Blacks’ Magic- The Blacks’ Annual Gala

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On April - 17 - 2013

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore 

The Blacks' Annual Gala 2013 - Inside

Lea and Roy Black at The Blacks’ Annual Gala 2013

Lea and Roy Black have a magical way of bringing together “A-list celebrities, social icons, business titans and top legal minds” every year for their annual gala.  What began as a party for 450 at the Blacks’ home nearly 20 years ago has grown into one of the most highly anticipated events of the social season, with nearly 700 guests in attendance this year.  The Blacks’ Gala took place at the Fontainebleau on Saturday night to benefit The Consequences Charity and its programs with Teach for America, Breakthrough Miami and Big Dreams for Kids, for which they gala has raised roughly $12 million over the past 19 years. Part of the magic is that this event is actually a “fun gala” (not an oxymoron) which combines giving and celebrating by encompassing all of the elements that make for a perfect party:  hundreds of stylish, interesting and/or beautiful people; one-of-a-kind auction items- at a bargain; top notch entertainment; gourmet food and free-flowing cocktails to get everyone in a celebratory and spending mood.  The best part? It’s all for kids in need. 

The star-studded charity event began with a Grey Goose cocktail reception, and silent auction, followed by a gourmet dinner, performance by American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks and a live auction which featured a walk-on role in an upcoming Michael Bay movie, a one year lease on a 2013 all-new body style Range Rover, Jeffrey Rackover jewelry and Hublot watch to name a few. Read the rest of this entry »

First Annual Art Deco Jazz Week at The Betsy-South Beach

In conjunction with the Miami Design Preservation League’s annual Art Deco Weekend festivities, which this year, celebrates its 35th year, The Betsy-South Beach, located on historic Ocean Drive, will celebrate with the First Annual Art Deco Jazz Week from Wednesday, January 11 through Sunday, January 15.  Art Deco Weekend, the largest and longest running festival on Miami Beach, closes Ocean Drive to traffic from Friday, January 13 – Sunday, January 15. In addition to musical performances, the weekend highlights include the Annual ADW parade, classic car show, lecture series, film series, antique vendors, guided tours, Art Deco and MiMo furniture exhibit, and more. The Betsy-South Beach, which presents a year-round calendar of arts, cultural and philanthropic events will enhance its regular Wednesday and Thursday night performance series with a number of additional acts in honor of the festival, featuring a line-up of notable performers. For more information call 305.760.8288 or visit online


Meals on Wheels 

Join Apollo Bank this Thursday, January 12, from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. for some of Miami’s best gourmet restaurants on wheels! Come enjoy munching on delicious food from Miami’s most popular food trucks, like Dim Ssam A GoGo, Latin House Grill, Jefe’s Original Fish Taco & Burger, Grill Master Cafe and Sugar Rush, and mingle with Brickell’s business and residential crowd. Apollo Bank is located at 1150 South Miami Avenue.



Before They Were Famous: Behind the Lens of William John Kennedy 

At the age of 81, fine art photographer William John Kennedy began an unprecedented journey and meteoric rise to fame. His recently published archive of negatives from 1963 and 1964, when he befriended and photographed rising stars Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana, was quietly introduced to the public by publisher KIWI Arts Group as a collection of silver gelatin prints at a pop-up gallery in Miami Beach last December. After six stops in major international cities and at SCOPE Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach, the collection finds a new temporary home aboard SeaFair during Miami International Art Fair (January 12 – 16, Booth #312), a five day extravaganza of art and culture situated along the waterfront near Bayfront Park. The curated, museum-style exhibition dubbed “Before They Were Famous: Behind the Lens of William John Kennedy” introduces the pivotal moments and players who shaped the course of American art in the second half of the 20th century. From Kennedy’s images of the groundbreaking exhibit Americans 1963 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, curated by the esteemed Dorothy Miller, to the artists with their iconic works—plus never-before-heard 1960s audio conversations between Warhol and artist Ultra Violet—the overall multimedia experience will transport visitors through an important piece of art history. Miami International Art Fair: Preview and KIWI Arts Group Champagne Reception on Thursday, January 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (VIP, Press); Fair Hours are Friday, January 13 to Sunday, January 15 from noon to 10:00 p.m. and Monday, January 16 from noon to 7:00 p.m.; for tickets and fair information or call  305.200.3047 | .



