10th Annual Rugiero Casino Royale

Rugiero Promise Foundation Board of Directors
Rugiero Promise Foundation Board of Directors (L to R): Patrick Rugiero, Mark Rugiero, Nino Ruggirello, Anthony Rugiero, Enrica Rugiero, Robert Rugiero, Jerry Ruggirello, Sharon Gioia, Steve George

The Rugiero Promise Foundation celebrated their 10th anniversary of the Rugiero Casino Royale event on October 9, 2021, raising over $350,000 to support and advance type 2 diabetes research at Michigan Medicine.

The Rugiero Promise Foundation, founded by Chairman, Anthony Rugiero, was established in 2011 with the goal of improving the quality of life for people in their community and supports a number of charities in the state of Michigan. The Rugiero Casino Royale, a signature event for the Foundation, along with the Antonio Rugiero Diabetes Research Fund, were created to honor the memory of the family’s patriarch, Antonio Rugiero, Sr., who lived with type 2 diabetes for nearly 40 years.

The 2021 Rugiero Casino Royale, partnering with Michigan Medicine, was held at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Tickets to the event included a cocktail hour, strolling supper, open bar, gaming on authentic tables with professional dealers, live entertainers, dancing, raffles, grand prizes, and a silent and live auction. All money raised during the evening was matched by the Rugiero Promise Foundation. 

“This event is the highlight of the year for my family. We are grateful to everyone who attends and supports this event, which honors my father,” said Anthony Rugiero. “My family is committed to helping drive research forward to improve the lives of patients with type 2 diabetes and ultimately to find a cure. We are proud to have partnered with Michigan Medicine for the past ten years with the shared goal of reversing the course of this disease and saving lives.”

Over the past ten years, the Antonio Rugiero Diabetes Research Fund has provided critical seed funding for research and training in partnership with the Michigan Diabetes Research Center, the Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes clinical program, the Michigan Genomics Initiative (MGI), which provides a biorepository of thousands of patient DNA and genetic data that is linked to medical phenotype and electronic health records, as well as research performed within the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research. The goals in each case is to develop personalized approaches to the treatment of diabetes, including the development of future therapies.

“I am amazed by the Rugiero family for their unwavering support and dedication to advancing our research work in diabetes,” said Dr. Peter Arvan, Chief of the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes. “The Antonio Rugiero Diabetes Research Fund has played a key role in many research and education efforts over the years including funding pilot research studies, supporting diabetes research trainees, including our annual postdoctoral symposium, and supporting our annual summer diabetes symposium. Together, we are moving forward toward a future where there is a cure for diabetes.”