Archive for the ‘Social Work’ Category


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

Imagine there’s a Heaven, it’s easy if you try

The Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball brings a little taste of Heaven to those who need it most. At Saturday’s ball, where “Imagine” was the theme, the beautiful, 16 year old Marina Diez, gave a poignant speech, detailing the thrill of having her wish to go to Wimbledon fulfilled and explained what having a wish granted means to a sick child.

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Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On October - 14 - 2009

boobs-team-brooke-and-meredithIt’s no secret that we’re all a little boob-obsessed. What’s not to love about ‘em? How else would you explain the success of silicone, Girls Gone Wild, Maxim and Mardi Gras? And don’t even try to tell us that Dolly Parton is best known for her singing voice. But for millions of women, (and those who love them), boobs have become a source of trouble. Therefore, it’s fitting that October is dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer and the 411 has compiled a list of events and organizations working towards this great cause. Here are some ways you can get involved this month.

Get Your Run On!

This Saturday, October 17, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® at Bayfront Park (301 North Biscayne Boulevard) takes place in Downtown Miami, anc includes a 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Walk, Tot Run and Celebration.  The fun starts at 7:30 a.m. (registration at 6 a.m.) with an inspirational Survivor Procession and Ceremony. Whether you run, walk or stroll, (there’s even an option to sleep) you can make a difference.

Cost for the race is as follows:  5K Run/Walk ($27 by October 9; $30 by October 16; $35 on Race Day) One Mile Fun Walk ($27 by October 9; $30 by October 16; $35 on Race Day); Tot Run for ages 2-7 ($10 through Race Day); Sleep-In for the Cure ($27 through Race Day).

For more information, or to register for the race online, go to: or call FootWorks at 305-666 -RACE (7223) for all Race related questions.

This year, a special local Race for the Cure® team has been formed named “Miles for Meredith & Brooke” in support of local girls, Meredith Israel, who will make an appearance with baby daughter, Niomi, and Brooke Pallot, who will also participate with daughter, Sora, in tow.  Team members are strongly encouraged to purchase a custom designed “Miles for Meredith & Booke” t-shirt to wear during the race.  This special team has gotten a slew of sponsors together and is even hosting a post-run party with food and cocktails after the race.

Contact race team co-captains: Jackie Mailhe, or Yami Alvarado, to join the team, buy the special shirts and/or make donations.

Saks Key to the Cure

Saks Fifth Avenue Dadeland (7687 North Kendall Drive) will host the 2009 Key to the Cure charity-shopping weekend from October 15-18. A percentage of the weekend’s sales will benefit the new Baptist Health Breast Center. Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour (9700 Collins Avenue) will participate in Key to the Cure by hosting an event alongside Sylvester’s Young Philanthropists in the cosmetics department on Saturday, October 17, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The $40 entry free will get you the limited edition Key to the Cure t-shirt and make-up by Dolce & Gabbana.  The party will feature entertainment, refreshments by Segafredo Bal Harbour, and goody bags with special gifts.  For more information contact Jeanne Kushner at or 305-243-9088

Saks will also offer a limited-edition Key to the Cure t-shirt designed by Michael Kors – for the entire month of October for $40 in Saks stores, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores and on Over 80% of the proceeds from each shirt sold will be donated to local charity partners. Supermodel Heidi Klum is the 2009 Ambassador for Saks Fifth Avenue’s Key to the Cure. In support of this program, Ms. Klum will appear in a national public service announcement (PSA) wearing the Michael Kors limited-edition t-shirt.

Pink Drinks

Two places where imbing is a good choice this month are the Gansevoort South and the Fontainebleau, where proceeds for specialty drinks go towards the cause. Plunge at the Gansevoort is serving the Pink Elephant – a fruity, pear vodka infused like cocktail, created by mixologist, Jay Law. For every drink sold, $1 of goes toward Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in honor of our very own, Meredith Israel and Brooke Pallot. At the Fontainebleau, try the Pinkie Promise, a berry-pink, sweet concoction, with $1 of proceeds going towards finding a cure.

