Galas A-Go-Go

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On March - 14 - 2012


Lisa Hochstein, Alexia Echevarria, Karent Sierra, & Friend

By:  Mary Jo Almeida Shore

Tis the season:  to get dolled up in the name of charity.   Amid the club and restaurant openings, snowbirds and spring breakers, Miami socials are triple booked with galas.  Here’s a short list of some of our favorites so far.

Hearts and Stars Gala

On Saturday night, more than 1,000 guests gathered at George Wallner and Malinka Max’s gorgeous waterfront estate, Shangri La on Hibiscus Island for the Little Lighthouse Foundation’s Third Annual Hearts and Stars Gala– which was more of a swank South Beach bash than a traditional gala.  Co-founders Robert Sena, Aaron Resnick, Charlie Venturi and Aracibo Quintana and 20 co-hosts created a club-like atmosphere that included mini-lounges with white leather couches and cocktail tables, multiple bars and terrific dance music by DJ Louis Dee. 

Animated and recently engaged, television personality, Buster Cox, one of the co-hosts, emceed the event, heckling guests to fill his “Bucket o’ cash” with $3,400. In honor of the momentous occasion, Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora presented a proclamation declaring March 10 “The Little Lighthouse Foundation Day.”  Notable celebrity guests Michael Bay and Jeffrey Donovan mingled with Real Housewives of Miami stars, Marysol and Elsa Patton, Adriana de Moura, Alexia Echevarria, Joanna Krupa, and Lea Black, who were filming an upcoming RHOM episode outside on the terrace and in the kitchen.  Guests danced and chatted while enjoying delectable bites by Rosa Mexicano and George Stone Crab; cocktails courtesy of Absolut and Vueve de Vernay; and bid on silent auction items.  On the way out, just about everyone stopped by the Jaguar photo booth presented by Malinka Max Productions and enjoyed a nightcap of the revolutionary hangover-prevention beverage, Mercy.

 To donate to The Little Lighthouse Foundation, which seeks, identifies and provides support to local children and families who are experiencing health, educational and financial challenges, visit: photo credit: World Red Eye



One of the most unique social events every year is Pawpurrazzi, which benefits the Humane Society of Greater Miami.  For one, it is the one gala where four legged pooches outnumber their two-legged counterparts and enjoy a bevy of “paw-some” (we couldn’t resist) experiences, including their own gourmet buffet and styling stations, caricature artists and fashion show.  This year’s event, held at the end of January, was no different, drawing over 500 VIPs and their dogs to Jungle Island for an evening of multi-species fun! Chairpersons, Pat and Milton Wallace and Bunny Bastian, with the help of Co-Chairs Marisa Cisneros-Rizzon and Ann Rubino, raised the bar this year- with over $500,000 being donated to the Humane Society and six shelter dogs being adopted in one night. 

The highlight of the evening was the one-of-a kind fashion show: “Great Pets Who Walk In Front of Great People,” where 25 star supporters including designer Rene Ruiz, and their dog(s) ironically walked the “catwalk” for the runway show, the best part of which was seeing just how much people look like their dogs, or vice versa.  

Sponsors Bacardi and Republic National Distributing Company provided the libations throughout the night and guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner in the ballroom, which was beautifully decorated by Karla Conceptual Event Experiences, followed by a 50 foot dessert bar, which included gourmet cupcakes, brownies, make-your-own sundaes and S’mores- (complete with blow torches and all), and just about every other scrumptious delight imaginable tempted the staunchest carb-evader. Save the date for the next Pawpurrazzi: Friday, January 25, 2013.



Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lisa Rinehart at An Evening of Suspense at the New World Symphony Gala

New World Symphony’s Suspenseful Evening

Famed ballet dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov, was on-hand for the 24 Annual New World Symphony Gala at the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, which was transformed into a cinematic playground, evoking the Golden Age of Hollywood on February 24. More than 400 guests dressed in Film Noir attire joined host committee members: Louis Aguirre, Sarah Arison, Matthew Vander Werff, Matthew and Jennifer Buttrick, Chanin Carlin, Chad and Ilona Oppenheim, Anne Owen, Clara Sredni and Mitchell and Elizabeth Taylor and Micky and Madeleine Arison, who were this year’s Honorary Gala Chairs.

Michael Tilson Thomas, NWS’ illustrious Artistic Director and 10-time Grammy Award winner, dazzled guests with a spectacular multimedia concert that took them on a suspense-filled musical journey through Alfred Hitchcock’s classic films, presented with live orchestral accompaniment.  Guests also enjoyed a seated dinner and special musical interludes performed by the talented New World Symphony Fellows.

Notable guests included:  Diane and Alan Lieberman, Iran Issa-Khan, Tara Solomon, Marvin Ross Friedman and Adrienne bon Haes, Lin Arison, Douglas S. Cramer and Hubert S. Bush, Mary and Howard Frank.  Following the dinner, 200 late-night gala goers joined the party in the Performance Hall, which had been transformed into a 1940s jazz club for “Big Band Swing” featuring Michael Andrew and the Atomic Big Band, who performed swinging tunes ranging from 1930s classics to hits by Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin. Gala sponsors included Bacardi, U.S.A., Ermenegildo Zegna, Montblanc, Moët & Chandon and Poltrona Frau Group Miami.

 Photos by Manny Hernandez, Nathan Valentine/World Red Eye and Robin Hill



Carolina Herrera Hosts Opening CH Carolina Herrera Boutique

No stranger to galas, or to “gala-wear,” the incomparable Carolina Herrera celebrated the opening of CH Carolina Herrera Bal Harbour Boutique on Thursday, alongside fellow hostesses Catherine Anne Markert, Christina Getty-Maercks and Sarah Pendergast in support of the Jackson Memorial Foundation’s Guardian and Golden Angels.

Always the “picture of poise,” Herrera, who was dressed in a gorgeous black and white ensemble which matched the striped sofas in her haute boutique, graciously mingled with guests and posed for photos. Criselda Breene, Dr. Sanford Ziff, Fana Holtz, Iran Issa-Khan, Mari Alarcon-Grimalt, Nicole Boswell Horstmeyer, Nina Miguel, Sam Robin, Silvia Rios Fortun and Sylvia Fragos Goldenthal were among guests who gathered in the 1,700 square foot boutique for an evening of luxury fashion and philanthropy, which spotlighted the CH Carolina Herrera spring summer 2012 collection. With a total distribution in 26 countries, the CH Carolina Herrera Bal Harbour opening is one of many this year for Carolina Herrera, contributing to the current 83 free standing locations and 190 shop-in-shops worldwide.

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