Archive for the ‘Social Work’ Category

Shine-On

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 1 - 2009

tracy-wilson-mourning-and-honey-bugsMore than 500 women and a few good men gathered on Tuesday, as Tracy Wilson Mourning hosted the 7th Annual Hats off Luncheon at Jungle Island in support of the Honey Shine Mentoring Program, which funds bi-monthly workshops and a four-week summer day camp for 100 at- risk girls. Well-heeled socialites, including Lisa Pliner, DJ Kerr, Jennifer Postrel, Marisa Toccin, Merle Weiss, Heather Davis, Jennifer Boin, Nancy and Lana Bernstein, Daisy A. Casuso and Mari Alarcon-Grimalt, and Jackie Nespral (who served as mc) would have made Minnie Pearle proud by sporting their favorite fedoras, bonnets, panama hats and sombreros at one of the most exciting luncheons of the year. One guest wore a hand-made straw hat decorated with a real garden, butterflies and all!

 

 

  

 

 

An Afternoon in the Garden of Good

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 23 - 2009

Sterling Nancy, Jesse and Al Malnik at Maw Garden Party

Al and Nancy Malnik, lifetime benefactors of the Intercontinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, hosted an intimate garden party at their palatial, Art Deco estate on Sunday, for two hundred of the foundation’s top supporters. During his emotional address, Malnik set the bar for this year’s Intercontinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball at a record $2,000,000.00, eliciting a collective gasp from the select crowd. The billionaire with the huge heart motivated and moved his guests with a personal account, “Nancy and I have recently been touched with our own personal tragedy with one of our little ones, so the foundation has come to mean even more than ever before.” Al Malnik’s son, Shareef, returning Gala Chair, beamed with pride as his father spoke, making it obvious that the two have a close relationship and that Shareef admires his father’s zeal and stamina, (after all, Al, who is in his mid-seventies, has given Shareef six siblings ages of ten and under!) Now that’s chutzpa!

The jazz band and choir from King’s Academy entertained the crowd, who mingled in the estate’s gardens, just steps from the ocean, enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails on a perfect Sunday afternoon. At last year’s garden party, a team of synchronized swimmers delighted guests by performing various numbers in the pool, with the precision and prowess of the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas.

Distinguished guests included Norman Wedderburn, President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, who assured supporters that he “would not stop, would not sleep, until every wish was granted;” Jack Miller, General Manager of Hotel InterContinental Miami and Gala Host of the IMAW Ball; L. Robert Elias, Chairman of the Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and James Ferraro, of The Ferraro Law Firm and Wish Benefactor of the IMAW Ball. Other notable guests in attendance: champion boxer, Bernard Hopkins, burgeoning singer/songwriter, Jamie Jo Harris, designer, Richie Rich, Baby Chic, Nick D’ Annunzio, Tara Solomon, Fabian Basabe, Antonio Misuraca and Michael Valdes. The palpable excitement prevailed throughout the afternoon, in anticipation of this year’s ball to be held on November 7 at the Hotel Intercontinental. Over 900 guests are expected to attend. This year’s host remains a secret, but several attendees requested Sharon Stone return as host this year. Shareef promised he would try. Kim Kardashian did a good job last year, but Sharon Stone left some pretty tall stilettos to fill after the 2007 gala!

 

 

Back in Black

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 23 - 2009

Lance BassRoy and Lea Black upped the hip factor once again at their annual Power of Hope charity gala benefitting the Consequences Program and Bay Point Schools, held at the newly revamped Eden Roc Hotel, (which is sure to bring some stiff competition to it’s next door neighbor), as evidenced by the crush of people gathered around the red carpet to catch a glimpse of the many celebs promised to make an appearance.As usual, the Blacks delivered, hosting a perfect evening replete with stellar performances and a guest list to include: Lance Bass, Dennis Rodman, Joe Francis, Craig David, Mario Barth, Jeffrey Donovan, Moon Bloodgood,. Vicki Gunvalson, Elaine Lancaster, Richie Rich, and Bernard Hopkins (and those were just the VVIPs who DIDN’T perform)!

