Sixteen years after the InterContinental Miami began working exclusively with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida on their annual Ball, the event is still going strong.
“The Three Amigos,” president/CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, Norm Wedderburn; InterContinental Miami general manager and gala host, Jack Miller; and Ball chairman, Shareef Malnik, proprietor of The Forge, say that the 17th annual ball will be the best yet.
The trio recently hosted their annual kick-off event where it was announced that this year, Gabrielle Anwar of the television show “Burn Notice,” will be the celebrity auctioneer. The ball, in its 16th year, has raised more than $9.6 million – enough to grant 2,100 wishes. The 2011 ball will push the foundation’s fundraising results above the $10 million mark.
Guests who attended the 14th ball, which raised more than $1.6 million, mingled among a Who’s Who guest list that included former Florida Governor, Charlie Crist, and celebrity, Kim Kardashian. In the course of its history, celebrity guests have included Paula Abdul, Sharon Stone, Pamela Anderson, Richie Rich, Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons, Don King, Scottie Pippen and many more.
Without exception, each guest is prepared to expect the unexpected. That’s because lifetime benefactors Al and Nancy Malnik, wish benefactor James Ferraro, grand benefactors Stanley and Gala Cohen and founding benefactors Howard and Barbara Glicken all have one common goal – to make dreams come true for a child faced with a life-threatening illness.
Sixteen years after the InterContinental Miami began working exclusively with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida on their annual Ball, the event is still going strong.
It’s not every day that the most powerful people in Miami come together for an event, let alone a sit down dinner, but that’s just one of the many things that make Haute Living’s annual Haute 100 dinner one of the most noteworthy events of the year.
The event was held on Friday, April 15 at the newly remodeled Forge Restaurant and Wine Bar in Miami Beach. Luckily, the rain held off for the first part of the evening, where guests enjoyed intimate cocktail reception in restaurant’s outdoor courtyard. Guests sipped on Dom Pérignon while they mingled, posed for photos and flipped through the latest issue of Haute Living Miami, seeing who else made the exclusive Haute 100 list.
After the cocktail reception, guests moved inside to the private dining area of the Forge. Attempted party crashers were sent away, but several extra chairs had to be added to accommodate the number of Haute 100 list members who showed up for dinner.
Guests included Loren and JR Ridinger, Lea and Roy Black, Diego and Gisela Lowenstein, Keith Menin, Michael Caponni, Emilio Estefan, ShareefMalnik, Thomas Kramer, Louis Aguirre, Sean Wolfington, Ugo and Sara Colombo, Gil and Lorena Dezer, Don Peebles, Bobby Yampolsky, Howard Lorber, David Martin, among many other VIPs.
COMPANY: The Forge
WHAT MAKES THEM HAUTE:
Al, a lawyer-turned-real-estate-mogul, created The Forge, which is the second oldest restaurant in South Florida. After marrying a Saudi princess and leaving his birth name of Mark behind, Shareef laid the groundwork for impressive restaurant ventures, helping his father turn The Forge into the stomping grounds for A-listers from around the globe. The younger Malnik has reinvented the restaurant into a “Must Revisit” restaurant. Both are currently vested in Both Malniks are big advocates of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and chair the Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball.
On November 5th, the Make-A-Wish Foundation held its 17th annual Miami, Florida ball. Leading up to the ball was the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s annual garden party. This year, garden party organizers chose the theme “’Avant Garden,” a play on the French term avant garde, which can be translated to mean experimental or nontraditional. The “Avant Garden” garden party was a big hit thanks to the memorable guests that were in attendance.
The guest list included six of the characters from the Friends With You children’s toy line. The characters (Buddy Chubb, Rainbow King, Malfi, Zoo-Zoo, Mr. TTT, and Mr. TT) attended the party as inflatable dolls, and were positioned around an oceanfront pool. They provided an entertaining, and successfully nontraditional, backdrop for guests at the casual cocktail affair.
