The 8th annual Rugiero Casino Royale on Oct. 27 will raise money for diabetes research.
By Taylor Morris
Photo courtesy the Rugiero family
Family, faith and food aren’t his only top priorities.
Restaurant owner and founder of the Rugiero Promise Foundation, Anthony Rugiero dedicates his time raising awareness to a handful of charities — one of them being the Antonio Rugiero Sr. Diabetes Fund at University of Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center. Ever since Rugiero’s father, Antonio, founder of Antonio’s Cucina Italiana, passed away in 2008 due to diabetes complications, Rugerio has had a passion for bringing attention to the disease.
To honor his father, the Rugiero Promise Foundation has hosted the Rugiero Casino Royale for the last eight years. On Oct. 27 at 5:30 p.m., the 8th annual Rugiero Casino Royale will take place at the Dearborn Community and Performing Arts Center to benefit the Antonio Rugiero Sr. Diabetes Research Fund.
Jerry Ruggirello, Rugiero Promise Foundation board member and chair for the Rugiero Casino Royale, says the event will combine an entertaining night out, with the dedication to support the cause for stomping out diabetes. The theme of the event is Las Vegas, which will feature food, game tables with professional dealers, entertainment from the Mainstreet Soul Band and a guest appearance by ALFIO and Mark Randisi, as well as a silent and live auction. Ruggirello says it’s a fun event for a good cause.
“The Casino Royale is just a small part of the millions and millions of dollars that go into the diabetes research,” he says. “But knowing that we are a significant donor and a significant part of what we see going on here in Ann Arbor, it’s just so fulfilling and so rewarding to see.”
When asked how to prevent diabetes, Dr. Peter Arvan, chief of the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes, and professor of medicine and physiology at U-M, gave a few health tips such as exercising regularly and not using tobacco products. He says it’s more about what we eat and what we do with our day more than anything else.
“The most important factors are lifestyle factors,” he says. “They mostly include food selection. I don’t really think it’s so much about the amount of food that a person eats, but what we would call the calorie density of that food. Needless to say, many of the processed foods that we tend to eat are very calorically dense.”
Arvan adds that the Rugiero Casino Royale has helped U-M’s diabetes program.
“It’s a great thing that the Rugiero family and the Rugiero Promise Foundation is doing to raise money for our diabetes program,” Arvan says. “The thing to realize is about two-thirds of the state of Michigan is overweight or obese. Not every person who is overweight or even obese will necessarily get diabetes, it’s just one of those big risk factors. Genetics is another major factor. Regarding the things that people can do to try to avoid diabetes, it’s mostly about lifestyle.”
Purchase tickets for the Rugiero Casino Royale at rugieropromise.org.
Photo features the Rugiero family with the late Antonio Rugiero.