InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball VIP Kickoff

Shareef Malnik, Lee Schrager, & Robert Hill PHOTO CREDIT WORLD RED EYE

When the VIP kickoff is this luxe, you just know the event is going to be over-the-top. Such was the case of InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball VIP Kickoff last week. Even though the soiree was technically a warm-up to the main event: a lavish, 20th Anniversary ball featuring entertainment by Diana Ross; the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball VIP Kick-off was quite the production in itself.

The “Oz” theme was in full effect, with props and food stations with clever names such as “Munchkin Land” (sushi) and “Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers” (a plethora of sweets). There was more than enough drama to hint at the amazing “Oz”-themed tricks they they have up their sleeves for the big night.

Robert Hill, Gala Host and General Manager of the InterContinental Miami; Shareef Malnik, Gala Chairman, philanthropist and proprietor of The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar; and Norman Wedderburn, President/CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida  greeted guests along with actress/filmmaker Gabrielle Anwar, who will be serving as the Ball’s celebrity emcee for the fourth consecutive year.

Lee Brian Schrager, who was an original founding member and steering committee chairman of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, was in attendance, as well as  Marshall Ames, Lady Monica Heftler, Eugene Frenkel, Neil Gonzalez; Todd Linden, Aaron Resnick, Alison Zhuk, and Tara and Jack Benmeleh.

During the evening, it was announced that Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour will be the official fashion sponsor of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub, which immediately follows the Ball – presenting a fashion show of over-the-top, Oz-inspired looks by couture designers. Tickets for the Nightclub are $100, and may be purchased at

Photos by World Red Eye and Manny Hernandez