The night started off with a lavish reception in the Eden Roc’s swank lobby, and resembled a “Taste of the Beach,” with mini food stations set up from some of the area’s favorite restaurants including, the Setai, Bova Prime, and 8 oz Burger Bar to name a few.Grey Goose lounges were conveniently stationed throughout the lobby surrounding the extensive silent auction, because the evening’s liquour sponsor knows there’s nothing like a buzz to get people bidding!People were having such a great time during the reception that event staff struggled to coax the crowd into the ballroom when it was time for the dinner to begin.

During the four course meal, Roy Black got on-stage and said, “Thank you for your money and thank you for your time.That’s my line,” but then gave an inspiring speech, in which he encouraged guests to be generous by saying, “Better to be smart on crime than tough on crime, before introducing a Bay Point School’s graduate who is now attending Barry University and working in a law firm.Next, Lea Black took over for the live auction, and was relentless on the mic, working hard to get the attention of the noisy, talkative crowd.The Texas-native would be a welcomed addition to the Bay Point School’s award-winning staff- if she can wrangle over 1, 000 rowdy socialites on a Saturday night, imagine what she can do with a bunch of teenagers!To be cliché:“Don’t Mess with Texas!”At one point, Roy got back on the stage and quipped, “The only way to keep her (Lea) contained is to get her off the mic. “ Lea managed to raise top dollar amounts for auction items including the Jeffrey Rackover diamond earrings worn by Maria Conchita Alonso during her performance, a spot on the waiting list for the first 2010 Rolls-Royce EX200 from Braman Rolls Royce in Miami, a speaking part on Burn Notice, VIP tickets to the Indianapolis 500 and VIP tickets to the Heavy Weight Championship in Las Vegas among other terrific items.Lea also boasted about the Power of Hope Gala, which was put on for a mere $35, 000 and raised $1.4 million.Not bad for a night’s work.

Several superstars performed throughout the evening, including:Elvis Crespo, Craig David, Jencarlos Canela, Alto Reed, Maria Conchita Alonso, and comedienne, Heather McDonald.The crowd did not seem to mind that there wasn’t a dance floor, especially when Patti LaBelle (back by popular demand for a second year) took to the stage and belted out “Hey Sister Soul Sister…” which got everyone on their feet and dancing between the tables.LaBelle followed her performance of Lady Marmalade with a touching rendition of Over the Rainbow.The crowd showed no intention of leaving well after midnight, when Lil Wayne, took over to sing a few songs.DJ Irie capped off the exciting night, spinning his usual, addictive music.

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Who Let the Dogs Out?

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 21 - 2009

Dwyane WadeOK, so it may have seemed as though Miami was in the doghouse with regard to celebrities last weekend thanks to the Super Bowl mayhem a few miles west, but the doghouse was just the place to be on Friday night, for Pawpurrazzi, the annual fundraiser for the Humane Society that was held at Jungle Island, showing that socialites and VIPs love few things more than their dogs. Designer Rene Ruiz and pooch Dexter Rosenblatt wore matching red and black outfits. Dexter’s was emblazoned with the label “Rene” in rhinestones. Dogs walked the catwalk in the “Great Pets Who Walk in Front of Great People” show. I mean, have you ever?!?! Strutting their stuff on the runway behind their pups were Read the rest of this entry »