Shareef Malnik, chairman of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Miami, Florida ball, first took note of the Friends With You characters at the Art Basel Miami Beach event. He felt the characters conveyed a mood of hope and youthful fun. When Malnik was questioned about his decision to include the characters at the garden party, he stated, “When we looked for a partner artist that could play a large role in creating a magical and youthful environment, Friends With You was the obvious choice.” After the party he commented that, “The characters absolutely succeeded in bringing great cheer to the crowd of supporters who come out year after year.” It’s clear that he remains confident in his choice.
The “Avant Garden” event took place from 4:00 to 6:00pm at the home of Al and Nancy Malnik, lifetime benefactors of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida. It was their 6th consecutive year hosting the event. Hors d’oeuvres were served by Silver Sac Catering, and music was provided by DJ Joe Dert. Perhaps the most noteworthy part of the evening took place when USA television network’s Burn Notice star Gabrielle Anwar took on the role of the M.C. during the live auction.
It will be tough task to try and top the programming in future years, but the dedication and creativity demonstrated by Make-A-Wish Foundation supporters proves that anything is achievable. For now members are focusing on furthering the cause. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida aims to grant more than 500 wishes to children with threatening medical conditions in 2011.
Miami Beach is the hot spot you’ll find Al Malnik but sometimes he heads over to the left coast to spend time with his Hollywood friends. Brett Rattner who was a bus boy with Al’s son Shareef and also Micky Rourke at the Forge Restaurant in Miami is like a son to Al. So when Brett has a birthday to celebrate you bet Al will be there with the rest of the A list.
Paula Abdul Idolized After She Helped Raise $900,000 At Miami Make-A-Wish Ball
On Saturday, November 6, 2010, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida and InterContinental Miami celebrated the 16th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball with a captivating Asian-inspired, Zen-like theme. With beloved, internationally celebrated host Paula Abdul as the emcee of the live auction, a performance by Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys and the third anniversary of the Ball’s InterContinentalMiami Make-A-Wish Nightclub featuring a fashion show by designer Nicole Miller, the evening captured the “Art of the Wish” and proved itself to again be one of the hottest social events of the season.
“This year’s Ball was a great success in so many ways,” said Norman Wedderburn, President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida. “From the exceptional décor and stellar performance by Paula Abdul as the celebrity emcee, to the post-Ball celebration, I believe this year’s Ball to be one of the most special to-date. We saw a community come together in support of a great cause and have an unforgettable time while doing so. Most importantly, I want to thank each and every guest, volunteer and sponsor whose support and generosity helped raise an incredible amount of funds for children in need.”
This year’s InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball was made possible by the committee’s star players and “The Amigos:” President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, Norm Wedderburn; Ball Chairman and proprietor of The Forge Restaurant | Winebar, Shareef Malnik; and InterContinental Miami General Manager and Gala Host, Robert B. Hill. Also honored were Lifetime Benefactors Al and Nancy Malnik; Grand Benefactors Stanley and Gala Cohen; Founding Benefactors Howard and Barbara Glicken; Wish Star Benefactor James L. Ferraro, as well as Wish Benefactors Harvey and Roberta Chaplin, Stuart A. Miller of Lennar Corporation and Robert Press of Trafalgar Capital Advisors.
