Party of the Year: The 20th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish Ball

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On November - 21 - 2014

Diana RosBy: Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Arguably the best party of the year, the 20th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, an elegant “Oz Reimagined”-themed gala, took place on Saturday, November 1, welcoming nearly 1,000 guests, who gathered to dine, dance and donate to one of the worthiest causes: the Make-A-Wish foundation. The highlight of the glamorous celebration, was a thrilling concert by the “Queen of Motown,” Diana Ross- the most outstanding performance we’ve seen at a party since Donna Summer performed at Destination Fashion in 2007 (this writer’s first official social column for The SunPost). Ross, dazzling in a red, bejeweled halter pantsuit, wrapped in red organza, entered the stage singing “I’m Coming Out” and had guests enthralled as she performed other chart-topping hits such as,”Baby Love,” “Upside Down,” “Do You Know,” “Stop-in the Name of and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” And while Ross’ performance was the crown jewel of the Ball, there was plenty of glittery goodness leading up to the concert. From the gold carpet, to the cocktail reception filled with culinary delights created by InterContinental Miami Executive Chef Alexander Feher, including seafood served on an ice bar shaped like the trees from OZ, to the premier items at the Ball’s silent auction, and special appearances by Dorothy and her crew, the Wicked Witch and Glenda and the “Voice of Oz” that summoned revelers to the Main Ballroom for dinner- the night was filled with the enchantment we’ve come to expect from the unparalleled Make A Wish Ball. Inside the Ballroom, guests were captivated by both the splendor of the room’s white-on-white decor and the beauty and wit of Gabrielle Anwar, who returned for the fourth consecutive year as Celebrity Emcee and Auctioneer. In what has become a Ball tradition, Gabrielle and fiancé,  Ball Chair, Shareef Malnik opened the night’s festivities with a creative dramatic moment. This year’s involved Gabrielle engaged in steamy dialogue with a faceless “Oz” – actually the voice of  Shareef — who eventually revealed himself, emerging from underneath the voluminous skirt of Gabrielle’s emerald green ball gown, eliciting a roar of laughter from the room and setting the stage for the more serious task of raising money for Wishes. A touching moment came courtesy of South Florida Wish recipient Nicole Graziano, who sang a touching rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” Read the rest of this entry »

18th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On November - 16 - 2012

abBy:   Mary Jo Almeida-Shore 


The InterContinental Miami, awash in fuchsia lighting, became a colorful scene out of a Bollywood movie on Saturday, November 3, for the 18th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, complete with gigantic murals of Buddha, an authentic, New Delhi-style Indian street-market, filled with  baskets of spices, fruits, and vegetables (intermingled with silent-auction stands); lavishly, costumed dancers, ornate parasols, brilliantly hued flowing fabrics and an elaborate Indian street parade, led by an elephant, which escorted guests into the main ballroom- a kaleidoscope of colors, resembling a massive, traditional Indian tent.   Think:  Indian wedding meets Bollywood movie. Read the rest of this entry »

Shakers and Shopping Parties

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On November - 2 - 2011

Bonnie Clearwater, Angelo Ricasa, Ivonne Ronderos, and Meredith Becker

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

MOCA Mystery Dates Kick-off

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MOCA) young, hip “Shakers” threw a bash for 400 at newly minted Miami Beach lounge The Well, to kick-off ticket sales for their annual highly-anticipated, Mystery Dates fundraiser, to be held on November 12.  On the soggy evening, the artsy patrons came out in droves to fill the relaxed yet stylish space and enjoy Grey Goose vodka cocktails, while chatting excitedly about the upcoming Mystery Dates event, which consists of a series of glamorous dinner parties held concurrently at the homes of private art collectors and designers around Miami.  The mystery is that guests have no idea as to where they will be dining until the night of the actual event. 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 »

Don’t Miss

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 24 - 2011

sbwfFoodies Rev Up Your Appetites

South Beach Wine and Food Festival

The 10th Annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival is upon us once again.  To our fellow foodies who wish to attend and purchase tickets to events, visit for a complete line up of available tickets still available.  If your desired event is sold out, fear not- we will have a full recap with photos next week. To read all about last year’s SBWFF fun, visit:


six_cupcakes_lineSweet Street Desserts Hits Lincoln Road

Join the sugar rush on Friday, February 25, as Sweet Street Desserts presents “The Sweet Ride” a mobile dessert truck that will be giving out their famous sweet treats including assorted cupcakes, Chewy Marshmallow Squares, Lemon Crumb Bars, Fabulous Chocolate Chunk Brownies and Toffee Crunch Blondies.  The sugar rush begins at 9:30 p.m. , and will be located at 1111 Lincoln Road. The Sweet Ride will also be touring Miami Beach over the weekend.  Sweet Street will also be donating 15% of its sales online at to the University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Customers simply enter “FIU” when prompted at check out.  The promotion runs until March 13, 2011.

