Women of Tomorrow’s 18th Anniversary Gala at Mandarin Oriental

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Jennifer Valoppi & Christian Berdouare
Jennifer Valoppi & Christian Berdouare

There are lots of galas that take place in Miami between the months of November and April. All of them contribute to worthy causes, but when it comes down to it, some are just a little more fun than others. Women of Tomorrow is one such event. No only does it help young, at-risk women find mentors, it’s genuinely a good time and even manages to feel intimate even with 500 VIPs in the room.

This year, Gala Chair Marisa Toccin orchestrated the lux event at partner hotel Mandarin Oriental, raising almost $800,000 for the program. “The funds are used for college scholarships and mentoring activities in Florida and Philadelphia,” said Toccin. “This year, we started something new—offering the opportunity to sponsor individual girls, so they can follow their success in the program for four years or they can sponsor a specific school for one year.” Most South Florida high schools have girls in the Women of Tomorrow program, and, on average there about 20 girls involved per school.

Brittny Gastineau and Fabian Basabe
Brittny Gastineau and Fabian Basabe

Funds were raised via a silent auction with choice items on sale from Roger Vivier, Saint Laurent, Prada and top restaurants and hotels. It was the live auction, however, that really got things going with bidding wars on a lease on a 2015 Jaguar F-Type, dinner for 10 by celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffman and a $5,000 Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour spree—that went for $20,000.  Guests included Jose Diaz-Balart, Brittny Gastineau, Roxanne Vargas, Carol and Marc Iacovelli, Kristen and Chapman Ducote and Haute 100 members Stuart Miller and Wayne Boich, who both made generous donations.

Jennifer Valoppi and James Rosenquist
Jennifer Valoppi and James Rosenquist

Founder Jennifer Valoppi gave artist James Rosenquist the organization’s first Spirit of Tomorrow award. He is known as one of the greatest living American pop artists, who emerged during the movement in the 1960s. The award comes after Rosenquist donated one his his works worth $200,000 to the organization in 2014.

Photos by World Red Eye

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