Immediately upon arrival, guests were greeted by visions and iconic figures from the Orient including glowing orange Chinese lanterns and fashion-forward Geishas. Transformed by Javier Velarde of Triton Productions, the hotel’s Mezzanine level was brought to life by Samurai swordsmen, ribbon dancers, a gigantic Orange Blossom tree and the palpable energy created by 20 live Taiko drummers. While enjoying the Ball’s much buzzed-about hors d’oeuvre stations created by InterContinental Miami’s celebrated Executive Chef Alexander Feher and spirits provided by Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., guests raised $140,000 by bidding on more than 130 premier items, including a guitar autographed by John Mayer; children’sMercedes-Benz ride-on SUV; luxury goods by Betsey Johnson, Valentino, Burberry, Diane Von Furstenberg, Longchamp USA, Judith Ripka and more; as well as hospitality packages ranging from local Miami stay-cations to destination packages in the Grand Cayman Islands, and a number of worldwide travel experiences courtesy of InterContinental Hotels and Resorts: InterContinental Abu Dabi, InterContinental Athens, InterContinental Bali, InterContinental Bangkok, InterContinental Boston, InterContinental Carlton Cannes, InterContinental Chicago, InterContinental Costa Rica, InterContinental De La Ville Rome, InterContinental Frankfurt, InterContinental Le Grand Paris, InterContinental London, InterContinental Madrid, InterContinental Miami and mySpa, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, InterContinental Montelucia, InterContinental New Orleans, InterContinental The Barclay New York, InterContinental Rio de Janeiro, InterContinental Toronto Yorkville and InterContinental Willard Washington DC, among others.
Following a dramatic parade led by a 42-foot-long dragon and beats by resident Ball and Miami Heat celebrity beat-master DJ Irie, guests were summoned into the dining room. Up-and-coming crooner Duane McLaughlin opened the main event with his inspirational song, “Ready to Live,” as 20 children dressed in white encircled the stage with glowing smiles. During the heart-warming performance, guests enjoyed a three course meal. Following touching videos by the Ball’s key players testifying to the impact of the power of a wish, Paula Abdul, host of CBS’s new show LIVE TO DANCE, took the stage as the emcee of the event’s famous wish and live auction. Longtime Make-A-Wish supporter Jim Ferraro then opened the Wish Auction with a crowd-inspiring donation of $100,000, a pledge that will grant an astonishing 20 Wishes. Following his lead, the legendary pop icon and emcee donated $10,000 of her own money to grant two wishes for South Florida children in need.
During the action-packed live auction which raised a total of $160,000, guests bid on high-stakes items including a walk-on role for USA’s hit show Burn Notice, which was notably auctioned off by its own star, Gabrielle Anwar; another walk-on role for the film Tower Heist starring Ben Stiller, donated by director Brett Ratner; a $25,000 gift certificate for Rene Ruiz Couture provided by the designer himself; the ultimate Los Angeles Jet-Setting weekend getaway courtesy of Jason Binn and Niche Media; a luxurious Judith Ripka-inspired New York City experience complete with a $5,000 shopping piece from the designer’s collection; an all-expenses-paid getaway to chic hotspot St. Barth’s, as well as a spectacular tour of the Orient with accommodations courtesy of the InterContinental Hong Kong, InterContinental Shanghai, InterContinental Beijing, InterContinental Tokyo, and Business Class travel by American Airlines.Closing out the live auction and following personal greetings by Abdul to more than half of the crowd, was a custom 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia donated by Ken Gorin of THE COLLECTION. After the auction, guests were entertained with a live performance by Tony Award-winning music production Jersey Boys, a story-like show based on the lives of famed 1960s rock-‘n’-roll group, The Four Seasons.
Following dinner and dancing, and for the third year in a row, guests re-entered the Mezzanine to celebrate the Ball’s success at the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub, titled “Enter the Dragon” and hosted by Robert Hill, Shareef Malnik,Michael Capponi, Clif Loftin and Antonio Misuraca. Taiko drummers were replaced with go-go dancers and their drumming with beats by DJ Joe Dert, as guests – both Ball attendees and the next generation of contributors – were captivated by a retrospective fashion show by Nicole Miller featuring a collection of the designer’s looks previously worn by celebrities includingAngelina Jolie, Demi Moore, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Helena Christensen, Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Sheryl Crow and Carmen Electra, among others. Ball attendee and international model Ines Rivero made a surprise appearance as the show’s opening and closing model.
