ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25TH WE CELEBRATED 20 years of “The Blacks’ Gala”. What started as a small fundraising event in my house has now grown to a major gala event with over 750 guests at the Fontainebleau’s
Sparkle Ballroom. The event supports at-risk kids and various organizations including Teach For America and Breakthrough Miami. To make our 20th Anniversary extra special, we had the support of The Mariano Foundation whose generous contribution allowed us to have an Andy Warhol décor theme and concert performance by the legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Without the support of philanthropic individuals and leaders of our community, such as our Honoree Steven Mariano, it would not be possible for our organization to continue to support the educational programs that offer a positive, life-changing path for the youth that have to overcome obstacles based
on the limited support they have. We had an amazing audience of generous donors and celebrities
that kindly donated their time including guest host Ross Mathews from E! Network; Courtney Love; Emilio Estefan; Swiss Beatz; Amy Purdy of Dancing with the Stars; Lisa and Lenny Hochstein from The Real Housewives of Miami; Salvador Camarena, celebrity stylist; Nick Loeb; entrepreneur and socialite; Greg Lotus, famed editorial photographer; David and Jacqueline Siegel of The Queen of Versailles; Helio Castroneves, three time Indy 500 winner; Tinsley Mortimer; Hernan Arriaga, famed decorator; diva Elaine Lancaster and more.
Some of the highlights of the evening included a video with personal messages from Andy Cohen, Mario Lopez, Andrea Bocelli, Rush Limbaugh, Heather McDonald, Amy Philips, Congressman Patrick Murphy and Lennox Lewis. Gloria Estefan announced Aretha Franklin’s performance with a moving, heartfelt introduction. Mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine, presented me with a key to the city and declared, October 25th “Lea Black Day”—maybe we could turn it into a public holiday, lol?
The live auction included a one-year lease on a 2015 Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe courtesy of Warren Henry Jaguar, a division of Warren Henry Auto Group; a JetSmarter “Uber” VIP Membership package; celebrity experiences; walk-on-parts in the next Michael Bay film and the new HBO TV series Baller to name a few.
Because of the support and generosity of our committee members and sponsors including GREY GOOSE, The World’s Best Tasting Vodka; Fontainebleau Miami Beach; Beck’s Sapphire; Haute Living; Nuage Linen Service; Electric Picks; The Miami Herald; Natural Impression Design Invitation Branding; wine kindly donated by Massanois Imports; Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf, P.A., guests partied till the early hours of the morning to the sounds of DJ Ciprian.