Archive for the ‘Social Work’ Category

Ooh Ooh Ooh, Honey!

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 29 - 2010

pink4 At the risk of dating ourselves, we’ll admit it- when it comes to the movie Grease, we had it all- the poster, the record (yes, kids, that’s what we called them in those days), the Candies, the (inappropriate-for-our-age) off-shoulder black top and tight jeans, the movie photo-book and the 18 movie stubs.  With regards to the Grease fan club, meet the president!  Talk about “Hopelessly Devoted!”  So we are delighted to report that a childhood dream was actualized last Thursday when we met “Sandy” a.k.a. Olivia Newton John at the Raleigh for the Pink and Blue For Two fundraiser, sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka. To say that our heads almost exploded when she sang “You’re the One that I Want” with Jon (Secada– not Travolta, but we’ll take what we can get- after all, he did play “Danny” on Broadway) is the understatement of the year!  “Oh yes indeed- eeed!” The otherwise sophisticated crowd went crazy, jumping, screaming and dancing on the sand.

The performance culminated a series of terrific musical acts including:  Inner Circle who played a concert, which included “Bad Boys,” the theme from Cops, Brett Goldsmith, Olivia Newton John’s nephew who flew in from Australia to sing and play the acoustic guitar and Jon Secada, who sang his hit, “Just Another Day,” before his duet with Newton John. Read the rest of this entry »

Beach Parties

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 19 - 2010

_DSC0567Chamber Gala- The People Show 

Every year, the Miami Beach Convention center houses a number of noteworthy exhibits, Art Basel, the Car Show, the Boat Show, the Home Show…to name a few.  On Saturday, May 8, the Convention Center was home to the “People Show”, as 900 of the most influential Miami Beach and Miami-Dade county business professionals came together for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce 88th Annual Dinner gala honoring local luminaries for their outstanding contributions to the community. 

The cabaret-themed ball was reminiscent of Miami Beach’s heyday, with sparkly, black table cloths, white feather centerpieces, cigar rollers, gin martinis, and an 18-piece swing dance band. Michael Aller, “Mr. Miami Beach”, served as Master of Ceremonies, welcoming guests to the “Cabaret” and putting on a full blown show, starting with his glitzy rendition of “Life is a Cabaret” that would have put Liza  to shame.  This year’s Gala Service Awards recipients included William D. Talbert, III, CDME, Elsie Sterling Howard, The Steinberg Family and Boucher Brothers Management Incorporated. 


329-MCM10GalaMCM – Fun for all Ages 

On Saturday, April 24, the Miami Children’s Museum (MCM) held its annual gala in honor of its 25 year anniversary.  Over six hundred guests were able to “play” in the museum’s galleries while enjoying cocktails and delicious bites before heading outside to the enormous tent for dinner catered by the Ritz Carlton South Beach’s celebrity chef, Jeff McInnis and Executive Chef Thomas Connell and a concert by the Average White Band.  The high point of the evening was the $1 million donation by philanthropist Gloria Martin for the launch of MCM’s Capital Endowment Fund Campaign. The Knight Foundation committed $100,000 to the campaign.  This added to the $750,000 that was raised by the spirited live auction for the museum’s programming.  Notable guests at the MCM gala included: Nicole Miller, Romero Britto, Lisa and Donald Pliner, Gisela and Diego Lowenstein, Tracy Mourning, Gloria Martin, Jeff and Yolanda Berkowitz, Claudia Potamkin, Lisa Schejola Akin and Jeffrey Akin, Richard and Susan Lampen, Mo Abety, Evan and Stephanie Reed, FJ and Abigail Pollak, and Richard and Sandy Berkowitz.

Fashion Art Ball 2010 Heats Up The Gansevoort

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 18 - 2010

a Anne Owen and  Alan RothSaturday’s Fashion Art Ball (FAB) hosted by Michelle and Tommy Pooch and Alan Roth was the hottest party of the week.  Perhaps it was the burlesque show, the gorgeous women’s fashions, or the stylishly dressed and dynamic Legends on the Runway.  But more likely, the fact that the air conditioning in the “newly remodeled” Gansevoort Hotel wasn’t working (insert snarky comment here!) added to the sweltering temperature. Whatever the exact reason may have been, it was a “sauna in there.”  The shvitzing, energetic crowd, didn’t seem to mind too much, though, keeping cool with abundant cocktails Read the rest of this entry »