More than 900 A-list VIPs, socialites, philanthropists and celebrities attended the Ball – joining the likes of live auction emcee Paula Abdul and auction item presenter Gabrielle Anwar, including E!’s Michael Yo; founders of Market America J.R. and Loren Ridinger with daughter Amber; Lifetime Benefactors Al and Nancy Malnik; attorney Jim Ferraro; President of THE COLLECTION Ken Gorin; designer Rene Ruiz; international model Ines Rivero; designer Nicole Miller; nightlife impresariosMichael Capponi and Antonio Misuraca; artist Romero Britto; founders of clothing line Bogosse Patrick and Fabrice Tardieu; television personality Katrina Campins, Thomas Kramer, and more.
It is mid-afternoon and Al Malnik is in the middle of a half dozen projects that range from business interests and philanthropic commitments to overseeing the renovation of a house next door to his oceanfront home, where his six young children will bunk down with friends, and where he can display his lifelong collection of sculptures, paintings and Asian art.
His phone hasn’t stopped ringing. His three assistants have questions on upcoming appointments, his chef asks what he would like for dinner, and his contractor team wants advice about where to put a wall.
“I am a multitasker and always have been,” says Malnik, a lawyer-cum-businessman and real estate investor, who created Miami Beach’s The Forge restaurant in 1968. “I love to keep busy. By mixing work with my hobbies, charities and family, I am blessed with a wonderful life.”
And a fulfilling one. For starters, Malnik, who married Nancy Gresham in 1995, 20 years after divorcing his first wife, has 10 children. His oldest from the first marriage are Shareef, who has a law degree and now owns The Forge, which recently underwent a $10-million renovation; Andrea, who also has a law degree; Susan, a psychologist; and Allison, a Palm Beach County teacher. With Nancy, he has triplets Spencer, Jarod and Nathan, 12; Jesse, 5; and twins Noah and Sterling, 4.
“I was a playboy for a long time between my marriages, but when I met Nancy in 1991, I was so impressed. I dated her for four years,” he says. “She was beautiful, unusual, smart, business-oriented, and filled with enthusiasm and imagination. We married at my ranch in west Boca Raton before nearly 500 people.”
Today, the Malniks are major movers and shakers in the world of philanthropy. They work together on dozens of charity projects and fundraisers. Malnik is a member of the George E. Merrick Society of the University of Miami, which honors those whose commitment to the University has reached a superior level, as well as a founding donor of the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He also is a founder of Mount Sinai Medical Center, and is the only person named a lifetime benefactor of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Malniks have been active in Make-A-Wish for 10 years and help with the annual Miami gala by opening their Palm Beach County home for a spring pre-party.
“Al Malnik is everybody’s favorite guy,” says Lea Black, wife of attorney Roy Black and a prominent Miami philanthropist. “He is fun, fabulous and philanthropic, with so much energy and big ideas. Plus, he has an extraordinary wife and adorable kids.”
Malnik is the sole sponsor of the Al & Nancy Malnik Family Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Research Fund in honor of one of his young children who has suffered from the disease but is now in remission. For this endeavor, Malnik, who says doctors have made “startling discoveries” in AML, was honored at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
“I think it is vitally important to give back, and we make it a very big part of our lives,” says Malnik.
The philanthropist has recently set up a trust at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital for neurological services. And he has helped launch the new Nat King Cole Generation Hope foundation and its Boca Raton fundraisers.
“Al helped us start Nat King Cole Generation Hope, and through his generosity we have helped support music education in local schools,” says Timolin Cole, president of the foundation. “He is a dear friend of our family.”
Born in St. Louis to a father in the wholesale candy and tobacco business, Malnik attended Washington
University there, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree. He married and served in the U.S. Army as a guided missile officer, reaching the rank of reserve captain. After his stint, he attended the University of Miami School of Law and graduated with honors.
“I hated St. Louis weather, so after law school I stayed in Miami, setting up my home in Coral Gables,” he says. “I really loved practicing law, especially trial work. It was challenging and fun.”
Indeed, he handled some of the most colorful clients in the country, including big names like Huntington Hartford, heir to A&P grocery stores; legendary hotel owners Ben Novack Sr. (Fontainebleau, Miami), Morris Landsberg (Flamingo, Las Vegas), Dan Lifter (Marco Polo, Miami) and Sam Cohen (Riviera Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas).
