Inside The 23rd Annual Make-A-Wish Ball At The InterContinental Miami With Lenny Kravitz

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Shareef Malnik, Gabrielle Anwar, Al Malnik & Nancy Malnik
Shareef Malnik, Gabrielle Anwar, Al Malnik and Nancy Malnik

Photo Credit: World Red Eye

The 23rd Annual Make-A-Wish Southern Florida Ball at the InterContinental Miami took place on Saturday, November 4th, and stunned as per usual with a breathtaking “Mystical Music Box” theme, an epic performance by rockstar Lenny Kravitz and proceeds totaling $2.3 million to benefit the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida chapter.

The “Three Amigos,” a.k.a. Shareef Malnik, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, Gala Chair of the InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball, and proprietor of The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar; Robert Hill, Gala Host and General Manager of InterContinental® Miami; and Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, ensured that the night would be unforgettable as they pulled out all the stops for this year’s magical ball.

Norm Wedderburn, Shareef Malnik, & Robert Hill
Norm Wedderburn, Shareef Malnik and Robert Hill

Photo Credit: World Red Eye

From the moment guests arrived on the red carpet of the grand Ball, they were transported to a whimsical fantasy land full of live performers dressed in magical costumes, beautiful artwork and over-the-top production by DECO productions that made the night uniquely special. Guests enjoyed libations and culinary specialties from the hotel’s Toro Toro restaurant as they roamed around the massive cocktail party in the hotel’s mezzanine area, which was decked out in a bright Mondrian color scheme. As they admired the generous silent auction items and the stunning collection of luxury automobiles on display from The Collection, guests were invited to proceed behind the mysterious red curtain that held the “Mystical Music Box” inside the gala space, where the magic really began.

The Collection
The Collection cars on display

Photo Credit: World Red Eye

As guests finally entered the ballroom, they were greeted by an entryway of music box dancers, welcoming them to the breathtaking, candle-lit ballroom. Adorned with eye-catching sculptural floral centerpieces created by Bayfront Flora, as well as an impressive 144-ft LED wall produced by Mauricio Ferrazza, which matched the timeline of the event throughout the night with Make-A-Wish branding and backdrops to set the scene, the room was nothing short of incredibly impressive. The Miami-famous DJ Irie kept the energy strong as he played beats leading up to the anticipated, dramatic entrance by Shareef Malnik and Gabrielle Anwar. Gabrielle aptly appeared out of a Mystical Musical Box and danced as a mechanical doll, captivating the entire ballroom.

Mystical Music Box EntrancePhoto Credit: World Red Eye

Of course, much of the success of the astounding, high-grossing event is to be attributed to Malnik’s wonderful wife, Gabrielle Anwar, who co-stars on the hit ABC drama, Once Upon A Time. Returning as the celebrity emcee of the Ball for the seventh consecutive year, she once again, brought life and entertainment to the Wish Auction, and ensured that no child was left without a wish, as she kindled the generosity of Miami’s elite to support the cause. She was joined on stage by Sage Escalante, a 14 year-old Make-A-Wish child who was diagnosed with cancer when she was 12, who performed two original songs on stage with a ukulele, as well as Make-A-Wish child Madison White, whose wish for a horse was the 11,000th wish granted in the chapter’s history. The trio of women enchanted the crowd, earning a miraculous amount of Wish donations from Miami’s most philanthropic guests.

Shareef Malnik & Gabrielle Anwar Skit7
Shareef Malnik and Gabrielle Anwar’s Opening Skit

Photo Credit: World Red Eye

Afterwards, Alisan Porter, winner of The Voice 2016, took the stage for the second year in a row and sang beautiful renditions of “Desperado” and “Cry Bay,” which led into the exciting Live Auction portion of the event with auctioneer Brian Holland. The wonderful packages auctioned off included a five-night-stay at a private home in Beaver Creek, Colorado donated by Joseph Perez; a 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman Coupe in “Miami Blue” from The Collection; the Romero Britto Pink Dream Horse and more. Other auction sponsors included: Make-A-Wish Board of Directors; British Airways and InterContinental® London Park Lane; InterContinental® Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa; InterContinental® Los Angeles Century City; InterContinental® Moorea Resort & Spa; InterContinental® Tahiti Resort & Spa; Bob & Alysia Press; Hotel InterContinenal® Lisbon; InterContinental® Porto Palacio das Cardosas; Domaine Bertaud Belieu St. Tropez; Haute Living Magazine; Palace Hotel Byblos; JetSmarter; InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown; and Romero Britto.

Alisan Porter Singing
Alisan Porter Singing

Photo Credit: World Red Eye

And finally, the most anticipated moment of the night occurred when rockstar Lenny Kravitz took the stage for the main event. In Haute Living’s exclusive interview with Ball Chairman Shareef Malnik, he promised that at this year’s Ball, “Lenny Kravitz [was] going to rock us!” And that he did. With his contagious energy at an all-time high, attendees jumped to their feet and rushed to the stage, singing along with the music icon to hit songs like, “Where Are We Runnin,'” “American Woman” and “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over.” The performance will certainly be one of the most memorable in the long, impressive history of the annual Ball.

Inside Make-A-Wish Ball 2017
Inside Make-A-Wish Ball 2017

Photo Credit: World Red Eye

And the party did not stop there. High-spirited guests then moved to the afterparty for the 10th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub, presented by E11EVEN Miami, to dance the night away with another fantastic DJ performance by hip-hop producer and artist Snoop Dogg—the perfect ending to an extraordinary evening of bringing the community together and giving back to a wonderful cause.

Snoop Dog DJing
Snoop Dog DJing

Notable attendees of the night included Al and Nancy Malnik, Lifetime Benefactors of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida; Jim and Megan Ferraro; Miami Mayor Francis Suarez; City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell; Dr. Thinh Trann; Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto M. Carvalho and Maria Carvalho; Orianne Collins; Barbara Becker and Juan Lopez Salaberry; Dr. Lenny and Lisa Hochstein; Aaron Resnick; Jay Phillip Parker and Alison Zhuk; Howard and Barbara Glicken; Harvey and Roberta Chaplin; Wayne and Arlene Chaplin; Bob and Alysia Press; Dr. Jeffrey Kamlet; Trina Robinson; Daniel and Merle Weiss; Brian and Andrea Holland; Jonathan and Missy Babicka; Richard Polidori; Richard and Robin Weissman; Eugene and Brooke Frenkel; Rocky and Susie Stein; Alli Malnik; Chris Paciello; Barry Skolnick and Missy Brody; Dennis Crowley and Mari Haupert; Dennis DeGori; Ken DeGori; Ramona Messore; Jesus Rohena; Igor Makarov; Joseph Perez; Amy Bloom; and Drew and Lisa Mandala.

 

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