What a Rush

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On March - 19 - 2009

Kim KardashianKim Kardashian served as the gorgeous and gracious hostess for Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation‘s star-studded Art For Life Miami Beach gala to benefit art programs for disadvantaged youths at the Fontainebleau on Saturday. Despite Kardashian’s inability to pronounce the word, “philanthropic,” the reality star has demonstrated her commitment to the organization by answering, “Yes,” time and time again when asked for support, explained Danny Simmons. This year, Kardashian auctioned off the dress she wore when she met Prince Albert of Monaco. No word on what happened while she was in the dress or if there’s any incriminating evidence on it, (ala Monica Lewinski’s infamous blue Gap dress). Kardashian’s dress is still on the auction block, in case you’d like to run some tests on it before you get it dry cleaned. Other items up for bid at http://www.charitybuzz.com through March 24, include VIP passes to Beyonce’s upcoming tour; a meet and greet with Kanye West; portraits of Will Smith and Morgan Freeman by celebrated photographer Robert G. Zuckerman; a trip to Four Seasons Great Exuma; and a roundtrip seaplane excursion for eight courtesy of V1 Jets.

Honorees at this year’s gala, which was chaired by Forge owner, Shareef Malnik, included Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the Rubell Family Collection and Jeffrey Soffer, Chairman of Fontainebleau Resorts. A visibly surprised Alonzo Mourning, was given a congratulatory tribute on the retirement of his Miami Heat jersey and an award for his numerous philanthropic endeavors through Alonzo Mourning Charities. Celebrity attendees included, charming actress Vivica Fox, who assured us that the upcoming Curb Your Enthusiasm season will be the funniest yet; extra crispy actor-turned-author, George Hamilton; New Orleans Saint/Kim Kardashian-beau, Reggie Bush; Miami Dolphin, Brandon London; former Mexican President Vicente Fox and his wife Marta (no relation to Vivica); Miss Africa USA 2008-2009, Nyasha Zimucha and legendary soul singer Betty Wright.

Upstairs at the Fontainebleau, in the Glimmer Ballroom, the Wellness Community held its 8th annual Heart & Star gala, co- chaired by real estate developer/hospitality entrepreneur/ nightlife impresario, Michael Capponi. What the event lacked in celebrity muscle, it made up for in elegance and glamour. Over 400 VIPs gathered to support the Wellness Community, which provides services and support to families living with cancer. Among the A-listers in attendance: CBS-TV’s chief weathercaster Lonnie Quinn; Alan and Diane Lieberman; South Beach publishing magnate, Jerry Powers; CEO and founder of Niche Media, Jason Binn; attorney Danny Weiss and his wife, arts activist Merle; Brazilian neo-pop artist, painter and sculptor, Romero Britto; and Rock Band, founder, Lee Dahlberg. Among the top-selling items in the live auction were: a custom painting by Romero Britto, a chance for a young basketball fan to be a “ball manager” on the court during a home Miami Heat game and a full day aboard Capponi’s yacht, complete with gas, food and drinks. Because two of the most well-respected nightlife impresarios, Shareef Malnik and Michael Capponi, chaired galas on the same night at the same time, a number of socialites were forced to shuttle between the two, much like Katherine Heigl’s character in 27 Dresses. Leaving them to wonder, “Doesn’t anybody own a calendar around here?”


The official Art for Life Miami Beach after-party took place the next night at the Forge’s Soul Kitchen, where guests Queen Latifah, Indianapolis Colt, Dwight Freeney, Kansas City Chief, Larry Johnson, San Francisco 49er, Vernon Davis, Arizona Cardinal, Darnell Dockett, Dallas Cowboy, Marion Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Antonio Bryant, and congressman, Kendrick Meek feasted on traditional Southern cuisine. Hosted by, you guessed it, Russell Simmons and Shareef Malnik, the event raised additional awareness and funding for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.


Spring Fever

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On March - 19 - 2009

Spring time on South Beach gives a whole new meaning to March Madness, with the throngs of sunburned spring breakers drinking themselves, and their textbook money, into oblivion, vying for the already scarce parking spaces and pining to get into clubs that wouldn’t even want them if they were of age. “Dorothy, you’re not in Gainesville anymore.” But fret not, despite the surge of college kids on our sands, there were still plenty of high-end, star-studded events and celebrity sightings over this past week, not to mention the upcoming Miami Fashion Week and Funkshion, among the largest and most unique fashion events in the country, to keep us locals feeling somewhat at home.

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