The perfect excuse to drive up to Palm Beach (besides for shopping) was for Make-A-Wish®, where the Southern Florida division held its annual Garden Party, building excitement for the upcoming 20th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, to be held on Saturday, November 1, 2014. The private affair was hosted by Lifetime Benefactors Al and Nancy Malnik – whose unprecedented gift of $1 million to Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida remains the largest single contribution to the charity – at their Palm Beach county oceanfront estate. The event was held in honor of the 2013 Ball, which raised $2 million. Ball Chairman Shareef Malnik announced that actress and documentary film director Gabrielle Anwar will once again emcee the live auction as celebrity auctioneer for the fourth consecutive year. It was also announced that Diana Ross will be performing, and that Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida has set a goal to raise $3 million at this year’s Ball.
Attendees at the annual spring soiree included hosts Al and Nancy Malnik; Gala Chairman, Board Member and Founder of Chairman’s Society Shareef Malnik and 2011, 2012 and 2013 Ball emcee and Chairman’s Society member Gabrielle Anwar; Chairman’s Society Members Brett Rose, Jerry Gutierrez, Richard Polidori, and Richard Weissman; President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, Norman Wedderburn; InterContinental® Miami General Manager and Gala Host Robert Hill; Harvey and Roberta Chaplin of Southern Wine & Spirits of America; Real Housewives of Miami star Adriana De Moura and husband Frederic Marq; PAMM Deputy Director for External Affairs Leann Standish; Founders of Nat King Cole Generation Hope Foundation Casey and Timolin Cole; handbag designer Gabriella Wimmer; socialite/philanthropists Fabian Basabe, Irene Korge, Daniel and Marcella Novela, Linda Levy Goldberg, Nicole Lozano, Danny and Merle Weiss, Gillian Dinnerstein and many more. Set affront a backdrop of glamour and sophistication, guests enjoyed an afternoon of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as well as performances by a group of talented musical performers assembled especially for the event. These talented musicians have studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, accompanying musical stars including Mariah Carey, and have played at jazz hot spots such as BB Kings Blues Club & Grill. An elaborately tiered tabletop candy tower – laden with all-white candies and cakes – brought out the inner child in all guests.
In a grand finale that served as testament to the life-changing power of a Wish, “Wish Child” Joey Giordano was introduced. Joey is an 8 year-old cancer survivor whose mother shared his moving story of persevering through his grueling journey, knowing that once he improved he would be able to fulfill his Wish of going on a Disney cruise.