INTERCONTINENTAL® MIAMI MAKE-A-WISH BALL CELEBRATED 20TH ANNIVERSARY ON NOVEMBER 1st WITH LEGENDARY DIANA ROSS PERFORMANCE
“Oz Reimagined”-themed gala nets $2.5 million for Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida
MIAMI, FL – (Nov. 2014) – Miami’s charity season officially launched on Saturday, November 1st as the 20th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish Ball welcomed 900 guests to its “Oz Reimagined”-themed gala. The glamorous celebration, which featured a performance by legendary superstar Diana Ross and a return appearance by actress/filmmaker Gabrielle Anwar as celebrity emcee and auctioneer, raised a record $2.5 million in net revenue for Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
Hosted by the InterContinental® Miami, Ball Founder and In-Kind Donor, for the 20th year and chaired by Shareef Malnik for the 10th year, the anniversary celebration of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball welcomed new supporters while honoring individuals instrumental in the Ball’s early years.
Mingling with guests on the “Gold Carpet” were the Ball’s “Three Amigos” -- Shareef Malnik, Gala Chairman and proprietor of The Forge Restaurant l Wine Bar; Robert Hill, Gala Host and the InterContinental Miami General Manager; and Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida. Special guests included Gabrielle Anwar; director Brett Ratner; Scottie and Larsa Pippen; Chris Leavitt of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing Miami; Wayne Newton; author/TV personality Jill Martin; Lee Brian Schrager; Kimye pastor, Rich Wilkerson Jr. and wife DawnCheré; Real Housewives of Miami cast member Marysol Patton; Richard Jay Alexander; Elaine Lancaster; Donald and Lisa Pliner; Casey and Timolin Cole; Harvey and Roberta Chaplin; Bob and Alysia Press; Stanley and Gala Cohen; Wayne and Arlene Chaplin; James L. Ferraro; Ken Gorin; Wayne and Cynthia Boich; Howard and Barbara Glicken; Fabian and Martina Basabe; Jeff Kamlet; Michael Capponi; Irene Korge; Kamal Hotachandani; Belkys Nerey; and Todd Linden, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish Southern Florida.
During the 90-minute cocktail reception, guests enjoyed sumptuous culinary offerings created by InterContinental Miami Executive Chef Alexander Feher while bidding on more than 125 premier items at the Ball’s legendary silent auction, donated by top hospitality, entertainment, fashion and luxury brands.
The “Voice of Oz” summoned revelers to the Main Ballroom for dinner where famed DJ Irie was in residence, spinning his trademark groove. Inside the Ballroom, guests were captivated by both the splendor of the room’s white-on-white decor as well as the beauty and wit of Gabrielle Anwar, who returned for the fourth consecutive year as Celebrity Emcee and Auctioneer. In what has become a Ball tradition, Gabrielle and Shareef opened the night’s festivities with a creative dramatic moment. This year’s involved Gabrielle engaged in steamy dialogue with a faceless “Oz” – actually the voice of the acclaimed actress’ fiancé, none other than Shareef -- who eventually revealed himself, emerging from underneath the voluminous skirt of Gabrielle’s emerald green ball gown, eliciting a roar of laughter from the room and setting the stage for the more serious task of raising money for Wishes.
In a tribute to the Ball’s beginning, remarks were made by Guest of Honor Lee Brian Schrager, Chairman of Southern Wine & Spirits Harvey Chaplin, and CEO of The Collection Ken Gorin. Additionally, the following individuals were acknowledged for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to Make-A-Wish Southern Florida’s mission through their support of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, each granting more than 100 heartfelt wishes through their generosity: Al and Nancy Malnik, Stanley and Gala Cohen, Harvey and Roberta Chaplin, Bob and Alysia Press and James L. Ferraro. As a magical following, South Florida Wish recipient Nicole Graziano sang a touching rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”
The very lively live auction followed, with Gabrielle charming guests and getting top dollar for the eight incredible items presented: luxurious travel packages to Fiji, St. Tropez, Punta Mita, San Francisco/Napa Valley, New York City, and Paris/London; a 2015 white Maserati Ghibli courtesy of The COLLECTION; and a seven-day voyage aboard The World -- Residences at Sea.
Live auction sponsors for the travel packages were Mr. & Mrs. Albert & Renee Bertini (Fiji); Domaine Bertaud Belieu St. Tropez, Haute Living Magazine, Bagatelle and Byblos Hotel (St. Tropez); Strategic Hotels & Resorts and The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita (Punta Mita); InterContinental® Mark Hopkins San Francisco, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Constellation Brands, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines and Moët Hennessy USA (San Francisco/Napa Valley); Domaine Bertaud Belieu St. Tropez, Haute Living Magazine and Tao Group (New York City); British Airways, InterContinental® London Park Lane and InterContinental® Paris Le Grand (Paris-London); and The World – Residences at Sea.
At this point, the anticipation had mounted for the night’s special performance by legendary award-winning entertainer Diana Ross. As soon as the iconic singer, ethereal in red organza, took the stage, the Ballroom dance floor filled to capacity, with guests singing along to the superstar’s classic hits including “Baby Love” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” preserving the once-in-a-lifetime memory on their smart phones.
The dynamic Ball had an equally dynamic finale as this year’s edition of the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub -- “Voyage des Papillions” – paid homage to the contemporary Disco movement with an extravagant couture runway show presented by Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour, featuring designers including Emilio Pucci, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana and KAUFMAN FRANCO.