Vizcaya Preservation Lunch

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On May - 18 - 2010

Models in Neiman Marcus 2010 Spring Collection (3)On the most gorgeous day of the year, top socialites donned their most prestigious headdresses for the Vizcaya Preservation Lunch.  One of the most elegant events to date, the “Gatsby-esque” affair combined sophistication and style to the flourishing gardens of the historic estate.  Community leaders, philanthropists, and professionals came together to support the Vizcayan’s mission to protect and preserve this beloved, extraordinary landmark.  Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour along with Neiman Marcus Coral Gables joined forces to produce a spectacular preview of the latest spring trends showcasing designs from Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Emilio Pucci, Versace, Zac Posen, Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Dolce and Gabbana, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Armani, and Roberto Cavalli just to name a few.

Guests were also treated to the delights of Ana Paz Cakes, Atlantico Rum, Chateau D’Esclans, Chanel Coco Rouge, Don Pepin Garcia, My Father Cigars, and Thierry’s Catering and Event Design. 

Kids Hear Now Gala- Opulent Splendor

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 29 - 2010

KidsHearNowThe Villa by Barton G. was aglow in purple light on Saturday night for the Kids Hear Now Foundation’s second charity gala.  With six-foot centerpieces comprised of unique stone pots filled with roses, hydrangeas, and cherry blossoms (leave it to Barton!) atop golden brocade tablecloths- we can honestly say we’ve never seen the former Versace manse look more beautiful.  The food wasn’t too shabby either:  shrimp as big as your head, bone-in filet and a dessert bar right out of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. Among the highlights of the evening was the touching video of the foundation’s success stories, the soundtrack of which guests listened to via state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen headsets which they later got to take home (not bad for a parting gift, huh?). Lucky guests were also given an authentic, limited edition Versace plate.  Another highlight was a unique performance by a capella group, Naturally 7, which employs “vocal play,” in which instrumental sounds are made using only their voices- which sound exactly like a full band (remember the guy in the Police Academy movies?). In all, $750, 000 dollars was raised for the cochlear implant charity- which provides surgery to deaf children, enabling them to hear right away- hence the name: Kids Hear “NOW!”  This wonderful fundraising effort adds to the already generous 5 million dollar donation which the Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation has committed to establishing the Barton G. Kids Hear Now Cochlear Implant Family Resource Center.

Make-A-Wish Garden Party- A Splashy Affair

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 24 - 2010

Al_and_Nancy_Malnik_at_Make_A_Wish_Garden_Party_2010_028More than two hundred guests braved a monsoon on Sunday to attend one of the premiere events of the year: the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball Garden Party at Al and Nancy Malnik’s, oceanfront estate in Palm Beach. Not sure if the monsoon was in keeping with this year’s Asian theme- we wouldn’t put it past them. But despite the rain, guests were in good spirits, some joking about getting splashed by the mermaid in the fountain on the way in. The intimate gathering was the first event of the year in honor of the highly anticipated annual ball, to be held Saturday, November 6, 2010.

Adding some “Hooo-aah!” to this year’s garden party was Burn Notice star, Gabrielle Anwar, who originally gained fame for her Tango scene alongside Al Pacino in the Golden Globe winning film, Scent of A Woman. Anwar was canoodling with Shareef Malnik and playing with her son and daughter and the clan of Malnik children throughout the afternoon. When the party was over, Anwar and Shareef left together, schlepping a car seat and stroller for Shareef’s 9 month-old grandson, whom Shareef kept on his hip the entire day. Talk about “doting”-very endearing indeed. (Incidentally, Shareef has six siblings ages 11 and under- among the world’s youngest “great aunts and uncles!”) The youngest Malnik was enthralled with the gorgeous Geisha girls at the party. That’s one fruit that’s fallen close to home.

Also adding flair to the party was a flamboyant (and frisky) Don King, who delightfully posed for photos with several female attendees. Other notable party guests included Norman Wedderburn, President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida; Robert Hill, Gala Host and General Manager of InterContinental Miami, Rene Ruiz, Brad Rosenblatt, Jillian Jacobson, Erika Shriftman Koopman, Tara Solomon and Nick D’Annunzio. Guests were treated to Rising Suns, a specialty cocktail designed by The Forge Restaurant & Wine Bar’s mixologist; hors d’oeuvres; beats by DJ Joe Dert and a performance by Japanese Taiko drummers Fushu Daiko. This year’s goal is to grant 525 wishes. You can help make that happen by contacting the Foundation at (888) 773-WISH or visiting: