25th ANNUAL INTERCONTINENTAL® MIAMI MAKE-A-WISH® BALL RAISES $3 MILLION FOR MAKE-A-WISH® SOUTHERN FLORIDA
Concert by legendary rock star Steven Tyler with The Loving Mary Band
entertained more than 850 guests at Masterpiece XXV-themed Ball
T.I. performs at InterContinental® Miami Nightclub presented by E11EVEN MIAMI
MIAMI, FL (November 2019) – Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida and InterContinental® Miami celebrated the 25th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball on Saturday, November 2, hosting more than 850 guests. The gala was headlined by GRAMMY® Award-winning Steven Tyler with The Loving Mary Band.The theme of this year’s Ball was “Masterpiece XXV,” a creative interpretation of Game of Thrones, which invited one to step into the Oculus, a world of magic, intrigue, drama and the arts. Guests were enthralled by an epic battle between the greatest art houses, in celebration of the most ambitious event to date in honor of the 25thAnniversary of the Ball.
Actress, filmmaker and Ambassador for Make-A-Wish®Southern Florida, Gabrielle Anwar, returned as celebrity emcee for the ninth consecutive year, helping the event to raise $3 million dollars for Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida. Hosted by Gala Host, Robert Hill, General Manager of InterContinental® Miami, Ball founder and in-kind donor for the past 25 years, the event was chaired by philanthropist Shareef Malnik, Chairman of the Board Emeritus of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, who has served as Ball Chairman for the past 15 years. Regarded as one of the Miami charity season’s leading events, the Ball is the highest grossing fundraising event for the Southern Florida Chapter of Make-A-Wish®.
Welcoming guests were the Ball’s “Three Amigos” – Shareef Malnik, Chairman of the Board Emeritus of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, Gala Chair of the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball, and proprietor of The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar; Robert Hill, Gala Host and General Manager of InterContinental® Miami; and Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida.
United by the common goal of raising funds to grant the wishes of children with critical illnesses, guests included Aland Nancy Malnik, Lifetime Benefactors of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida; singer-songwriter Alisan Porter; supermodel Karolina Kurkova and Archie Drury; director Michael Bay; actor Steven Bauer; actress Dania Ramirez; vocalist Yoli Mayor; Brittny Gastineau; Lisa Gastineau; Lisa Hochstein; Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto M. Carvalho and Maria Carvalho; Robert and Breda Hill; Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Chairman Bob and Alysia Press and the Press family; Eugene and Brooke Frenkel; David Lee Roth; Dennis Crowley and Mari Haupert; Dennis DeGori; Ken DeGori; Ken Gorin; Stanley and Gala Cohen; James L. Ferraro; Lee and Mirelly Friedland; Jonathan and Missy Babicka; Lee Brian Schrager and Dr. Ricardo Restrepo; Belkys Nerey and Demetri Mouratis; Alex De Armas; Ameen and Zainab Killidar; David and Dara Clarke; Dr. Wasim J. Shomar; Amy Bloom; Gary Rogers; Dan Baker; Linda Glantz; Willy Gomez and Maria Elena Ferrer; Sheila M. Cesarano; Mike Parrish; Louis J. Capano, Jr.; Magali Bouckaert; Mayte Fernandez; Michael Appleton; Bill McCue and Lisa Petrillo; Kamal Hotchandani and Deyvanshi Masrani; Mickey and Jill Silverman; Claus and Regina Blohm; Bruce and Deborah Kaye; Brian and Janet Sherr; Brian and Andrea Holland; Dave Strom and Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez; Stephen and Gwenn Vecchitto; Craig Sienema and Ashley Huffman; Joseph Perez; Ino B. Halegua, M.D.; Tony & Chantal Wedderburn; Danny Jelaca; Howard and Barbara Glicken; Pat and Mary McClain; Felipe Lafratta; Geert-Jan and Joyce Bakker; Jim and Sue Oppenheimer; Christian Sanchez; Todd and Danielle Rubinstein; Jeff and Lianne Caruso; Daniel Wrzbicki; Adrian Cuervo; Stuart Miller; Richard and Susan Finkelstein; John and Jericho Flinn; Alex and Yanina Sapir; Maurico Ferrazza; Matt and Kari Zipay; Andrew and Tatsiana Ansin; Alan Mruvkaand Sarah Holcomb; Michael & Terri Klauber;Maxwell Blandford; and Clif Loftin.
