InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball Hosts its Annual Kickoff Party

InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball Hosts

its Annual Kickoff Party with Summer of Love Theme

On Wednesday, September 12, Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida and in-kind Ball donor InterContinental® Miami celebrated the 24th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball VIP Kickoff Party at the InterContinental® Miami in anticipation of this season’s Summer of Love-themed gala on Saturday, November 3. Actress and documentary film director Gabrielle Anwar will shine as the Celebrity Emcee for the 8th year.

Shareef Malnik, 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 – the trio affectionately known as the “Three Amigos,” announced the new Chairman of the Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, Robert Press, and Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida’s new achievement in helping grant the wishes of over 700 Wish families. “We aspire to continue helping more families and expanding our reach. We want to be where there are children in need,” said Malnik.

The cocktail soiree featured opulent food stations by InterContinental Executive Chef Jhonnatan Contreras, decorated in a Flower Power theme with garden displays accented by tiny flower pots, colorful eggs nests, wooden logs with mushrooms, vines and butterflies, peace sign topiaries, and antique model cars and bicycles. Dishes included Artisan Pasta with options of Morel Mushroom Trecce Dell’orto, Lobster Agnolotti and Rabbit Ravioli, Solterito Salad, Gyros Shawarma Al PastorKobe Beef BurgerOver the Moon Seafood bar with jumbo gulf shrimp, oysters, crab claws and mussels, a Sushi and Sashimi station, Asparagus Terrine wrapped in cucumber topped with lavender balsamic pearls, Champagne Pate with cornichon, grapes aspic and grilled brioche, Scallop Carpaccio with garlic flowers, Forbidden Salad with edamame, mango and sesame dressing, Flower Aspic with goat cheese and cauliflower mousse, Deviled Eggs with caviar and flowers, Churros with macha, raspberry, dulce de leche or chocolate sea salt, Popsicles of cucumber mojito, strawberry espresso or kiwi soursop, and Sally Mini Donuts.

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Credit: World Red Eye and Manny Hernandez

Guests enjoyed mandarin rum cocktails served in colorful glowing light bulbs and sparkling wine, served by a wait staff in 70s psychedelic patterned boho dresses and go-go boots, as they were treated to a special DECO Productions dance performance choreographed by New Century Dance Company. Attendees of the evening soiree included hosts Ball Chairman, Board Chair and Founder of Chairman’s Challenge Society Shareef Malnik; President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, Norman Wedderburn; InterContinental® Miami General Manager and Gala Host Robert Hill; Creative Director Maxwell  Blandford; socialite/philanthropists Brett Rose and Jeremiah GutierrezTodd and Kim Glaser, Robert and Alysia Press, Brenda and Greg Baty, Jodi SiravoAndrew AlfanoSheila CesaranoAmy FedermanMayte Fernandez, Danielle Gonzalez,Sherri GutierrezTerry JoveDrew MandalaJoe PerezAlan AlvarezJonathan and Missy BabickaJavier HoltzSusan PessoaMaxwell BlandfordJohn and Leah TallDavid Strom and Marissa Mendez, Jasmine Tosh, Bronwyn Miller, Elaine LancasterBertil EspegrenDmirty PrutAaron Resnik,  Nick D’Annunzio and Claus and Regina Blohm.

The evening concluded with an endearing speech by Logan Cruz, Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Wish kid who was diagnosed with leukemia and had his wish granted to go on the Norwegian Bliss Cruise on a 7-day trip to Alaska, and his mother Suzanne Cruz. With tears in her eyes, Suzanne described how Logan’s wish gave the Cruz family a semblance of normalcy during this tough time, while giving them hope for the future. She concluded her testimony by thanking Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida and the donors for making Logan’s dream a reality and giving him an extraordinary experience when he was facing one of the toughest challenges of his young life.


The highly anticipated 24th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball will take place on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 7:00pm. Welcoming guests to the Summer of Love-inspired Ball will be the “Three Amigos”  Shareef Malnik, Chairman of the Board of Directors for 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. Actress and documentary film director Gabrielle Anwar will shine as the Celebrity Emcee for the 8th year. Musical performer to be announced soon.

The lavish, star-studded Ball hosts more than 900 VIPs, socialites, fashion mavens, celebrities and notable philanthropists. The evening supports Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida’s sole mission: Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Past celebrity guests included Anwar, Paula Abdul, Pamela Anderson, Sharon Stone, Wayne Newton, Kim Kardashian, Richie Rich, Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons, Don King, Christian Slater, Scottie Pippen, Mike Piazza, Marcus Schenkenberg, Venus and Serena Williams; and musical performances by Lenny Kravitz, John Legend, Marc Anthony, Diana Ross, Adam Lambert, Joan Jett, Melanie Amaro, Wyclef Jean, Macy Gray, Natalie Cole, D.J. Irie, and Snoop Dogg.

Tables of 10 begin at $12,500 and upper tiers are available from $15,000 – $50,000. For ticket or table purchase, please call 954-967-9474 ext. 318.

The official after-party, the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub presented by E11EVEN MIAMIDowntown Miami’s 24/7 ultra club will be held immediately following the Ball at the InterContinental® Miami featuring a celebrity DJ, along with a runway fashion show.

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