The National Multiple Sclerosis Society South Florida’s 35th Annual MS Gala Luncheon was held on January 12, 2018 at the Broward County Convention Center.  More than 750 guests from the tri-county area attended the luncheon to present the Hope Award, the National MS Society’s highest volunteer award, to an individual who helps to advance the Society’s mission to fund research and treatments and accelerate the progress toward a world free of Multiple Sclerosis.

“This year was such an important occasion to honor Rocco Mangel and all his contributions,” said Ila Feld Davidoff, Gala Chairperson for 2018.  “We were humbled to recognize his efforts to improve the lives of literally thousands of people living with MS.  Serving as a voice for MS, he has raised nearly half a million dollars supporting the Luncheon, Walk MS and Bike MS this past year. He’s the man behind Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar, a devoted father and a successful philanthropist.”

Generous sponsors for this year’s Gala included our top sponsors Republic National Distributing Company as the Title Sponsor; Sysco, Carrie & David Schulman, and Ultimate Software.   Other leading sponsors for Gala include Hotwire Communications, Terra Group – The Martin Family, and Fred, Jodi, Lecia and Alie Rothman. This year’s Official Jewelry Patron was Jewels in Time of Boca Raton.

The prestigious annual philanthropic event also includes a cocktail reception featuring many silent auction items, as well as a fashion show.  This year, designer Julian Chang, one of Miami’s most renowned designers and supporter of the National MS Society, delighted guests with his pop-up shop at the luncheon where he introduced new additions to his 2018 Spring Collection.  Chang will donate ten percent of his sales to the National MS Society.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society South Florida’s Annual Gala Luncheon raises critical funds for cutting-edge research, advocacy, and to facilitate professional education and provide programs and services designed for the 8,500 people with MS and their families in Florida.   For further information please contact Monica Whiting, or 954-676-3925 or visit our website 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to walking difficulties, fatigue, dizziness, pain, depression, blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million worldwide.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The Society mobilizes people and resources so that everyone affected by multiple sclerosis can live their best lives as we stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever.

To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. Last year alone, through our comprehensive nationwide network, the Society devoted $122.2 million to help more than one million individuals connect to the people, information and resources they need. To move closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $56 million to support more than 380 new and ongoing research projects around the world.Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at or 1-800-344-4867.