Hats Off!

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On May - 17 - 2011
Honey Shine Hats Off Luncheon 2011 (21)

Heather Bailey, Tracy Wilson Mourning, Ayana Rodriguez, and Nadine Valme

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

 More than 500 of Miami’s leading ladies kept their hats on under the big top for the circus-themed Hats Off luncheon hosted by Tracy Wilson Mourning at Jungle Island on Tuesday, May 3, the Honey Shine Mentoring Program’s premier fundraising event.  Circus performers, colorful animal statues, a cotton candy vending machine, snow cones, circus fare and Grey Goose cocktails added excitement to the already whimsical afternoon, which began with a silent auction filled with so many name-brand and hand-crafted items that even Mourning delayed her entrance into the actual luncheon to bid on several terrific bargains. 

Once inside the main ballroom, guests delighted in the wall-to-wall circus décor: tabletops adorned with colorful linens, with centerpieces comprised of hand-painted hat boxes surrounded by circus treats including animal crackers, peanuts, and cracker jacks and a stuffed circus animal wearing a Honey Shine t-shirt on each chair. 

Honey Shine’s own 17-year old “Honey Bug,” Carcelia “Renee” Roberson, served as the emcee for the afternoon, sharing her own Honey Shine success story, with the confidence and poise of a seasoned speaker. During the lavish lunch, Mourning introduced each of the other “Honey Bugs,” at varying stages of the mentoring program, as they enthusiastically walked the runway, modeling outfits from the GAP as well as several looks designed by Lady Bug member, Manisha Patel, who also styled the volunteers and hostesses for the luncheon. 

Proceeds from this event will fund bi-monthly “Aspire to Shine” workshops in addition to Camp Honey Shine, a now six-week summer day camp for the more than 120 girls (Honey Bugs) enrolled in the program designed to “encourage the balance of mind, body and soul in girls and women by providing nurturing experiences that enlighten their paths and empower their future.” 

“It was touching to see how many people came out to celebrate the program’s success,” said Mourning. “The “Hats Off” Luncheon is an important event that brings together all of our members as well as prominent community leaders to celebrate all that we have accomplished and what we have to look forward to. We thank Jungle Island for helping to host such a wonderful event and as always we appreciate each and every member of Honey Shine that touches the lives of our young girls every day.”  For more information on becoming a Corporate Partner or an Individual Lady Bug sponsor visit www.HoneyShine.org.



Christina Getty-Maercks, Louis Aguirre, Criselda and Jonathan Breene

Christina Getty-Maercks, Louis Aguirre, Criselda and Jonathan Breene

A Night at the Museum

Fueled by Cuban coffee and cocktails, a stellar crowd of 500 of the city’s leading arts patrons, enthusiasts and philanthropists set out to explore the Bass Museum of Art’s latest exhibit, “An Invitation to LOOK/Selections from the Permanent Collection,” on Thursday, April 28, during the museum’s annual fundraiser, “A Night at the Museum.” 

VIP guests including Chairwoman Christina Getty-Maercks and husband Arin Maercks; Deco Drive’s Louis Aguirre; hoteliers and art collectors Cricket and Martin Taplin; interior designer Sam Robin; photographer Iran Issa-Khan; artist Miguel Paredes and wife Joyce; private art dealer and board member Cathy Vedovi; Gallery Diet’s Nina Johnson, art dealer Kevin Bruk, art collectors Adam Sender and wife Lenore; hoteliers Jonathan and Criselda Breene, Bass Museum architect Chad Oppenheim, designers Laura Buccellati and Ema Koja,  and Dr. Leonard Tachmes, (to name a few) enjoyed hors d’oeuvres by Vita by Bâoli, Grey Goose cocktails, Café Bustelo, and desserts by Stella’s Sweet Shoppe while grooving to the beats by DJs ESS & EMM, and viewing the latest art exhibition, which features more than 45 works from its permanent collection showcased in an unconventional presentation. 

“An Invitation to LOOK/Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Bass Museum of Art” is open to the public and runs through Sunday, July 3, 2011. Museum hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. Cost of admission is $8 for adults, $6 for students with identification and free for members, Miami Beach residents and children under six. 

Photo credit: Justin Namon/Worldredeye.com


Ashlee Harrison and Michael Kirkland

Ashlee Harrison and Michael Kirkland

New York Bound


Last week we bid farewell to DCOTA pr maven and social fixture, D. Ashlee Harrison, who has accepted a position at the prestigious Design and Decoration Building in Manhattan. Harrison was feted at an intimate dinner hosted by Iran Issa-Khan and Michael Leondas Kirkland at Casa Tua with guests Sam Robin, Ruth Zelcer, Valerie Mattos, Alvaro Cuadrado, Greg Lotus, John Lin and Edison Lozada early in the week, followed by a party that packed the Soho Beach House’s club bar on Friday night. Gigi Ganatra, Susanne Birbragher, Shamin Abas, Jacqueline Riley, Nic Roland, Jean-Marc Daucourt, Charles Daucourt, Nick D’Annunzio, James Wall, Ruth and Alan Zelcer, Deanna Menold, Marnie Howard and Joao Bounassar were among the many who braved the rain to toast to Harrison in the crowded space. A final farewell took place on Sunday at a poolside brunch at the Raleigh, where Jordana Mesner, Ashley Turchin, Aileen Quintana, Chris Hudnall, Benjamin Stein and Lozada and Kirkland all took turns wearing the blond Bridgette Bardot wig that Harrison sported at Soho Beach House’s Halloween bash. Talk about 15 minutes of Warhol fame! Miami will miss you Ashlee Harrison!

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