Please note that the “Sweet Ride” will only be passing out samples to ticketed guests at Let Them Eat Cake. HOWEVER, it will be touring Miami Beach and passing out it’s luscious desserts, including the newest creation  Pipeable® Mousses, on Saturday from 12  to 2 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Catch them if you can on Collins, Washington, Ocean Drive, and Lincoln Road.


STK-MiamiSTK and The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar

On Saturday, February 26,   The One Group’s STK Miami and Shareef Malnik’s award-winning The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar will host two of the most sought-after events during the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. 

STK welcomes celebrity chef and “Top Chef Master” Rick Moonen to team up with STK’s executive chef, and “Hell’s Kitchen” alum, Ralph Pagano, to present a highly-anticipated “Surf & Turf” dinner.  The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 8:00 p.m., followed by a private dinner at 9:00 p.m. Guests will enjoy Moonen’s signature, sustainable seafood dishes with a side of Pagano’s decadent prime cuts. The four-course dinner, priced at $150, will be perfectly paired with wines and spirits including Chambord vodka, Herradura tequila, Collingwood whiskey and a selection of wines from organic Bonterra Vineyards. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of America. For more information call 305.604.6988.


the_forge_260The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar, will present a second installment of its Wine Dinner Series along with original host partner Joseph Phelps Vineyards to lead diners through the six-course dinner and provide the perfect pairing for each dish. The Wine Dinner Series began in New York’s Greenwich Village during the restaurant’s “Fall in the North and South”-themed dinner at the James Beard House in October 2010.  Using the same menu, but with a few seasonal ingredient changes, executive chef Dewey LoSasso  teams up with the prestigious Joseph Phelps to create an outstanding dining experience. For more information visit


SoBeComedyFest_Have-Nots-02_24_11South Beach Comedy Festival

The South Beach Comedy Festival Local All-Stars kickoff this year’s festival on Thursday, February 24 at Buck 15 (above Miss Yip Chinese Café), located at 1661 Meridian Avenue on Miami Beach and is free to the public with a 2 menu item minimum. Doors open at 7p.m. The comedian lineup features previous winners from South Beach Comedy Festival’s “Best New Comedian Contest”, national touring headliners and even an Emmy winner. These local all-stars include: Lisa Corrao, Wendi Starling, Johnny Trabs, Gene Harding and Dave Williamson. The event is hosted by Miami New Times “Best Club Comic 2010” Jessica Gross and features sounds by DJ V2.  For more information on The South Beach Comedy Festival Local All-Stars visit or


AngelSquadsCastingCall-02252011Angel Squads WANTS YOU!

The new Miami Beach-based promotional agency will host an open casting call for Massage Angels at Pics Boutique on Thursday, February 24 and Friday, February 25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The first company to utilize the European concept of incorporating massage into nightlife, Angel Squads’ team of trained Massage Angels (read: genetically blessed ladies in white corsets, white feathered wings, black leggings and black stilettos) can be found at high-end nightclubs and restaurants in South Beach, and offer patrons 10 minute relaxing chill neck, shoulder and Indian head massages. For more information, go to



oscarposter2011Oscar Night® America

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected the Miami Beach Film Society to host and be the beneficiary of the official celebration in Miami for the Oscar Night® America (ONA) party.  Oscar Night® America viewing parties are the official nationwide celebrations of the Oscars®. ONA Miami Beach 2011’s cocktail soirée will also act as a grand opening event hosted at the film society’s yet to be unveiled cinematheque, located inside the historic Miami Beach City Hall, on Oscar® Sunday,    February 27 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the 2011 Oscar Night America Miami Beach are available for $125 or $110 for Miami Beach Film Society & Cinematheque and MIFF members. Ticket prices include food and beverages, tax and gratuity, a $25 Escopazzo gift certificate, the official 83rd Annual Academy Awards® program booklet and other event memorabilia. For more information, visit


neiman-marcusFashion Rules at Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour 

On Thursday, March 3, at 6 p.m., join Haute Living’s Fashion Director, Jilian Sanz along with Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour,   as they celebrate the world’s top designers and their creations at THE FASHION RULES! Party.  Dress in your spring best  for  Haute Living’s “Be on the Cover” photo shoot followed by a fashion show displaying the latest spring trends.  For reservations call  305.993.4612 or

Make a Wish Ball-Intercontinental Miami

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


Make a Wish Ball-Miami Socialholic