Party with a Purpose

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 9 - 2009

On Saturday evening Roy and Lea Black hosted the pre-party forroy-and-lea their annual gala at Canyon Ranch with a swank soiree attended by scensesters such a s Merle and Danny Weiss, Michael Capponi and girlfriend, Genevieve Lake, Chris Ciccone, Elaine Lancaster, Fabian and Martina Basabe, Rene Ruiz, Ariel Stein and a few hundred others, alongside celebrities, Maria Conchita Alonso, Lucia Mendez, Flex and Alto Reed. Lea Black took to the stage and waxed poetic saying, “If we shine together we shine so much brighter,” as she encouraged the influential crowd to buy tickets and make donations to the upcoming gala on April 18, to benefit Bay Point Schools for at-risk youth. Guests were nearly blown away, literally, on this gusty evening. Maria Conchita Alonzo was no exception, channeling Marilyn Monroe in her flirty pink dress, as she took over the mic to belt out three songs, including “Old Time Rock and Roll” alongside Alto Reed on sax. Alonso lauded Rene Ruiz, thanking him for designing her dress and invited him to join her on-stage. The Blacks’ annual gala, set to take place at the newly revamped Eden Rock Hotel has got a celebrity roster which includes: Pamela Anderson, Lance Bass, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Oscar de la Hoya, Christian Castro, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Queen Latifah, Lennox Lewis, Mike Piazza and Serena Williams to name a few. Entertainment will be provided by Patty La Belle, Heather McDonald, Jencarlos Canela and DJ Irie. For tickets and more information, email: Jason Clarke at jasonfclarke@hotmail.com.

 

Sporting for a Great Cause

The 2nd Annual Nautica South Beach Triathlon took place on Sunday. Throngs joined the likes of Anna Kournikova, who ran while sporting a huge, canary diamond ring, (ever heard of hand weights?), "The Bachelor's" Andy Baldwin, "Dancing with the Stars’" Cristian de la Fuente and winners of "The Biggest Loser:" Michelle Aguilar and Ali Vincent, to run, bike and swim with over 1,600 others, all of whom helped to raise $137, 500 for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

Coming Up

Walk this Way

On Saturday, April, 11, MTV Latin America & Music Industry – Finding A Cure invite you to Walk this Way, benefitting AIDS WALK MIAMI 2009 hosted by former MTV Latin America VJ, Eglantina Zing at Guitar Showroom, 180 NE 39th Street in the Miami Design District. The event kicks off at eight with free drinks provided by UV Vodka and performances by Carlos Bertonatti, Zania and DJ Mauricio Parra. A minimum five dollar donation is requested.

 

By the Power of RA

Competitive eaters rejoice! On Tuesday, April 14, 2009 RA Sushi Restaurant is hosting the “Spring Sushi Showdown,” where for only ten bucks you can challenge fellow sushi aficionados in an eating frenzy aimed at a grand prize of free sushi for a year, a $600 value, in case you’ll ever be able to look at the stuff again. There are other great prizes and food and drink specials for all who attend. Proceeds from the gorge-fest will go to the Wellness Community of Greater Miami providing education, support and hope to those affected by cancer. Registration, which is limited to thirty, is a must. Applications are available at RA Sushi in South Miami, 5829 SW 73rd Street. Deadline to register is Sunday, April 12 and all eaters must be at least 18 years old to participate. Registration to compete includes a $10 entry fee (cash only).

Celebrity Sightings

Good Charlotte front-man, Joel Madden, took to the turntables Saturday night for the private preview party of the new Opium at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, where he’s moonlighting as resident DJ. This Saturday, expect to see Kim Kardashian at the new hot spot for the official ribbon-cutting. Over the weekend, Alonzo Mourning dined at RA Sushi; Zack Thomas dined at Area 31; Burn Notice’s Gabrielle Anwar, fawned over the gorgeous jewelry at Francisca Bastos Designs; and Olympic champ, Dara Torres, and actor, Owen Wilson, attended Sony Erickson. Zac Posen showcased his collection at Neiman Marcus Merrick Park last week and dined at Maison D’ Azur, in the trendy Astor Hotel on Monday. NBA stars David West, Chris Paul, James Posey and Rasual Butler stopped into B.E.D. for the popular “Secret Society” Monday night party.  Also arriving around the same time were MTV’s own “Daddy’s Girls” Vanessa and Angela Simmons.

What a Rush

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On March - 19 - 2009

Kim KardashianKim Kardashian served as the gorgeous and gracious hostess for Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation‘s star-studded Art For Life Miami Beach gala to benefit art programs for disadvantaged youths at the Fontainebleau on Saturday. Despite Kardashian’s inability to pronounce the word, “philanthropic,” the reality star has demonstrated her commitment to the organization by answering, “Yes,” time and time again when asked for support, explained Danny Simmons. This year, Kardashian auctioned off the dress she wore when she met Prince Albert of Monaco. No word on what happened while she was in the dress or if there’s any incriminating evidence on it, (ala Monica Lewinski’s infamous blue Gap dress). Kardashian’s dress is still on the auction block, in case you’d like to run some tests on it before you get it dry cleaned. Other items up for bid at http://www.charitybuzz.com through March 24, include VIP passes to Beyonce’s upcoming tour; a meet and greet with Kanye West; portraits of Will Smith and Morgan Freeman by celebrated photographer Robert G. Zuckerman; a trip to Four Seasons Great Exuma; and a roundtrip seaplane excursion for eight courtesy of V1 Jets.

Honorees at this year’s gala, which was chaired by Forge owner, Shareef Malnik, included Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the Rubell Family Collection and Jeffrey Soffer, Chairman of Fontainebleau Resorts. A visibly surprised Alonzo Mourning, was given a congratulatory tribute on the retirement of his Miami Heat jersey and an award for his numerous philanthropic endeavors through Alonzo Mourning Charities. Celebrity attendees included, charming actress Vivica Fox, who assured us that the upcoming Curb Your Enthusiasm season will be the funniest yet; extra crispy actor-turned-author, George Hamilton; New Orleans Saint/Kim Kardashian-beau, Reggie Bush; Miami Dolphin, Brandon London; former Mexican President Vicente Fox and his wife Marta (no relation to Vivica); Miss Africa USA 2008-2009, Nyasha Zimucha and legendary soul singer Betty Wright.

Upstairs at the Fontainebleau, in the Glimmer Ballroom, the Wellness Community held its 8th annual Heart & Star gala, co- chaired by real estate developer/hospitality entrepreneur/ nightlife impresario, Michael Capponi. What the event lacked in celebrity muscle, it made up for in elegance and glamour. Over 400 VIPs gathered to support the Wellness Community, which provides services and support to families living with cancer. Among the A-listers in attendance: CBS-TV’s chief weathercaster Lonnie Quinn; Alan and Diane Lieberman; South Beach publishing magnate, Jerry Powers; CEO and founder of Niche Media, Jason Binn; attorney Danny Weiss and his wife, arts activist Merle; Brazilian neo-pop artist, painter and sculptor, Romero Britto; and Rock Band, founder, Lee Dahlberg. Among the top-selling items in the live auction were: a custom painting by Romero Britto, a chance for a young basketball fan to be a “ball manager” on the court during a home Miami Heat game and a full day aboard Capponi’s yacht, complete with gas, food and drinks. Because two of the most well-respected nightlife impresarios, Shareef Malnik and Michael Capponi, chaired galas on the same night at the same time, a number of socialites were forced to shuttle between the two, much like Katherine Heigl’s character in 27 Dresses. Leaving them to wonder, “Doesn’t anybody own a calendar around here?”

 

The official Art for Life Miami Beach after-party took place the next night at the Forge’s Soul Kitchen, where guests Queen Latifah, Indianapolis Colt, Dwight Freeney, Kansas City Chief, Larry Johnson, San Francisco 49er, Vernon Davis, Arizona Cardinal, Darnell Dockett, Dallas Cowboy, Marion Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Antonio Bryant, and congressman, Kendrick Meek feasted on traditional Southern cuisine. Hosted by, you guessed it, Russell Simmons and Shareef Malnik, the event raised additional awareness and funding for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

 

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Mary Jo Almeida-Shore,Jose Almeida,Maryanne Salvat
(from left to right)

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