Bleau Goes Pink

Also at the Fontainebleau this month, all of the restaurants: Blade Sushi, Gotham Steak, Hakkasan and Scarpetta are offering the Bleau Goes Pink promotion: which includes a three course menu for only $39.00-talk about a value meal (less than 2 drinks at any club) and free valet parking. The best part is that $1.50 of each check goes toward Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Certain restrictions apply. For more details, go to:

Pink Cocktail Hour and Pink Auction

On October 24th there will be a Main Street March through the streets of Miami Lakes, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. (registration starts at 8:00) to show support for breast cancer awareness. Later that evening, The Spa at Shula’s will host the Pink Cocktail Hour and the Pink Auction from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Participants can indulge in a variety of spa amenities, a signature Pink Cocktail and an assortment of hors d’oeuvres throughout the night. There will also be an auction, the proceeds of which will benefit the American Breast Cancer Foundation. For more information, contact: 786.303.8731.

Sweet Treats

Buttercream Cupcakes & Coffee (“Buttercream”) celebrates National Cupcake Day while paying homage to Breast Cancer Awareness Month this Sunday, October 18th. Even the calorie conscious can make an exception as Buttercream’s will be giving away their all natural, trans-fat free cupcake minis.   Following the self indulgence, give back by picking up a to-go box of pink frosted chocolate and vanilla cupcakes ($2.75 each)-25 cents from each cupcake benefits the Susan G. Komen foundation. For more information, go to:

Seems like Every Month is Hispanic Heritage Month

ESPN Deportes and the new Dolphins’ ownership celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a sophisticated gathering at Club 50 at Viceroy Miami on Sunday night. Dolphins Vice Chairman, Jorge Perez, hosted the party alongside Marc Anthony, Emilio Estefan, and ESPN Deportes General Manager, Lino Garcia. Guests included: singer/actress, Jennifer Lopez; Dolphins owner, Steve Ross; ESPN Deportes Monday Night commentators, Alvaro Martin and Raul Allegre, sideline reporter John Sutceliff; former Dolphins player, Nat Moore; former Mets player, Carlos Beltran; Dancing with the Stars’ Cristián De La Fuente; CSI Miami actress, Eva La Rue; and flautist Nestor Torres. The Latin celeb-infused event didn’t seem a whole lot different than any recent Dolphins game, being that most of the new minority-owners are, well, celebs and minorities. One of the evening’s highlights was a performance by Latin Grammy Award-winning Mexican pop-duo Jessie & Joy.

Coming Up:

Halloween is Wild

Start Halloweening early this year at Metro Zoo this Saturday, October 17 at the Monster Masquerade. For $65 per person, ($50 for ZSF members), which helps the Zoological Society of Florida in their mission of wildlife conservation and education, you get cocktails, food, costume contests and dancing.  The event is for adults, 21 and older, at Dr. Wilde’s Screamatorium and goes from 8 p.m. to midnight.   Tickets are available online at

Signature Chefs

Start fasting folks, one of the premier events for those who love food and wine, (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) takes over Jungle Island on Thursday, October 22.  The March of Dimes Signature Chefs & Wine Extravaganza will present stellar, local celebrity chefs, delicious food, a great variety of wines, and an array of fabulous auction items,with all proceeds benefiting the March of Dimes. Celebrity Honorary Chair Jackie Nespral of NBC 6 will emcee the event, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with an exclusive VIP Reception, followed by the eating extravaganza at 7:30.

Entertainment for VIP reception will include an instrumentalist from the New World Symphony.  In addition to countless culinary delights, guests will enjoy wines and champagnes from the world’s finest vineyards and distilleries, courtesy of Southern Wine and Spirits, as well as live and silent auctions.

Tickets for the event are $150 per person in advance, $175 per person at the door.  VIP tickets, which include the exclusive reception and extravaganza, cost $250 per person.  For more information, call (305) 477-1192 or visit

Celebrity Sightings:

Last Thursday, newly un-engaged, celebrity chef, Todd English, of Ft. Lauderdale’s Da Campo Osteria was seen dining with friends at Meat Market (insert cliché post break-up joke here). Watching “his Sox” play baseball, sipping on ice cold beer and noshing on Chef Sean Brasel’s Kobe beef sliders and the Caesar salad. Bernie Yuman was spotted at Meat Market on Saturday.

On Thursday night at LIV, Danny Wood, from NKOTB, (New Kids on the Block) and Indy Race Car sensation, Sarah Fisher, made an appearance at a celebration in honor of Susan G. Komen.

