, I went looking for Barry. I found him standing by his table, and I told him that I had come all the way from El Paso, Texas just to meet him. He said that I had come such a long way and that it was too bad the weather had been so bad in Florida. Then I asked him if I could please take his picture, and he smiled (I melted, of course!) and he posed for the picture! Then, HE asked someone who was sitting at his table to take a picture of him and me. He was extremely gracious and soft-spoken. After the picture was taken, I asked him if he could hear my heart, which was beating SO loudly. He just laughed, and so I heard his famous laugh up close. Believe me, I was on Cloud 9! I thanked him and floated back to my table.

left: Barry and Linda on stage during Barry’s speech
right: a dream coming true

Later on in the evening, Barry and Linda went up to the stage for Barry’s speech. During his speech, Barry mentioned to the audience that he and Linda and Steve had recently become citizens of the United States. This was a very appropriate time to reveal this announcement, as the theme of the Ball was Celebrating America! At the end of his speech, Barry said and I quote, “We salute the DRI and all of your efforts to cure diabetes, and we salute OUR country, the United States of America.” I added the capital letters to the word “our”, only because now he was officially a citizen! The rest of the evening went by too fast, but I did manage to take pictures of some of Barry’s family members. I took a picture with Ashley:he is very handsome! He was also very courteous and friendly to me. He also looked for someone to take our picture. I found out that he is as amiable as Barry was. I also took a picture of Travis and Stacy, who also were nice and accommodating, even though they said they were very tired after such a long day. It was a wonderful evening, in spite of the fact that Barry did not sing. I came away from the Ball with an appreciation for the Gibb family. They are as classy as other fans have always said that they are. I got to meet Barry and I have a picture to show to my grandson. All’s right with my world!

left: Travis and Stacy
right: Carmen and Ashley

Barry at the Love and Hope Ball