FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - It was a night of fun and philanthropy in Fort Lauderdale for the guests who took part in a fundraiser aiming to help in the fight against cancer.

A community determined to keep hope alive came together at Inter Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium, Saturday night.

An Evening of Hope, presented in part by Rick Case Automotive Group and AutoNation, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research for the American Cancer Society.

“Who doesn’t want to be a part of An Evening of Hope? It’s what we need in so many ways, and especially in the fight against cancer,” said event chair Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises’ president and CEO.

Before the event, Lutoff-Perlo spoke with 7News about the pain that cancer has caused her family.

“Losing my sister was really devastating for me, but my family has dealt with cancer, and so many people that you talk to and know have had to deal with this terrible disease,” she said. “In her honor, I really wanted to do something to be part of the solution and part of the cure.”

Guests mingled under the stars, united by a clear goal: to raise money to fund much-needed cancer research.

Last year’s inaugural event raised more than $375,000. Organizers of the 2021 event hope to top that figure.

Philanthropist Rita Case, president and CEO of Rick Case Automotive Group, was on hand to show her support.

“Donating money so that we can continue the research to find the cure for cancer, so cancer is not a life-threatening disease any longer,” she said.

Case’s husband, Rick Case, lost his life after a short battle with the disease.

“Unfortunately, it was an aggressive form of cancer, and there wasn’t a cure at the time,” said Rita.

It’s something that organizers hope they can change one step at a time with every dollar raised.

“It makes me feel incredible that our company, AutoNation, is making a difference in so many lives,” said Marc Cannon, executive vice president of AutoNation.

Organizers said they easily beat last year’s total, raising $815,000.

WSVN is a proud sponsor of An Evening of Hope and supports the American Cancer Society’s efforts.

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