Her’s Race for the Cure party took place at Mandarin Oriental, on Friday, featuring Catt Sadler of E! News and E!’s Daily 10 and Indy Pro Series champion Alex “Pink” Lloyd who placed 8th this past Saturday in Homestead.  A couple of days later, Sadler and beau, Brett Jacobsen, (CEO of Her pink energy drink) got engaged at the swank hotel.

At the Mondrian on Friday night, Muse and Better than Ezra were seen amidst a trendy crowd for the debut of photographer, Ben Watt’s, latest book, Lickshot. The book launch was held in conjunction with the release party for the Morgans Hotel Group CD No. 4, produced in collaboration with Musebox with cover art by Watts.

Saturday afternoon, popular Italian shoe designer, Giuseppe Zanotti, hosted an exclusive lunch and shoe signing at Saks Dadeland’s brand new shoe salon, 10022-SHOE. The handsome and friendly designer chatted with guests who bought out the store’s entire collection of Zanotti shoes! Not bad for one afternoon. Did someone say recession?

R & B singer, Mario, celebrated his album release on Sunday at LIV as female rap star, MC Lyte, celebrated her birthday. Mario serenaded Lyte with his rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Naomi Campbell hung out with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez at Club 50 on Monday before the Dolphins/Jets game.

Fashion for Good-UNPUBLISHED

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On October - 8 - 2009

One special fashion celebration was last week’s opening of the Carolina Herrera boutique in Bal Harbour followed by her runway presentation the next day. Making a pit stop in Miami in between her shows in New York and Paris, Herrera showcased her spring 2010 collection last Thursday, October 1st, in support of the Guardian Angels, a branch of Jackson Memorial Foundation, which hosted its 11th Annual Guardians of the Children luncheon at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Miami. Herrera, who exudes a regal elegance which is personified by her designs and boutiques around the world, was on-hand to present a full runway fashion show, which was inspired by the intricate forms of woven Japanese baskets. The texture of the fabrics, the prints and the interlacing in the accessories are taken from patterns found in details of these baskets. Following the spectacular fashion show, the designer made a personal visit to Holtz Children’s Hospital where she met with all of the children, reviewing the sketches of budding designers and fans, as well as autographing teddy bears for the children to enjoy.

“It was wonderful to be able to show the spring collection to the Jackson Memorial Foundation’s Guardian Angels to benefit the Holtz Children’s Hospital. Children’s charities are so important to me. After the show I was taken for a tour of Holtz Children’s Hospital and the amazing medical facilities and I had the opportunity to meet the very impressive doctors and patients they help –the children were incredible. The whole experience was something really special to me.”

VIPs in attendance at this year’s luncheon included: Carolina Ferreiro-Diaz, event chair, Cindy Davis Carr, this year’s Guardians of the Children Honoree, Shirley K. Fletcher, Honorary Chair, and committee members, Vivian Adrian, Mari Alarcon-Grimalt, Angela Andrade, Fanny Dascal, Silvia Rios Fortun, Alina Gallart, Fana Holtz, Aslynn Rivera, Marilyn Samlut and Gloria Sesana, along with Chris Riley, Alexia Echavarria, Lisa Pliner, Marlen Pernetti, Loretta Nunez, Rolando Rodriguez, President and CEO of Jackson Memorial Foundation and President and CEO of Jackson Health Systems, Dr. Eneida Roldan and Channel 10 anchor, Laurie Jennings, who served as emcee.

The previous night, Herrera celebrated the opening of her most recent boutique at Bal Harbour Shops with a standing-room only crowd. The event, which, by all accounts was packed to the hilt, was co-hosted by Maria Celeste Arraras and Lourdes Fanjul. Over 300 adoring fans including Emilia and Pepe Fanjul, artist Iran Issa-Khan, socialite Margarita Ziqq and jewelry designer Carole Seikaly packed the intimate 2000 square foot boutique, (that’s about 6.6 square feet per person, without a stitch or seat in the store) the Designers’ fourth free standing boutique to open in the United States boutique. Herrera donated 10% of the proceeds from boutique sales from Wednesday- Saturday to the Guardian Angels.

