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Fashionably Funding Diabetes Study

NEW YORK — The fashionable set turned out to help drum up funding for the Diabetes Research Institute this month at the seventh annual Fall Into Fashion luncheon.<br><br>Designer Pamela Dennis was honored during the event at Carlyle on the...

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NEW YORK — The fashionable set turned out to help drum up funding for the Diabetes Research Institute this month at the seventh annual Fall Into Fashion luncheon.

This story first appeared in the November 24, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Designer Pamela Dennis was honored during the event at Carlyle on the Green, in Long Island’s Bethpage State Park. Dennis put together a T-shirt that spelled out “Tying Hope to the Cure” in gold crystals, which came along with the $200 lunch.

“It’s just a great cause,” Dennis said. “To find a cure and save a life, that’s big.”

Dennis said she has first-hand knowledge of the disease, as she used to give a college friend insulin injections. She said despite fashion’s necessary obsession with surface and appearances, many designers support charitable causes. “We’re very sensitive,” she said. “Artists, creative people, are sponges.”

“She knows how to dress a woman,” Debbie Hart of Jericho, N.Y., said of Dennis. “Her fabrics are delicious.”

Jones Apparel Group, purveyor of Jones New York and several other brands, was one of the event’s sponsors.

“I’m proud they’re a sponsor,” said Martin Marlowe, executive vice president of foreign manufacturing at Jones, who noted that that his mother was a diabetic. “There is a major drive on now to educate people. It’s taken a long time.”

Marlowe’s daughter, Miriam Shiff, co-chaired the event with Addy Fritzhand. Shiff said about 450 people attended the luncheon, which raised an estimated $250,000 to research cellular therapies for the disease.

“Anything we do to raise money, we try to do it in style,” said Shiff, wearing a leopard-print jacket over the Dennis T-shirt.

The luncheon also featured a fashion show of Ellen Tracy’s fall and resort looks from the brand’s store at the Americana Manhasset. The store donated 10 percent of the proceeds from its one-year anniversary on Nov. 18 to help fight diabetes.

Robert Pearlman, president and chief executive officer of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, said funding from the luncheon — about 40 percent of the group’s financing comes from such events — will go toward researching ways to reverse the disease.

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