A hip, after-hours venue, the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub – chaired by Shareef Malnik, with Michael Capponi as Vice-Chair, and presented by InList -- was held from 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. on the Mezzanine level of the InterContinental Miami. Co-produced by Maxwell Blandford and Clif Loftin, with creative execution by DECO Productions, the disco-infused runway show was styled by Arel Ramos for Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour, with hair by Danny Jelaca Salon and makeup by O.P Studio. Progressive beats were provided by DJ Michelle Leshem and producer Sean Drake.
Co-Chairs of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub were Maxwell Blandford, Sarah Bromley, Christine Corson, Nick D’Annunzio, Danny Estevez, Clif Loftin, Antonio Misuraca and Tara Solomon, with a Nightclub 2014 Host Committee comprised of the next generation of contributors as well as Miami’s premier buzz-creators in the fashion, arts, music and nightlife industries: Oren Alexander; Peter T. Ancona; Crista Azqueta; Francisco Baixauli; Brooke Biederman; Olga Castano; Eduardo Castillo; Norma Cuarezma; Christopher Dischino; Andres Fanjul; Robert Fernandez; Louis Fonseca; Nicole Gomez; Alex Holland; Ashlee Holland; Iced So Nice; Gideon Kimbrell; Scott Kranz; Chris Lentz; Luigi Lone; Jessica Martinez; Margene Muñoz; Nicol Pindelez; Jacquelynn Powers; Mel Rivera; Jake Roberts; Jared Rosenstein; David Roth; Hope Ruslin; Ilmar Saar; Rich Santelises; Schwartz Media Strategies; Lisa Sharoni; Molly Shearer; Guigo Simoes; Jeff Soulouque; Brittany Starks; Cecily Suarez; Ricky Tamayo; and TARA, Ink.
In its 20-year history, the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball has raised $16.8 million to grant the wishes of more than 3,500 children from South Florida. The $2.5 million net revenue raised at the 2014 Ball on November 1st is a record amount, surpassing the prior record of $2 million net revenue raised at the 2013 Ball. The $1 million donation by Al Malnik and Nancy Malnik in 2012 remains the single highest donation of record. Over the past 20 years, the InterContinental Miami has donated more than $4.5 million in in-kind value to underwrite the Ball’s food, beverage, parking accommodations and venue expenses, in addition to dedicating more than 8,500 management hours that have gone into the Ball’s planning.
Shareef Malnik introduced the Chairman’s Society in 2011 as an operating cost endowment to cover all expenses associated with organizing and planning the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball. Malnik enlisted 20 businesses, civic and philanthropic leaders, who each pledged $25,000 per year for five consecutive years – to yield a total commitment of $500,000 annually, resulting in the granting of 100 additional wishes to Southern Florida children each year. In addition to himself and Gabrielle Anwar, other members of the Chairman’s Society are: Stuart Miller, The Lennar Foundation, Marshall Ames, Richard Polidori, Andrew Sasson & Chris Paciello, Todd & Kim Glaser, The Jordan Zimmerman Family Foundation, Geert-Jan & Joyce Bakker, Eddie Freedman, Jim & Sue Oppenheimer, Randy & Barbara Ann Frankel Foundation, Steven Tanger, Brett Rose & Jerry Gutierrez, The Genting Group, Mark & Robin Levinson, The Learning Experience/The Weissman Family, Braman Family Foundation, Wayne Boich, Eugene Frenkel and Armando Montelongo Companies, Inc. For more information on The Chairman's Society, please click here.
The mission of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. In its 20-year history, the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball has raised in excess of $16.8 million. With these much needed funds, the Foundation has been able to grant more than 3,500 wishes for deserving children in our community. Past VIP guests of the Ball have included Gabrielle Anwar, Paula Abdul, Sharon Stone, Kim Kardashian, Wayne Newton, Brett Ratner, Don King, Helio Castroneves, Robert Van Winkle, Christian Slater, Pamela Anderson, former Florida governor Charlie Crist, Scottie and Larsa Pippen, Russell Simmons, Venus and Serena Williams, Candace Bushnell, Marcus Schenkenberg, Pauly Shore, and performers Diana Ross, Adam Lambert, Joan Jett, Macy Gray, Natalie Cole, Wyclef Jean, Bernadette Peters, Melanie Amaro, the late Nell Carter, Deborah Gibson, and The Honey Brothers, featuring Adrian Grenier.
ABOUT INTERCONTINENTAL® MIAMI:
Celebrating over 25 years as an icon of the Downtown Miami skyline, the InterContinental® Miami is located at the crossroads of Miami's Business and Arts & Entertainment districts. A beacon for business and leisure travelers alike, the hotel rises 34 stories over the city with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay and the Port of Miami. The hotel features 641 luxury guest rooms, including 34 suites and two presidential suites designed by Venus William’s V Starr Interiors; 33 meeting rooms with over 101,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, including a spectacular Grand Ballroom; multiple food and beverage outlets - Toro Toro, ¡Ole!, Bluewater, Table 40 and the hotel’s interactive lobby lounge; full-service fitness center and spa at mySpa Miami; and rooftop pool deck with gardens. The InterContinental Miami is a proud corporate citizen of the Miami-Dade community, invested through its annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, and its corporate social responsibility program. For more information or reservations, call 305-577-1000 or visit www.icmiamihotel.com.