Hautest Gala: Voices for Children at The Mandarin Oriental

On Saturday evening at the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key was where Miami’s elite gathered for one of Miami’s best causes: Voices for Children. If you do not know about Voices for Children, it is a non profit that ensures every abused and neglected child in Miami-Dade County has a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem and that financial assistance and other resources are available for their accompanying health, educational, and social needs.

Speaking of social, the Honorary Gala co-chairs are Voices board members Christian and Brittany Slater, and Jim Ferraro and Alena Gavrikova. Each year the #BeAVoiceGala welcomes 500 of Miami’s most philanthropic and influential community leaders and dedicated business professionals who come together to stand up for Miami-Dade’s abused, abandoned and neglected children.

Brittany Lopez-Slater tells me “We feel so blessed to be part of an organization that gives abused kids a chance at a better life. Hosting the gala as honorary chairs with our friends Jim Ferraro and Alena Gavrikova made it even more meaningful!”

Sponsored by Harry Winston (who had set up a Harry Winston lounge upon enterance to the main ball room), The evening included a sit down dinner experience, entertainment by Dj Kucha, a dapper gentleman who had the whole room dancing. Then came a moving testimonial by a young woman named Michelange Louis who was a recipient of Voices for Children’s Guardian ad Litem Program, accompanied by her foster mom Dianne Gilmore and her soon to be fiancé Jeremy Godbold. Her speech silenced the room, making quite the amount of mascara run down the gala-goer’s faces and putting into perspective how VFC changed her life, and still does. If you read this, please say a prayer for Michelange, as this 23 year old angel will find out if her cancer is gone on February 27th. Yes, after being neglected and blamed at the age of four by her incarcerated mother who blamed her for everything, she was doing well, had a child, then got ill with Stage III Cancer.

So, back to the positive, the evening was superb, and VFC raised a very large, undisclosed amount to fund this very necessary programming. The evening’s guests included chair’s Yolanda and Jeff Berkowitz (Yolanda was best dressed, hands down, in a Stella McCartney rich blue gown), Swanee and Paul DiMare, Romero Britto, Neiman Marcus’ Stephen Brunelle and Irene Pariserband, Daniella Swaebe, Carmen Cassadella, Jennifer Valoppi, Alan Randolph and Steven Rodriguez, Carole Seikaly, Dianne and Alan Lieberman with Jessica and Nathan Lieberman, Haute Living Publisher Sarah Mirmelli, Christian Dior’s Ariel Filartiga, Miami Housewife Marysol Patton and Marcella and Daniel Novela among many others.