On Saturday, April 9th, 2016, Michael Capponi & Dilay Bayraktar will celebrate their birthdays with an evening benefiting Capponi’s foundation, Global Empowerment Mission (GEM) at the prestigious Island Gardens. The semi formal event will be co-hosted by Ivana Trump and attendees will include other Miami notables and GEM Board Members Seth Browarnik, Andres Fanjul, and Dr. Jay H. Park. Capponi who recently return from his 78th mission trip to Haiti is thrilled to celebrate his birthday by raising funds and awareness for this cause that is very dear to his heart. Honored on stage will be the former Mayor of Miami Beach, Matti Bower, former Commissioner, Michael Gongora, and several firefighters who joined Capponi for his earthquake relief efforts in Haiti in 2010.
With around 300 to 500 guests, the evening will include cocktails under the moon and stars by Svedka and Herradura, a formal dinner, a presentation from GEM, a silent auction, and a musical performance by Dilayla. Signature sculptures from French sculptor, Richard Orlinski, will be auctioned off as well as a once in a lifetime trip to Haiti with GEM and Michael Capponi. Once there, they will go to some of the schools to meet the kids, as well as to the beautiful beaches, mountains and waterfalls, experiencing all of the different sides of what Haiti has to offer.
One of the things that sets GEM apart from other non-profits are their lack of operating costs. They are one of the only foundations in Florida that operate with almost zero operating costs. Meaning, every cent that they collect goes straight to Haiti. Their financials can be seen on their website: GEM Financials
Capponi is most excited to share is GEM’s Haiti presentation. It will feature interviews with some of the children who have gone on to complete school and now have a new hope for life. Some of these children he found right after the earthquake. They were covered in mud, without homes, education or hope. With this presentation, they will present one of these kids, who now speaks perfect English, is the number one student in his entire school, and is graduating next year. “I think it’s an amazing accomplishment when you can provide somebody with an education who otherwise never would have had the opportunity,” Capponi says. “For a child, coming from a family history of 300 years without education to be the first generation to attend school and be at the top of his class. That’s pretty impressive.” It is stories like these that he is most excited about sharing on Saturday night. Buy tickets here.