“I started doing this because I loved fashion,” she says.  “But I had no idea what it would become.” This goes to show that you just never know. On June 2, 2008, the Council of Fashion Designers of America honored Herrera with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. Herrera’s got numerous projects in the works, including new fragrances, a breast cancer awareness campaign, and her ongoing work as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations.

DJ Irie Does it Again

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On July - 3 - 2009

dj-irie-felicia-quaning-13One of our favorite sports/South Beach personalities, DJ Irie, superstar DJ to the Miami Heat and actor Jamie Foxx and all-around nice guy, hosted his Fifth Annual Irie Weekend Celebrity Golf Tournament last Friday-Sunday, to raise funds for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Miami.  One of Miami’s favorite charitable events, Irie Weekend kicked off at Mansion on Friday, where Gabriel Union, Dwyane Wade, Sanaa Lathan and Joey Fatone partied and enjoyed performances by Irie (of course) and Kevin Rudolf. The golf tournament was a great success, despite many hung over and/or buzzed players who zipped through the golf course on their carts as if they were driving on the Indie 500. Making celebrity appearances throughout the tourney: Gabriel Union and Stephanie Pratt, who cheered on the celeb golfers: Alfonso Ribiero, Joey Fatone, Ernest Wilford, Wesley Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, (who made a short speech alongside Irie during the opening remarks), Dorrell Wright, Tim Hardaway and two-time Super Bowl Champion, legendary defensive end, Lawrence Taylor. All of the celebrities seemed to be having a blast, mingling with guests and signing autographs.  Ribiero’s team won the tournament once again this year (he won last year too).  At one point, Irie and Stephanie Pratt played Dance Revolution with the “littles” of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization at the Konami-sponsored hole.  Sunday’s pool party at the Shore Club went on despite the torrential monsoon that swept through.  LMFAO and a line up of guest DJs took part in the wet fun.

Tea, Trump and Crumpets

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On May - 21 - 2009
Marianna-and-Joanna-Salvat-with-Ivanka-TrumpOn Sunday, the PlayGround Theater hosted a whimsical afternoon at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. Lucky guests of all ages were greeted by fairytale characters from Inanna and the Huluppu Tree as they approached the ballroom, which was transformed into a scene out of a child’s story book by event planner extraordinaire, Barton G.  The charismatic, Belkys Nerey served as Mistress of Ceremonies throughout the tea, which included an auction, children’s fashion show, raffle, jewelry making and a photo booth.  A flawless Ivanka Trump served as honorary chairperson of the theater’s fifth anniversary celebration during which she showcased her eponymous jewelry collection, with fifteen percent of sales proceeds going towards the theater.  More like “Trump change” than “chump change,” being that our favorite cuff goes for $180,000! 
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Beach Balls

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 7 - 2009

Louis Aguirre and Erin Newberg.jpgFor those of us who, um, misplaced, our invitation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Saturday’s Fashion Art Ball (F.A.B.) hosted by Michelle and Tommy Pooch and Alan Roth was the party of the week. We like to consider this the un-gala- since it’s a ball that’s, well, a ball! Think of it as fancy fundraiser meets frat party.

Upon entering the ballroom at the Fontainebleau, guests were greeted by ten-foot mannequins, perched atop pedestals, composed of hundreds of tropical flowers, decorating the extensive silent auction tables and food stations including delicious bites from Pacific Time, Red, the Steakhouse Table 8, Gaia, Taverna Opa and Ra Sushi. Then there was the seemingly endless array of desserts, tempting even the staunchest dieters, from the Fontainebleau’s pastry shop. Down on the main floor is where things started to get a bit wild, with Deco Drive’s Louis Aguirre and Buster on the microphones as Gen Art winning Krel To Go designer/ Make Me a Supermodel’s, Karelle Levy, proceeded to create a dress onstage for Plum T.V. hostess, Erin Newberg, who was already wearing a stunning, gold Krel creation. The frat party antics began thanks to a Girls Gone Wild!wardrobe malfunction,” courtesy of the buxom Newberg- (step aside, Bettie Paige), and continued with the Legends on The Runway show, featuring a bevy of South Beach nightlife impresarios and personalities, following the elegant women’s runway show, which showcased trends from Atrium, Roberto Cavalli, Ondade Mar Swimwear, and Luca Luca. Whereas the women’s show was stylish and sophisticated, culminating with Michelle Pooch alongside her adorable daughter, aspiring supermodel, Isabella Pooch, the Legends on the Runway show was a whole other story. Sure, the fashions were stylish, and the show started off fairly professional, with seasoned runway pros, such as Eric Milon and Laurent Bourgade, on the catwalk, but things quickly turned wild, with crazy dance moves, wedgies being given, DJ Irie being pushed off the runway and Beau Beasley being carried away, literally, as the crowd cheered and applauded. After the guys finished on the runway and a special performance by R&B legend, Joe, there was a good old-fashioned fraternity hazing ritual, courtesy of DJ Irie, who offered to donate $3,000.00 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in exchange for Alan Roth’s hair, yes, hair. The generous Roth agreed, and Irie actually shaved Roth’s head right onstage. Then Irie offered an extra five hundred bucks for Roth’s eyebrows. That’s when Roth’s girlfriend, Anne Owen, stepped in- thank goodness. All in all, it was a great night, which raised $70, 000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.