He practiced law for 10 years, forsaking it in the late 1960s to invest in real estate and create business ventures. He started a filmmaking company, where he worked with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Debbie Reynolds in the United States and Europe, and a jukebox business. He also invested in late-night clubs and other commercial properties.
His intelligence, charm and show biz contacts led him into these more lavish and lucrative playgrounds. He sold the film and music businesses when he decided to build some of his own fantasy palaces.
“I created The Forge on a bet,” he laughs. “I kept complaining about how bad all of the area steak houses were. So I bought the real estate on 41st Street in Miami Beach and built it as a hobby.”
Since Malnik continued to take regular business trips to Rome, Paris, London and Geneva, he bought stained glass and antiques and designed The Forge himself, using his European purchases to decorate what would become a drop-dead gorgeous and ornate old-world interior with the glitz of a Las Vegas casino. The Forge has won the International Grand Master Wine Award and was voted the No. 1 steak house in America by Wine Spectator in 1996.
He also developed Miami’s Sky Lake Country Club, Cricket Club and restaurant, California Club residences, shopping centers and several Coconut Grove restaurants, including Lady Bug, Honey for the Bears and My Other Place. He sold all of them and bought sexy resorts in the Poconos, with Champagne flowing into heart-shaped bathtubs.
While visiting Europe, he bought a fashion magazine in Paris and hung out with an artsy crowd that included singer Sylvie Vartan and actor Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Event of the season – which gets bigger and better each year.
Nine hundred thousand dollars were raised to grant wishes to children
Twenty Taiko drummers perched on a platform were mesmerizing
Endless seafood, steaks, sushi, delicious Asian fare and cocktails
Ribbon Dancer, Samurai Swordsmen, Friendship Gates, Ice Sculptures
Thanks to the committee: Norm Wedderburn, Shareef Malnik, Robert Hill
Hanging from the ceiling: 1,000 orange lanterns and 350 purple parasols
Everyone danced along with the Jersey Boys, sounds by DJs Irie and Dert
Dragon (42 feet long) dramatically paraded guest into the ballroom
Ready to Live – by Duane McLaughlin and children’s choir was inspiring
Auction – hosted by talented and dynamic Paula Abdul raised $160,000
Gorgeous Geishas greeted guest, posed and performed
Orange blossom Tree of Life made of silk and 7,000 crystals was the bar
Nicole Miller fashion show and after party kept us dancing into the morning
Pop Culture Icon Paula Abdul To Emcee The 16th Annual Intercontinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball – Al MalnikNovember 8th, 2010
Saturday, November 6
7:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception
8:30 p.m. Dinner, Live Auction, Celebrity Entertainment, Dancing
100 Chopin Plaza Miami, FL
Tables, wishes and other sponsorship opportunities can be purchased by calling 954.967.9474, extension 318, or by visiting www.makeawishball.com.
InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Enter the Dragon Nightclub to follow
Reservations for the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub After Party with the Jersey Boys can be made at 305-695-4410 or email@example.com
Star of CBS’ new show Live To Dance to bring star power to raise funds for Southern Florida children in need, November 6, 2010
On Saturday, November 6, 2010, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida and InterContinental Miami will celebrate the 16th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball with an Asian-inspired, Zen-like theme. With world-recognized host Paula Abdul as the emcee of the much-buzzed-about live auction, an energetic live performance by Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys and the third anniversary of the Ball’s InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub, the evening will undoubtedly capture the “Art of the Wish.”
“This year’s Ball is destined to be the most memorable yet,” said Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida. “We have a very special and impactful line-up of events planned this year that, when coupled with the impressive list of participants and supporters – most notably, Paula Abdul – will make for an unforgettable evening and the perfect celebration following a record-breaking year of wish granting.”
