Holiday…Celebrate…

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On December - 28 - 2011

Reggie Bush and DJ Irie

 By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

It was time to get together, take some time to celebrate: in between frantic trips to the mall, egg nog overdoses and merriment galore.  A couple of terrific parties took place on South Beach, during an otherwise slow party week.  From the Irie Foundation bash to the Little Lighthouse’s swank toy drive cocktail, the week of “Christma-kkah” shone bright with the spirit of giving.

Irie Foundation Helps Kids

Our own favorite Miami Heat DJ, Irie, a celebrity in his own right and an all-around-great guy, threw a holiday bash in a waterfront manse on Indian Creek to benefit the Irie Foundation which seeks to improve the lives of South Florida’s disadvantaged youth through educational and extracurricular opportunities.

The party was co-produced by Ludus, a local athletic company/lifestyle apparel brand, in a setting to rival Santa’s Enchanted Forest in terms of lights, decorations, props and surprises- we’re talking carolers, Santa; and models (barely) dressed as toy soldiers, elves, nutcrackers and characters from Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas There was even fake snow being pumped through the crisp night sky. Premier Beverages and Stoli Vodka kept the spirits flowing for guests including Micky and Madeleine Arison; Reggie Bush; Alonzo and Tracy Mourning and a few hundred other scenesters.

In announcing the fundraiser, Ludus’ CEO, Hamed Wardak said, “We are so proud to support the Irie Foundation. As a former refugee, I value education. DJ Irie has brought to my attention that many promising youth in this city really need better educational opportunities which will help them become more accomplished people.” DJ Irie added, “I’m extremely excited to co-produce this event with Hamed & Ludus. This time of year is all about spreading joy and goodwill and we share the same vision of a better South Florida through the education and support of our youth.”  With a particular emphasis on the arts, the foundation’s ultimate goal is to improve the graduation rate among the young people it serves.  For more information or to make a donation, visit:  http://www.iriefoundation.org/.


Little Lighthouse Foundation’s Holiday Toy Drive

Prominent attorney and man-about-town, Aaron Resnick hosted the Little Lighthouse Foundation’s holiday party and toy drive on December 21, at his home at the posh ICON South Beach.   Resnick, along with Robert Sena, Charlie Venturi and Aracibo Quintana are co-founders of the Little Lighthouse Foundation, which provides financial support to families in need. A few hundred stylish locals gathered to contribute funds and gifts for the children living at the homeless assistance center run by the Community Partnership for the Homeless and enjoy flowing champagne, top-shelf cocktails including Botram rum and fresh-from-the-ocean stone crabs donated by Roger Duarte, owner of George Stone Crabs.    

Guests, including Melissa Katz, Seth Browarnik, Stacey Josloff, Evan Kaye, Angela Santamaria, Robert Sena, Charlie Venturi, Aracibo Quintana, Sonya Olsen, Alan Randolph, Sorah Daiha, Erin and Dale Newberg, Jason and Kacey Goldstein, Eric Even, Ana Isabel Alvarado and Roger Duarte, donated over $5,000 and well over 300 gifts for the children living at the Community Partnership for Homeless.   Art work from celebrity photographer Seth Browarnik’s Art of Night exhibition was prominently displayed throughout Resnick’s home, with the photog on-hand to discuss the unique photos.  

Volunteers from the Little Lighthouse Foundation delivered the gifts to the children a couple of days later, making for a thrilling and emotional day.  Founded in 2010, the Little Lighthouse Foundation is comprised of a network of active young professionals who contribute time and money in addition to producing highprofile events to benefit children and their families throughout South Florida. The charity hosts a number of social events each year and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to date. To get involved, visit: www.thelittlelighthouse.org.

 photo credit: World Red Eye

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Mary Jo Almeida-Shore,Jose Almeida,Maryanne Salvat
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