Be a Kid Again

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On April - 12 - 2012

Yolanda and Jeff Berkowitz

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore 

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood,” mused Miami Children’s Museum (MCM) Chairman, Jeff Berkowitz as he addressed an animated crowd of 600 on Saturday, March 31 at the museum’s annual Be A Kid Again Gala, which was held in a gorgeous tent on Watson Island, home to MCM.  This year’s whimsical theme, “All You Need is Love” transported guests, most of whom dressed in their best 60s chic, back in time with a 60s/Beatles theme complete with old records, Beatles glasses, moustaches, a red double-decker bus, and fields of Driscoll’s strawberries as parting gifts. 

The party started in the actual museum, where guests got to tour the exhibits while sipping cocktails- which, incidentally, adds a whole new level of fun to the museum visit.   (A few moms who visit the museum regularly with their children suggested that there should be a permanent “bar installment” just for the parents.) 

After the cocktail reception, guests were escorted into the expansive tent for the party, for which MCM pulled out all the stops (which resembled the London Underground stops) with high-top and lounge tables in lieu of regular ballroom tables and a fun-filled buffet by Chef David Schwadron which included burgers, hot dogs, coconut shrimp, and fish and chips instead of the typical banquet food.  This kept people on their feet, chatting and dancing throughout the night.  There were also gourmet dishes prepared by Chef Schwadron, passed on large trays which included delicious sea bass and sushi and some

Shannon Hori and Romero Britto

of the best brownies we’ve ever had. 

Jeff Berkowitz presented artist, Romero Britto with an award for his longstanding commitment to the museum, which Britto emotionally accepted with an elaborate speech.  Afterwards, Big 105.9 FM morning host Paul Castronovo and humorist, Dave Barry, channeling the Blues Brothers, kept the crowd in stitches during the high-end live auction. More than $1 million was raised in support of educational programming for MCM. 

The highlight of the party was the dazzling multi-media performance by famed Beatles tribute band, The Fab Four, who seem to be a reincarnation of the legendary group.  The Fab Four played over 20 Beatles songs, packing the dance floor with guests who twisted, shouted, held hands and reveled in the music of yesterday. 

The event was chaired by Lisa Schejola Akin, Melissa Netkin and Jeff and Yolanda Berkowitz. The night’s major sponsors included the Berkowitzs, Alan Potamkin and Brigitt Rok, the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, Baptist Health South Florida, Coastal Construction, The Fairholme Foundation, Gloria Martin, and the Miami Marlins. 


Iran Issa-Khan Book Signing at Oscar de la Renta Boutique 

More than 200 friends and fans of iconic, famed photographer, Iran Issa-Khan celebrated the launch of her eponymous book on Thursday, March 29 at the Oscar de la Renta boutique in Bal Harbour.  A fashion photographer for several decades, Iran’s work for the past 13 years has focused on the magnificent simplicity of nature- and the manner in which it reflects the human experience.  These stunning nature photographs fill the 162 pages of her precious book. 

According to Iran, “My many years of fashion and portrait photography have taught me that each individual object has beauty in them for me to find, capture and then powerfully convey to others. I believe that like people, each plant, tree, each shell has an inner force, an inner beauty that glows from within and is very specific to it. Each object is never what it appears to be at first glance.”  Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Iran can attest to the fact that when you are in her presence, your “specific inner beauty and glow” shine most brightly. 

Special guests at the book signing included: Dr. Camillo Ricordi, Marjorie Serralles, John and Alison Kunkel, Suzy Minassian, Carole Seikaly, Silva Tcherassi, Brian Antoni, Rene Ruiz, Milagros Maldonado, Cynthia Golub, Criselda Breene, Sam Robin, Tui Pranich, Laurent Fraticelli, Padma Vattikuti, Suzy Buckley, Jackie and Johanna Abraham, Michelle Areces, Barbara Becker, Susan and John Turchin, Maximilian Lecki and Michael Leondas Kirkland. 


Visit to order your copy of Iran Issa-Khan:  Photographs.


Queen Lounge Opens

Queen, a 4 000 square foot gastro-lounge celebrated its grand opening on Thursday,  with complimentary hand-crafted cocktails by head mixologist Thomas Merolla and fancy bites by Executive Chef Matthew Goldberg. Guests enjoyed beats by DJ Ruen and a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by Miami Beach Vice Mayor Jerry Libbin. Notables in attendance included Tara Solomon and Nick D’Annunzio, hotelier Axel Gasser, and Founder of Lord South Beach Hotel, Brian Gorman.  This Thursday, adorable Russian twin sensations, The Tsygan Twins, will host their going away party at Queen featuring complimentary cocktails courtesy of Stoli Vodka until 10 pm. RSVP at  Queen is located at 841 Washington Avenue and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 3 p.m. to 4 a.m. The kitchen stays open until 11 p.m. For private bookings and advance reservations contact 305.397.8056.

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