RECAP: The 27th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball Official Kickoff Party


The 27th Annual Intercontinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball Official Kickoff Party Goes Down The Rabbit Hole With “Supernature” Theme & Alice In Wonderland-Inspired Performance

The 27th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball – to be held Saturday, November 5th at InterContinental® Miami – held its official Kickoff Party on September 8th at InterContinental® Miami with an over-the-top event to announce the Ball’s “SUPERNATURE” theme and thank its donors.

Miami Make-A-Wish
Glenn Samper, Shareef Malnik, and Norman Wedderburn
Photo Credit: Manny Hernandez

The invitation-only event was hosted by Glenn Sampert, General Manager of InterContinental® Miami and Gala host of the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball; Shareef Malnik, Chairman Emeritus of Make-A Wish® Southern Florida, Gala Chair of the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball for the past 17 years, and Chairman of the Make-A-Wish® Capital Campaign; and Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida. Making a special appearance was Gabrielle Anwar, award-winning actress and filmmaker, and Celebrity Emcee of the Ball for the past XX years.

Gabrielle Anwar and Shareef Malnik
Gabrielle Anwar and Shareef Malnik
Martina Basabe and Fabian Basabe
Martina Basabe and Fabian Basabe

Amrit Kapai and Vishal Parvani

The festive party echoed the magical theme of the upcoming November 5th Ball: SUPERNATURE, an otherworldly realm of fantasy flora and fauna created by the Ball’s Creative Director Maxwell Blandford. Guests included “Family Karma” cast members Vishal Parvani and Amrit Kapai, and entrepreneur Fabian Basabe, Candidate for FL House of Rep, District 106.

Surreal food and cocktail stations – including a giant “Metamorphosis” chocolate egg painted in swirls of frosted lilac and verdant green – was curated by InterContinental® Miami Executive Chef Jhonnatan Contreras and his talented team. An “Alice in Wonderland”-themed dance performance to the iconic Jefferson Airplane song “Go Ask Alice” was presented by the Ball’s event producer DECO Productions.

The highlight of the Kickoff Party was 17-year-old Wish Kid Jared Besen, who shared his story of being cancer-free for six years and how being granted a Wish by Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida helped give him and his family hope for the future.

Shareef Malnik explained, “we grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, and what does that mean? It’s not just a wish, it’s changing a child’s life forever, changing their family’s life forever. And it’s making an impact in the world that lasts through generations.”

His wife, Gabrielle Anwar later added, “let’s continue this, let’s meet for our Make-A-Wish Ball on the 5th of November, and have some fun while we raise some f****** money.” Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida raised more than 14,000 wishes.

About Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida

Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida has a sole mission: Together, they create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Started in 1983 by the Plantation Junior Woman’s Club, the Southern Florida chapter has granted more than 13,000 wishes. It is their vision to grant the wish of every medically eligible child in the South Florida territory.

Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida anticipates granting more than 600 wishes to local children with critical illnesses in 2022.

Additionally, they expect to grant another 200+ wishes in collaboration with other chapters, when children come to their territory to experience their wishes. Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida serves children and families in 22 Florida counties in Southeast and Southwest Florida, the Tampa Bay and Suncoast regions, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To learn more about how you can help make wishes come true, visit sfla.wish.org, and connect with them @makeawishsfla on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.

About InterContinental® MIAMI

With more than 40 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 property considers guests’ comfort and safety its foremost concern.

The hotel features 653 luxury guest rooms, including 22 suites and two presidential suites; 33 meeting rooms with over 135,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and exhibition space, including a spectacular Grand Ballroom; and multiple restaurants and bars including Toro Toro and Ole! on the lobby level, private kitchen dining at Table 40, and cocktails from Bluewater.

The hotel offers a full-service fitness center, spa, rooftop pool deck, and greenspace, SkyLawn. 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.

InterContinental® Miami is located at 100 Chopin Plaza in Miami. For more information or reservations, call 305-577-1000 or visit www.icmiamihotel.com.

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