Miami Beach Reflections

Intercontinental Miami – Make A Wish Ball

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 Malnik

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

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

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.


Saturday, November 6

7:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception

8:30 p.m. Dinner, Live Auction, Celebrity Entertainment, Dancing

InterContinental Miami

100 Chopin Plaza Miami, FL

Tables, wishes and other sponsorship opportunities can be purchased by calling 954.967.9474, extension 318, or by visiting

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

Star of CBS’ new show Live To Dance to bring star power to raise funds for Southern Florida children in need.

The Garden Party Was A Knock Out!
Make-A-Wish Ball Garden Party

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.