The hotel’s mezzanine was transformed into this year’s theme,“MASTERPIECE XXV,” inspired by Game of Thrones. Guests were invited to take an epic journey into a fantastical realm of cultural arts, broken down into ten noble houses: House Queen and House Ziggy Stardust (music); House Valentino and House Westwood (fashion); House Casablanca and House Fellini (film); House Fosse and House Ailey (dance); and House Basquiat and House Carvaggio (art). The cocktail reception started with a dance battle, where hip-hop, breakdancing and swing dancing all came together for a big finale that impressed the crowd. While DJ Bedo kept the groove going, guests enjoyed creative food stations situated along the mezzanine, as well as a raw seafood bar and cocktails in the House of Casablanca speakeasy. The Ball’s famed silent auction, held during the cocktail reception, offered more than 150 coveted items, including jewelry, designer accessories, artwork and experiences, donated by InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts worldwide as well as leading fashion and luxury brands, and gallerists.
In what has become a Ball tradition, guests were summoned to the Grand Ballroom’s “Fellini Follies” for dinner by an artistic performance orchestrated by DECO Productions. This year, disco queens on stilts dressed in gold and white 1970s attire led the way dressed as Fellini-esque creatures of the underworld while dancing and singing to Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel.”
An entrance inspired by the Fellini film Satyricon was fashioned salon-style with red velvet loveseats and chairs, guiding guests into the ballroom which featured dramatic red rose centerpieces created by Bayfront Floral & Design. A massive 150-foot LED wall was produced by Mauricio Ferrazza of MIA Animation and executed by PSAV. In a favorite Ball tradition, Shareef Malnik and Gabrielle Anwar unveiled their dramatic moment: A video montage based on Game of Thrones characters, featuring Malnik as Jon Snow and Anwar as Melisandrethe Red Woman. The dynamic clip had the duo battling the White Walkers, mastering dragons and eventually winning the throne.
Malnik shared a touching moment remembering wish child Nicole Graziano including a video of her singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” During a heartfelt speech in which they revealed that Nicole passed away earlier this year due to the effects of her illness, her parents Frank and Denise Graziano reminded donors of what their generosity means for children like their daughter. Nicole’s one true wish came true, and because of that, she lived her last moments in peace. She was gifted a Glinda the Good Witch wand from Wizard of Oz. Malnik dedicated this year’s Ball to the memory of Nicole.
Before she passed away, her final wish was for her parents to promise that they would encourage donors to keep making other wishes come true. With that in mind, Anwar, dressed in a custom burgundy gown with cape and hood, used her charismatic skills to entice donations. Highlights included the pledge of philanthropist Margaret Press, mother of Bob Press and mother-in-law of Alysia Press, of 50 wishes in honor of her 90th birthday.
Ball guests dined on an elegant meal created by InterContinental Miami Executive Chef Jhonnatan Contreras including Fellini’s “Roma” Lobster Salad featuring Lobster Mousse with Lemongrass Hibiscus Spaghetti with 24K Gold, caviar, and parsnips;“Fire Breathing Dragon” Beef featuring Kabayaki Dry Aged Ribeye with Boniato Mash; and “La Dolce Vita”,an extravagant assortment of sweets featuring Vanilla Angel Mousse, Dark Intense Chocolate Ganache, Soft Chocolate Cake, and Strawberry Infused Red Chocolate Ring with 24K Gold.