Polo Tropical

A completely different type of ball hit the beach over the weekend as models with mallets took to our sands for the Miami Beach Polo World Cup, the world’s largest and most prestigious polo tournament. It seems the “sport of kings” is also the “sport of queens,” since for the first year women’s polo graced South Beach, with Matti Bower, Miami Beach’s first female mayor, throwing the honorary first ball, to kick of the matches featuring world-renowned, top-ranking female polo star, Sunny Hale, and Brazilian cover models, Paula Chermont and Tiffany Busch (along with 22 of the world’s top-ranking female polo players) stunned on-lookers with their precision and prowess- not to mention incredible balance and fierce competitive spirit. Hell hath no fury like a gorgeous woman on a horse- remember Lady Godiva? Now imagine her in a cute outfit with a mallet in hand! Eye candy and star power were also provided by the men’s teams, as top ranking polo player/Ralph Lauren model, Nacho Figueras, joined returning champ Kris Kampsen and Isabella Wolf (an 18 year-old polo star who filled in for an injured player) on the Nespresso team, which fought fiercely for the trophy against the Bombay Sapphire team, which ultimately won the title 6-5 in the last seconds of the final chukker. A slew of Miami’s elite, young and old gathered on the sand behind the Setai for four days of sun, sand, snacks, cocktails and polo including local celebrity chef Jeff McInnis from Top Chef, Apprentice champ, Sean Yazbeck, Nicole Henry, Cleveland Jones, Commissioner De la Pena, Iran Issa Khan, and Sam Robin, to name a few. The soon to open, W Hotel, Nespresso, Grey Goose, and Bombay Sapphire were among the top sponsors, who kept the good times rolling.

Coming Up:

The 3rd Annual YMCA Casino Night will host a Bond-themed bash on Saturday, at 8:00, at . Several local celebrity players including, Kelly Craig (NBC 6), Diana Gonzalez (NBC 6), Cynthia Demos (CBS 4), Will Manso (WPLG 10), Willard Shepard (NBC 6), Marybel Rodriguez (CBS 4), Mercedes Soler, author and Mega Estrella winner, Sophia Del Carmen will join guests in a night full of fun and big stakes at the Poker, Roulette, Craps and Black Jack tables. RA sushi will provide dinner by the bite, and Grey Goose vodka will sponsor the sips. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Julie Wagner at 305-254-0310 ext. 1204 or email at

Celebrity sightings:

George Clooney, has set up camp at the Delano and has been spotted all over the place, including cameos at Florida Room, Quattro and Mokai. Lance Bass celebrated his birthday on Friday at the Mondrian. Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa in town all week shooting Regis and Kelly at the Fontainebleau, have also been making their rounds. Regis attended a Marlin’s game, and Kelly took her husband and children to the Miami Seaquarium and Jungle Island, where Jimmy Buffet stopped by last week. Nicole Richie was at the Fontainebleau Wednesday night for the launch of her jewelry line, House of Harlow 1960. Former NBA star/recently appointed basketball coach of the FIU Golden Panthers, Isaiah Thomas had dinner at RA Sushi in South Miami. Katy Perry and Wyclef Jean are in town for the Grammy Celebration Concert Tour at the Fillmore scheduled for Thursday.