Miami Beach Reflections

South Florida Make A Wish – Al Malnik

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.