Alisan Porter, winner of The Voice 2016, returned for the fourth year and performed powerful renditions of “Wild One”and her single “Never Could.” Auctioneer Jay Zeager led the highly anticipated live auction, with all proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida. The lucky winners of the live auction received luxury items, original artwork, and exotic travel packages including “I Love You Babe”(valued at $50,000/courtesy of Dominga Zapata)– an original acrylic painting by contemporary artist Domingo Zapata; “Unapologetically Steven Tyler” (valued at $50,000/courtesy of Unapologetic), a one-of-a-kind rendering of Steven Tyler (signed by Tyler) by Unapologetic, a mixed media artist from Colombia who aims to create a positive impact on society by highlighting popular culture;“Cowboy Dreaming” (valued at $35,720/courtesy of Overseas Leisure Group) –featuring the ultimate frontier adventure at the world’s only Forbes Travel Guide five-star ranch, Rock Creek in Montana; “The Art of Money” (valued at $20,000/courtesy of Mister E) – a painting by Mister E, widely recognized for popularizing the “money art” movement in recent years, along with a private tour of his Delray Beach studio; “Made in China”(valued at $20,600/Courtesy of Hotel Indigo on the Bund, InterContinental® Beijing Sanlitun, and Kimpton Da An Taipei, an IHG Hotel) — a package featuring a four-night stay at the InterContinental® Beijing Sanlitun, three-night stay at the Kimpton Da An Taipei, an IHG Hotel, and a three-night stay at Hotel Indigo Shanghai including a $3,000 travel allotment; “A Toast to Wishes”(valued at $15,000/Courtesy of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and its valued suppliers) – a first-class collection of champagne including one case each of Champagne Armand de Brignac, Champagne G.H. Mumm, Cordon Rouge Rosé, Champagne Krug Grand Cuvée, Champagne Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Champagne Louis Roederer, Cuvée Cristal, Champagne Mod Selection Brut Réserve, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Cuvée Palmes D’Or Brut, Champagne Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé and Champagne Pommery Cuvée Louise Brut, plus 12 bottles of Champagne Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Brut and two dozen Riedel Champagne Glasses; “A Pirates Life”(Valued at $27,000/Courtesy of Overseas Leisure Group) – an adventure aboard the Manna, a fully crewed 53-foot Royal Cape Catamaran with four guest cabins in the British Virgin Islands for six nights; “A Salute to Time”(valued at $46,000/courtesy of Ulysse Nardin) – a majestic Stars & Stripes timepiece from the Executive Skeleton Tourbillon Collection that is one of 50 and features a 45mm titanium case and 170-hour power reserve; “Paradise Found”(valued at $12,000/courtesy of InterContinental®Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, InterContinental® Moorea Resort & Spa, and Intercontinental® Tahiti Resort & Spa)–– a retreat from reality, this week-long rendezvous to three luxurious resorts in French Polynesia includes a two-night stay at the InterContinental® Tahiti Resort in an overwater lagoon bungalow, a three-night stay at the InterContinental® Moorea Resort & Spa in an overwater bungalow, and a two-night stay at the InterContinental® Bora Bora Resort in a Villa Emerald, which features a glass bedroom wall overlooking the lagoon.In addition, The Collection donated a 2020 Porsche Macan valued at $63,580.
When rock royalty Steven Tyler with The Loving Mary Band, presented by the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation,took the stage, guests were on their feet, singing along to favorite songs by the prolific artist during an incredible hour-long concert. He opened with “Sweet Emotion” followed by “Dream On” and “Walk This Way,”as well as covers from music icons including The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.
The legendary Ball continued into the night at the “Stardust”-themed 12th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Nightclub, presented by E11EVEN MIAMI and held on the InterContinental® Miami mezzanine with superstar T.I. as the headliner, tunes by DJ Affect, along with a special performance by America’s Got Talent alum Yoli Mayor as the opening act for the fashion show presented by Saks Fifth Avenue at Brickell City Centre. This year’s Nightclub was presented by Vice-Chair Ken Degori along with co-chairs Lisa Almy, Albert Alvarado, Peter J. Ancona, Nick Betancourt, Maxwell Blandford, Michael Capponi/InList, Eduardo Castillo, Herman A. Castro, Stephane Chiche, Nick D’Annunzio, Ken DeGori, Robert Fernandez, Sniders Jean-Jacques/Black Market Luxury, Gideon Kimbrell/InList, Jonathan Koerner, Scott G. Kranz, Victoria Legra, Chris & Lee Lentz, Todd Linden, Clif Loftin, Shannon MacKinnon, Heidi Malaret, Harris G. Mandler, CFP, CLU, Antonio Misuraca, Claudina Pimentel, David Lee Roth, Rich Santelises, Danny Santiago, Sam Schwartz, Isaac Seville, Mary Showstark, Tara Solomon, Jeff Soulouque, Rick Sykes, and Erika Waserstein.
