Party for a Price

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On November - 12 - 2009

lead-photo-for-party-for-a-price-adrienne-arsht-ricky-arriolaNecessity is the mother of invention, and creativity for that matter. In an age where charitable dollars are hard to come by, organizations are getting more and more creative when it comes to urging people to part with their contributions. Over the past couple of weeks lucky guests have been treated to a cruise to nowhere, brushes with celebrity and mystery dinners. This weekend packs in more excitement with a celebrity scavenger hunt, right in our own backyard.


 Just Sit Right back and you’ll hear a Tale…

About last Friday’s fateful and fabulous trip for more than 300 guests aboard the Seabourn Odyssey. One of the hottest and by “hot“ we mean “pricy,” tickets in town this month (cabins ranged from $5,000-$125,000), Arts Odyssey: A Collaboration was a benefit for the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and its three resident companies: Florida Grand Opera; Miami City Ballet; and New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy. Three for the price of one! Like a swankified S.S. Minnow of sorts, heavy on “Howells,” but light on the “Gilligans.” Playing the role of Ginger Rogers: the legendary, Tony Award-winning, Bernadette Peters. The evening began with a sundown sail-away celebration at the Sky Bar followed by a six-course dinner and performances in the Grand Salon by Florida Grand Opera, New World Symphony and Bernadette Peters, (stunning in a lavender Bob Mackie gown), who sang a selection of songs including “Let Me Entertain You,” “Fever,” “No One Is Alone,” and “Some Enchanted Evening,” (we weren’t kidding about the “Ginger Rogers” part!)

Distinguished chairpersons of Arts Odyssey, aboard this not-so-tiny ship, included: Adrienne Arsht, Arlene and Laurans Mendelson (Florida Grand Opera), Bobi and Jim Eroncig (Miami City Ballet), and Sandy and Stephen Muss (New World Symphony). VIPs in attendance included Pamela C. Conover, President and CEO of The Yachts of Seabourn; John Richard, CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center; Howard Herring, President and CEO of New World Symphony; Edward Villella, President and CEO of Miami City Ballet, and wife Linda Villella; Robert Heuer, General Director and CEO of Florida Grand Opera; Ricky Arriola, Chairman of the Performing Arts Center Trust; Micky Arison, CEO of Carnival Corporation and Miami Heat owner, and wife Madeleine Arison; Lin Arison, Founder of the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts; Sarah Arison, President of the Arison Arts Foundation; Ron Esserman, owner of Esserman International, and wife Charlene Esserman; Robert Barlick of Goldman Sachs, and wife Ana-Marie Barlick; Armando and Margarita Codina; Alan and Diane Lieberman; philanthropists Sanford and Dolores Ziff; attorney and art collector Marvin Ross-Friedman and Adrienne Bon Haes;  Dr. Arthur and Sari Agatston; and Jorge Plasencia, Chairman and CEO of República.


A Mystery No More


MOCA’s Mystery Dates fundraiser was also a welcomed break from the typical gala scheme. The event was hosted by the MOCA Shakers, the young professional members of the museum, chaired by Erin Newberg and Ivonne Ronderos. The Grey Goose cocktail at Museo Vault kicked-off the night of artsy fun with a select fashionable and hip crowd who were anxious to learn of their impending dining destinations (that was the mystery). The locations varied from a loft in Wynwood, to a tree top terrace in a contemporary glass house in Coconut Grove, to a post modern home in Coral Gables, to waterfront homes in Key Biscayne and South Beach, but the consensus among the guests was that each unique location featured beautifully set tables, a chic ambiance and a delicious meal (several dinners were prepared by private chefs). Gracious hosts included: Tania and Robert Bassan, Ana Suarez Burgos and Jose Alonso, Alberto Chehebar and Jocelyn Katz, Olympia De Castro and Gustavo Hernandez, Felipe Grimberg and Eduardo Ojeda, Gloria and Sergio Leyva, Kathryn and Dan Mikesell, Vivian and Ken Pfeiffer, Nicole and Michael Simkins, Michael Stein, and Rosa Sugrañes. After dinner, the party continued at the W South Beach.