The Ball’s “Three Amigos” – President/CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, Norm Wedderburn; Ball Chairman Shareef Malnik, proprietor of The Forge | Restaurant and Wine Bar; and, InterContinental Miami’s General Manager Robert Hill – have together made the Ball a reality. Hill stated, “It is an honor to again join forces with these two outstanding gentlemen for a cause that has become near and dear to my heart and all of us here at the InterContinental Miami. With their contagious energy, unwavering support of South Florida’s kind-hearted philanthropists and the plentitude of enticing auction items, I have no doubt we will exceed our expectations yet again this year. Other notable contributors include Lifetime Benefactors Al and Nancy Malnik; Grand Benefactors Stanley and Gala Cohen; Founding Benefactors Howard and Barbara Glicken; and Wish Star Benefactor James L. Ferraro, as well as Wish Benefactors Harvey and Roberta Chaplin, Stuart A. Miller of Lennar Corporation and Robert Press of Trafalgar Capital Advisors.
Upon arrival, guests will immediately experience the excitement of this year’s Ball as they transcend into an Asian realm reminiscent of their great cultures. Produced by Javier Velarde of Triton Productions, the hotel’s mezzanine will be transformed by Geishas, Samurai swordsmen, ribbon dancers, a gigantic Orange Blossom tree and other Asian visions that will be brought to life by the palpable energy of live Taiko drummers.
During the cocktail reception, guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktail stations while having the opportunity to bid on more than 130 premier items donated by top hospitality, entertainment, fashion and luxury brands
Highlights include a guitar autographed by John Mayer; children’s Mercedes-Benz ride-on SUV; luxury goods by Betsey Johnson, Valentino, Burberry, Diane Von Furstenberg, Longchamp USA, Judith Ripka and more; and hospitality packages that range from local Miami stay-cations to destination packages such as a week-long luxury stay in the Grand Cayman Islands, and a number of worldwide travel experiences courtesy of the InterContinental Hotels and Resorts: InterContinental Athens, InterContinental Boston, InterContinental Carlton Cannes, InterContinental Chicago, InterContinental Le Grand Paris, InterContinental Madrid, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, InterContinental, InterContinental Monte Lucia, InterContinental New Orleans, InterContinental The Barclay New York, InterContinental Rio de Janeiro, InterContinental Toronto Yorkville and InterContinental Willard Washington DC, among others.
Following the reception, resident Ball and Miami Heat celebrity beat-master DJ Irie will lead guests into the main ballroom with lively music along with the aroma of Chef Feher’s decadent dinner. After the 4 course meal, the Ball’s famous action-packed live auction will ensue and will be emceed by none other than Paula Abdul, host of some of the world’s most notable television and award shows, who recently announced her venture as creative partner, executive producer and lead expert on a panel of judges for CBS’s new show Live To Dance.
Up for bid will be a 2011 Ferraro 458 Italia donated by Ken Gorin of The Collection; a walk-on role for the film Tower Heist starring Ben Stiller, donated by director Brett Ratner; another walk-on roll for the USA Network’s hit show Burn Notice, filmed on-site in Miami; a $30,000 gift certificate for Rene Ruiz Couture provided by the designer himself; the ultimate Los Angeles Jet-Setting weekend getaway courtesy of Jason Binn and Niche Media; a luxurious Judith Ripka-inspired New York City experience complete with a $5,000 shopping piece from the designer’s collection; and an all-expenses-paid getaway to chic hotspot St. Barth’s, as well as a spectacular tour of the Orient with accommodations courtesy of InterContinental Hotels.
After the auction, guests will be entertained with a live grand finale performance by Tony Award-winning music production Jersey Boys, a story-like show based on the lives of famed 1960s rock-‘n’-roll group, The Four Seasons.
For the third year in a row, the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub “Enter the Dragon” will celebrate and support the Ball’s endeavors as well as introduce the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida to the next generation of contributors. “The InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub has been instrumental in raising awareness of the Ball and its mission to an entirely new group — a generation we hope will one day be our new lifetime benefactors and ultimately continue the power of the wish,” said Gala Chairman Malnik. You need to mention the fashion show by Nicole Miller – Michael Capponi, The Capponi Group and Antonio Misuraca – reservations for the After Party can be made at 305-695-4410 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tables for the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball range from $5,000 to $20,000. Wish Sponsorships start at $5,000. Tables, wishes and other sponsorship opportunities can be purchased by calling 954.967.9474, extension 318, or by visiting www.makeawishball.com.
The mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of 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 15-year history, the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball has raised in excess of $8.6 million. With these much needed funds, the Foundation has been able to grant more than 1,900 wishes for deserving children in our community. Past VIP guests of the Ball have included Pamela Anderson, Sharon Stone, Kim Kardashian, Esteban Cortazar, Governor Charlie Crist, Scottie and Larsa Pippen, Russell Simmons, Venus and Serena Williams, Don King, Sex in the City’s Candace Bushnell, Marcus Schenkenberg, Pauly Shore, and performers Macy Gray, Natalie Cole and Wyclef Jean, Bernadette Peters, the late Nell Carter, Ricki Lake, Deborah Gibson, the Beatles tribute band Beatlemania and The Honey Brothers featuring Adrian Grenier.
More than 200 guests braved the rain on Sunday to attend one of the premiere events of the year: the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball Garden Party at Al and Nancy Malnik’s, oceanfront estate in Palm Beach. Not sure if the monsoon was in keeping with this year’s Asian theme- we wouldn’t put it past them. But despite the rain, guests were in good spirits, some joking about getting splashed by the mermaid in the fountain on the way in. The intimate gathering was the first event of the year in honor of the highly anticipated annual ball, to be held Saturday, November 6, 2010.
Adding some “Hooo-aah!” to this year’s garden party was Burn Notice star, Gabrielle Anwar, who originally gained fame for her Tango scene alongside Al Pacino in the Golden Globe winning film, Scent of A Woman. Anwar was canoodling with Shareef Malnik and playing with her son and daughter and the clan of Malnik children throughout the afternoon. When the party was over, Anwar and Shareef left together, schlepping a car seat and stroller for Shareef’s 9 month-old grandson, whom Shareef kept on his hip the entire day. Talk about “doting”-very endearing indeed. (Incidentally, Shareef has six siblings ages 11 and under- among the world’s youngest “great aunts and uncles!”) The youngest Malnik was enthralled with the gorgeous Geisha girls at the party. That’s one fruit that’s fallen close to home.
Also adding flair to the party was a flamboyant (and frisky) Don King, who delightfully posed for photos with several female attendees. Other notable party guests included Norman Wedderburn, President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida; Robert Hill, Gala Host and General Manager of InterContinental Miami, Rene Ruiz, Brad Rosenblatt, Jillian Jacobson, Erika Shriftman Koopman, Tara Solomon and Nick D’Annunzio. Guests were treated to Rising Suns, a specialty cocktail designed by The Forge Restaurant & Wine Bar’s mixologist; hors d’oeuvres; beats by DJ Joe Dert and a performance by Japanese Taiko drummers Fushu Daiko. This year’s goal is to grant 525 wishes. You can help make that happen by contacting the Foundation at (888) 773-WISH or visiting:
It’s been months now since the untimely passing of Michael Jackson. Yet somehow, he remains very much a part of the public consciousness. Part of that is the documentary, “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” which collects the pop legend’s final rehearsal footage. Not only did the release trigger the flood of Jackson memorializing anew, the doc itself notably doesn’t ever explicitly say that he’s left us. What’s interesting about all of the personal remembrances to have surface is the picture that they paint. Jackson was famously reclusive in his later years, trailed by controversy and somehow standing apart from the cult of celebrity, even as he sat at its pinnacle. Only through the recent doc and the memories of his family and friends are we now getting a picture of the man behind all of that mystery. Brett Ratner is one of those people Jackson was close with, and he’s been sharing generously on Twitter for some time. The latest, today’s Daily TwitPic shows us the “Rush Hour” director with Michael, Chris Tucker and Jackson friend Al Malnik in Acapulco for Ratner’s birthday.