On Saturday, February 19, Voices For Children Foundation, the fundraising arm of the 11th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program, celebrated its 2011 “Be A Voice, Take A Stand” Gala at Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Mandarin Oriental and Swire Properties were honored for their 10-year dedication and fundraising more than $2.7 million in financial and in-kind support.
Shannon Hori and Elliot Rodriguez from South Florida’s Channel 4 headed the ceremony and live auction for a crowd of more than 400 of the community’s power players. Guests got to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and cigars presented by Padron Cigars, while having the chance to bid on a variety of silent auction items, including pieces from Prada, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino as well as items from Neiman Marcus, South Beach Wine & Food Festival and the Miami HEAT.
Attendees had the opportunity partake in the Angel Society, one of Voices’ annual giving programs, which included a drawing for a stunning Harry Winston Gentlemen’s Rose Gold Excenter Wristwatch valued at $19,000 or two tickets to the Marc Jacobs New York runway show complete with airfare and accommodations.
During the live auction, guests bid on a Cathay Pacific Airways trip including accommodations at Mandarin Oriental properties in Hong Kong, Macau and Bangkok. Following the reception guests enjoyed a performance by the Miami City Ballet’s, “Nine Sinatra Songs.” Choreographed by Twyla Tharp and set to the tune of Frank Sinatra, featured costumes by fashion designer Oscar de la Renta.
In celebration of the evening and staying true to their commitment to the foundation, the honorees issued a challenge for the corporate leaders in the room to follow their example and commit to helping Voices For Children for the next decade. Mandarin Oriental, Miami’s Area Vice President and General Manager Jorge Gonzalez spontaneously announced that the hotel would cover the evening’s cost for dinner, drinks and valet for the more than 400 guests in attendance.
Some notables community members included; Her Royal Highness Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam; Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany to Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands Eva Alexandra Countess Kendeffy; State Senator Rene Garcia; County Commissioners Carlos Gimenez and Sally Heyman; City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina, to name a few.