American Fine Wine Competition

The Fifth Annual American Fine Wine Competition is an extraordinary event that celebrates the finest wines produced in the United States. Presented by Patriot National Insurance Group (PNIG) and Patriot (PATNAT), the event itself is comprised of several events, culminating in a Gala celebration taking place on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at the Boca Raton Resort Club & Spa in Mizner Center. The Gala Dinner will feature all the wines entered into the Competition served along with a four-course dinner and live entertainment. Legendary chef Emeril Lagasse will make a special appearance on stage, during which he will prepare the evening’s main course during a live cooking demonstration. Tickets for the Gala Dinner are $300 per person. Prior to the Gala Dinner and other unique events hosted by the AFWC, an invitation-only VIP Reception, will take place this Thursday, January 12, at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Telephone: 561.504.VINE;




Robert Redford Honored at YoungArts Gala 

On January 14, YoungArts will honor actor Robert Redford with the Arison Award at “An Affair of the Arts” performance and gala at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts starting  at 6:15 p.m. The gala evening kicks off with a street performance outside the historic Gusman Center in Downtown Miami. Attendees will then make their way into the theater for an interdisciplinary performance by YoungArts alumni from around the nation, this year featuring Marcus Canty, 2009 YoungArts Finalist in Voice in his first live performance since the X Factor, and a special awards ceremony honoring special guests Robert Redford, Doug Aitken and Robert L. Lynch. After that, it’s off to the J.W. Marriott Marquis for dinner, dancing and special presentations by YoungArts alumni. Grey Goose will keep guest hydrated through it all. Tickets for performance and awards ceremony are $20 ($10 for students with valid ID).  Tickets for the gala begin at $650, tables begin at $6,500, and corporate sponsorships are available. For more information, e-mail


 Educate Tomorrow “I Love the 80s” 

If you love the 80s, then head to the “I Love the 80s” Gala on January 14 to benefit Educate Tomorrow, a non-profit organization whose mission is to create independence for disadvantaged and foster youth through education, mentoring, and life skills training. The festivities will take place at a luxurious private bay front estate (17575 Old Cutler Road) and feature cocktails from Grey Goose and Bacardi, 80s tunes, and a silent auction.  So throw on your favorite 80s garb and big hair and brush up on your Rubik’s Cube skills. Regular tickets cost $150; VIP tickets are $250. All of the proceeds from ticket sales, auction items and sponsorships will directly benefit Educate Tomorrow. For more information, visit or call 305.374.3751. 


Be a Voice, Build a Dream Gala

Voices For Children Foundation, the fundraising arm of the 11th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program, is proud to announce that the 2012 “Be a Voice, Build a Dream Gala,” will be held on Saturday, January 14, at Mandarin Oriental, Miami. The magical evening will begin at 7:00 p.m. with cocktails, Padron Cigars and a silent auction. Following the cocktail hour, guests will be invited into the main ballroom for an evening of dinner and dancing, along with entertainment and a live auction led by BIG 105.9 Radio’s Paul Castronovo and Co-Chair Jeff Berkowitz. This year’s event will honor Paul & Swanee Dimare, influential leaders and inspiring philanthropists of the South Florida community, with the 2012 Humanitarian Award. South Florida’s own CBS Channel 4 News Anchor, Shannon Hori, will serve as the evening’s Mistress of Ceremony. Individual tickets for the Gala are $500 and $1,000 for premier seating. To learn more about underwriting opportunities and sponsorships, or to purchase a table and/or tickets to this exclusive event, call 305.324.5678 or email




Wings Down Under: A Parrot Feeding Adventure

Zoo Miami is proud to present its latest interactive exhibit – Wings Down Under: A Parrot Feeding Adventure – at its Australian lobe. This free-flight, 1,656-square-foot aviary houses over 300 brightly colored birds including – cockatiels, parakeets, and rosellas, all parrots native to Australia. Upon arrival, guests will be surrounded by the sounds of the birds chirping and singing in the aviary’s peaceful environment encircled with a lush landscape inspired by the Australian Outback. For $3, guests can purchase a seed snack to feed the birds. The friendly birds will fly and perch on visitors’ arms or hands (and sometimes heads) in order to nibble on the treats. In addition to being a fun exhibit, Wings Down Under: A Parrot Feeding Adventure, is a learning experience. Zoo staff is available at the site to answer any questions and educate the public about the birds’ habitat and behaviors, as well as issues, concerns and challenges facing birds in the wild. The exhibit is open daily from noon to 4:30 pm. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information visit