T.I.’s performance was followed by a “Hotel Chelsea New York”-themed runway show, which celebrated the iconic property that served as a haven of creation for many pop culture icons. Produced by Maxwell Blandford and Clif Loftin and presented by Saks Fifth Avenue Brickell City Centre, the show featured 70 looks. Styled by Danny Santiago, the runway included pieces by designer brands VERSACE, Balmain, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Moschino, Faith Connextion, Giorgio Armani, Herve Leger, Off-White, Palm Angels, Proenza Schouler, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Saks Fifth Avenue Collections, Theory, Zimmermann and Zegna among others. Hair for the models was created by Danny Jelaca Hair. The fun continued into the wee hours at E11EVEN MIAMI, the 24/7 UltraClub, where nightclub guests continued the revelry.
Every glamorous aspect of the lavish evening was underwritten by the Chairman’s Challenge Society, which Shareef Malnik founded 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 more than 25 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. In addition to himself and Gabrielle Anwar, other members of the Chairman’s Challenge Society are Stuart Miller, The Lennar Foundation, Marshall Ames, Richard Polidori, Todd and Kim Glaser, Geert-Jan and Joyce Bakker, Jim and Sue Oppenheimer, Randy and Barbara Ann Frankel Foundation, Brett Rose and Jeremiah Gutierrez, The Genting Group, The Learning Experience/the Weissman Family, Braman Family Foundation, Wayne and Cynthia Boich, Eugene & Brooke Frenkel, Armando Montelongo Companies, Inc., Brett Ratner, Ratpac Entertainment, Dennis Crowley and Maria Haupert, Craig Sienemaand Ashley Huffman, Ameen and Zainab Killidar on Behalf of The Killidar Foundation, Inc., Barry Skolnick, Richard and Susan Finkelstein, Andrew and Tatsiana Ansin, Joseph & Amanda Safina, Alan Mruvka, Storageblue, Felipe Lafratta, Associates MD Medical Group, an anonymous donor, Marko and Shelly Dimitrijevic and Bob and Alysia Press and the Press family.
For more information on Chairman’s Challenge Society, please visit http://sfla.wish.org/ways-to-help/giving/chairmans-society.
In its 25-year history, the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball has raised $29 million to grant life-changing wishes for local children. For the last seven years, Strategic Hotels & Resorts has underwritten the Ball’s food. Over the past 25 years, the InterContinental® Miami has donated the in-kind value to underwrite the Ball’s food, beverage, parking accommodations and venue expenses, in addition to dedicating more than 10,500 management hours that have gone into the Ball’s planning.
ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH® SOUTHERN FLORIDA
Since 1983, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida has granted more than 12,000 life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The nonprofit organization serves families in Southern Florida plus the Tampa Bay and Suncoast areas of Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It receives no federal or state funding and raises money to grant wishes through corporate sponsorships, special events, foundation grants, and individual contributions. The Southern Florida chapter grants a wish every 14 hours for local children and collaborated with other chapters to grant more than 255 additional wishes in South Florida last year. For more information, to make a donation, volunteer or refer a child, contact Make-A-Wish at (888) 773-WISH. www.sfla.wish.org.
In its 25-year history, the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball has raised nearly $29 million to grant wishes for local children. The annual Ball, which is regarded as one of Miami charity season’s leading events, is the highest grossing fundraising event for the Southern Florida Chapter of Make-A-Wish® Foundation.
Celebrating over 35 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 653 luxury guest rooms, including 20 suites and two presidential suites designed by Venus William’s V Starr Interiors; 35 meeting rooms with over 101,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor 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 digital arts 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