Make-A-Wish Makes History In Miami With A Star-Studded Gala Raising $5.4 Million

Diana Ross

Photo Credit: Manny Hernandez

This past Saturday, celebrities from around the world gathered for the 27th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball. The star-studded event raised an impressive $5.4 million for the foundation, helping to grant life-changing wishes to children who suffer from dire illnesses. With this year’s theme of “SUPERNATURE,” guests were immersed in a fairytale fantasy world surrounded by flora and fauna. The hotel’s entrance was transformed into a forest, dripping in green vines. A glistening, crystalized tunnel transported guests to the white carpet where the cocktail hour was held.

The black-tie event was a night to remember, with a special introduction featuring an exclusive showing of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida’s up-and-coming Finker-Frenkel Wish House. The sneak peek was accompanied by numerous former wish kids who spoke on their gratitude toward the foundation and the impact it had on them as well as their confidence in the Wish House’s ability to help change the lives of future wish kids.

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

Photo Credit: Manny Hernandez

Among the notable guests was Actress and filmmaker Gabrielle Anwar, who hosted the event in her 11th year as the emcee. As the ball began, the Burn Notice actress welcomed the headliner of the gala, Diana Ross. The legend stole the show as she opened up the main event with a private performance of her chart-topping hit, “I’m Coming Out.”

Kiki Barth and FoodGod

Photo Credit: Manny Hernandez

Other notable guests in attendance included The Real Housewives of Miami stars, Lisa Hochstein, Kiki Barth, Adriana de Moura, Larsa Pippen, and Dr. Nicole Martin, Kardashian Family acquaintance Jonathan Cheban, better known as “Food God,” singer-songwriter Alisan Porter, and country star and only son of the iconic couple Johnny Cash and June Carter, John Carter Cash. Most importantly, the Mayor of Miami Francis Suarez, was in attendance as well, applauding the gratitude of his wonderful city.

Norman Wedderburn, Mayor of Miami Francis X. Suarez

Photo Credit: Alejandro Chavarria, World Red Eye

The ball held auctions featuring unbelievably unique items and experiences, including luxury cars and international vacations. What really made the night a monumental time in history were a few of the donations. Donating $1 million each, Peter and Tatiana Cancro, the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation, and Make-A-Wish Lifetime Benefactors Al and Nancy Malnik each, together raised an extremely generous total of $3 million for the Southern Florida foundation.

CeeLo Green

Photo Credit: World Red Eye

Closing out the event with an exclusive afterparty presented by E11EVEN Vodka, five-time Grammy Award-winning artist CeeLo Green performed at the InterContinental’s Nightclub, Snow Beast. As the party went on, the night featured a burlesque show and even more beats by artists: Undercover, Gyasi Heus, Yoli Mayor, Lux-O-Matic, and Forealism.

The extravagant event was made possible by InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Gala Host, Glenn Sampert, Gala Chair Shareef M. Malnik, and President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Norman Wedderburn.