Undoubtedly one of the most well-attended events of the year, the Intercontinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball is celebrating its 18th year of success on Saturday, November 3. But until then, some 200 of South Florida’s leading philanthropists gathered for an annual kickoff celebration on June 7th.
“I am honored to be a part of a mission that has impacted so many lives,” said Robert Hill, Ball Host and General Manager of InterContinental Miami. “As a result of 17 nights of fundraising, the hotel and Foundation have together raised enough funds to grant 2,300 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions across South Florida. It is because of this unique 17-year partnership, the committee’s passion for the cause and our generous donors’ unwavering support that we have made and will continue to make the Ball one of the most anticipated and successful fundraising events of the year.”
A highlight of the evening was Ball Chairman and proprietor of The Forge Restaurant and Wine Bar, Shareef Malnik’s announcement of the Ball’s newest endeavor, the “Chairman’s Challenge.”
“As Chairman of the Ball, it is my mission to find new and innovative ways to take our fundraising efforts to the next level,” said Malnik. “As part of the ‘Chairman’s Challenge,’ I have for the past eight months challenged some of the community’s leading philanthropists and businesses to underwrite the cost of the Ball for the next five years. I am thrilled to announce that to date, I have received an impressive 14 commitments and am confident six more outstanding individuals will rise to the challenge before November 3, marking yet another incredible milestone.”
Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida added, “I am truly touched by the support we continue to receive from our community. It is because of these generous individuals that we continue to break records and achieve fundraising milestones year after year. I would like to give special thanks to Shareef Malnik and Gabrielle Anwar, star of USA Network’s ‘Burn Notice’ and the 2012 Ball’s celebrity auctioneer, who together not only conceived the ‘Chairman’s Challenge,’ but are also the first donors of the Challenge.”
Notable guests in attendance included James Ferraro, Sanford Ziff and wife Baroness Beatrice Clancy, Antonio Misuraca, Michael Capponi, Mark and Robin Levinson and DJ Irie, who also provided the musical entertainment for the evening.