Cool Sips

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On July - 5 - 2011

GREY_GOOSE_GoboBy:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

On the evening of the summer solstice, Grey Goose vodka aptly kicked off the first official day of summer with a “Summer Soiree” alongside Ocean Drive magazine around the Arkadia pool at the Fontainebleau Hotel.  Nearly 300 guests stayed “cool” (we use that term loosely as it IS summer in Miami) by sipping cocktails and sucking the very dangerously delicious Grey Goose popsicles . 

Those willing to brave the crowd and the long line were treated to BBQ sliders and hot dogs from Gotham Steak which were cooked to order on an outdoor grill. Many opted instead to play with the props around the pool deck, such as the beach balls, and the hunky lifeguard- who dominated the party from an actual lifeguard stand- only making things even hotter! The other topic of conversation of the night was the popsicles, which were served from a branded novelty ice cream push-cart by a beautiful Grey Goose spokes model. See below for the recipes so that you too may create these tasty summer treats for an upcoming summer soiree- Le Citron Frozen Fresh Berry Lemonade, La Poire Frozen Frenchy (the favorite of the night) and L’Orange Frozen Summer.  As for the eye candy- we are still working on a recipe for that one.  Read the rest of this entry »

Pharrell, Pitbull, Dionne Warwick, Lea Black Shine at Blacks’ Annual Gala

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 11 - 2011
Lea Black

Lea Black

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Lea Black worked the room like a “hundred thousand dollar hooker” (her words) during the animated auction at the Blacks’ Annual Gala at the Eden Roc Renaissance on Saturday night –the party of parties- which gets bigger and better every year.  While the event is technically hosted by Lea AND Roy Black – Roy admiringly introduced his wife prior to her taking the stage by admitting that he is just a “Househusband.” Who ever thought we’d see the day?  A beaming Roy looked on as Lea- stunning in a low-cut, sparkly, black Versace gown which showed off her newly trim and toned “everything” worked the room like only she can. And what a room it was…wall to wall rectangular tables covered in silk silver tablecloths, surrounded by Miami’s who’s who, enjoying a gourmet meal served family style.  Recent Celebrity Apprentice alum, Grammy Award winning artist/actress/Diva Dionne Warwick wowed the crowd with a mini-concert of her most famous songs, including “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” and “That’s What Friends Are For,” which had some guests singing along arm-in-arm.  Warwick departed abruptly, perhaps to get some beauty sleep, the reason for her firing from Celebrity Apprentice.

After dinner, guests were escorted into the Pompeii Ballroom, for the “Nightclub Experience,” where DJ Irie spun great dance music until after midnight, when Grammy Award winning singer/record producer, Pharrell took to the stage to perform and work the crowd into a frenzy. The feisty and seemingly tipsy, Brazilian wild child, Adriana de Moura joined Pharell on-stage, dancing with the rapper, and with Roy Black, who was also up there, with a  gaggle of gals. Read the rest of this entry »

Tinsley Mortimer

Tinsley Mortimer and Brian Mazza

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

The week leading up to New Year’s Eve was so packed with celeb-filled events and celebrations that it made going out on the big night seem almost like overkill. From a penthouse party which included Beacher’s Madhouse Oompa Loompas which packed into a party bus to LIV;to the official grand opening of Lords South Beach Hotel, which was so packed that it seemed the penthouse terrace was going to go the way of the elevator from the Tower of Terror; to LeBron James’ star-studded birthday bash, South Beach got an electric awakening from its post-Basel slumber and bid adieu to 2010 in its typical mayhem and style.

Oh Lordy

Tinsley Mortimer, Richie Rich, Tracy Young and Lady Bunny hosted the coming out bash for Lords South Beach on Wednesday night. Read the rest of this entry »

Make a Wish Ball-Intercontinental Miami

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On November - 14 - 2010


Make a Wish Ball-Miami Socialholic