Eva Longoria revs up the Engines


This weekend, not-so-desperate “Housewife” Eva Longoria Parker, joins forces with a slew of other celebs (21 and counting) and J.R. and Loren Ridinger to chair the first Rally for Kids with Cancer Scavenger Cup in Miami to benefit the Jackson Memorial Foundation, International Kids Fund (IKF) and Holtz Children’s Hospital.

Here’s how it works. Each participating team must raise a minimum of $25,000 online to enter a personal car in the rally. Next, each team gets to draft a “Celebrity Navigator” from a star-studded pool, including: Eva Longoria Parker; Adam Rodriguez, Actor, CSI: Miami; Lennox Lewis, former World Heavyweight Champion and many more. Each team’s fundraising total determines its draft position. Sounds like fun, huh?

But wait, there’s more! The Rally kicks off with an exclusive cocktail party, The “Qualifiers” Celebrity Draft Party, on November 20th, at the Ridingers’ North Bay Road manse, where each driver will have the opportunity to draft their Celebrity Navigator. To date, confirmed celebs include: Eva Longoria Parker, Desperate Housewives; Giles Marini, Brothers and Sisters and Sex and the City (shower scenes); Adam Rodriguez, CSI: Miami; Amaury Nolasco, Prison Break; Eric Winter, The Ugly Truth; Eva La Rue, CSI: Miami; Roselyn Sanchez, Without a Trace; Sofia Milos, CSI Miami; Jennifer Morrison, House; John Noble, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; Marina Sirtis, Star Trek The Next Generation, Lennox Lewis, former World Heavyweight Champion; and Robin Antin, founder of The Pussycat Dolls and Girlicious.

Saturday November 21st, the date of the actual Scavenger Cup Rally, will start off with the “Start Your Engines” brunch at The Eden Roc Renaissance. Participants will receive a Driver’s Manual filled with maps, tips and their first clue, as well as all-access passes to the worlds of sports, food, media, entertainment, travel and fashion in up to seven unique pit stops throughout the Miami area. Later that night, The Winner’s Circle “Jeans & Jewels” themed dinner takes place at the Eden Roc, featuring and auction, extravagant dinner and world class entertainment.

For more information contact Lorraine Quartaro 416 703-5371 ext. 236, 416 433-7232 or or visit

Coming Up:

Move over Facebook, this ain’t no “Yoke!”

This Friday, will launch a one-stop, super page for Miami’s savvy online social and business networkers at Viceroy Miami’s Club 50. The new site will offer users popular applications on one webpage to enhance communication with friends and colleagues across the globe (read: even more ways to kill time at work). The party offers complimentary cocktails and hands-on learning on computers that will be installed throughout the venue.  Kind of like a workshop, with drinks. The adorable and talented DJ Troy Kurtz will spin alongside Miami Heat fave, DJ Irie.

Celebrity Sightings:

Miami Dolphin, Ricky Williams, was on-hand at the soft opening of Proof, his new restaurant, at Z Ocean hotel on Tuesday. On Monday night, Colombian pop star, Juanes, hung out with Jorge Perez, Giselle Blondet, Teresa Rodriguez and Don Francisco at the Poder Awards at Viceroy Miami.

Dwyane Wade had dinner at Chef Michael Psilakis’ Eos with a group of 10 after the Heat game Saturday. That same night, Danny Masterson aka “DJ Mom Jeans” unwound at W’s hotspot, WALL, by sharing shots of Don Julio with king of crunk, Lil Jon, as local producer Scott Storch partied nearby.

On Thursday night, Mark from The Killers, Lenny Kravitz, and Nelly were seen discussing a possible collaboration together while lounging at Mondrian’s Sunset Lounge. Much later that night, Kravitz dined with a friend at 8 oz. Burger Bar.

On November 6, David Bisbal performed a few songs at the Spain US Chamber of Commerce gala at the Biltmore Hotel. On the night before, Trina Turk, apparel, accessories and home designer, celebrated the exclusive grand opening of her boutique in Bal Harbour Shops.

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