MIAMI BEACH, Fla., — Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc., a non-profit foundation to benefit music education in South Florida schools, kicked off with an elegant Gala at The Forge in Miami Beach on November 29. The foundation was established by the Cole twins, Timolin and Casey of Boca Raton, the youngest daughters of music legend Nat King Cole.
The Nat King Cole Generation Hope Black and White Gala was chaired by philanthropist and international financier Al Malnik and his wife Nancy Malnik. The Forge, a Miami Beach restaurant and bar, has served as the institution of elegance and taste and was founded by Al Malnik in 1968. The historic landmark and American icon has been the home of great music events throughout the years including performances by Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.
The Gala featured star-studded entertainment including performances by Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated producer songwriter Siedah Garrett and 11 time Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer Dennis Lambert. Melanie Fiona, an artist with SRC Records, dazzled guests with “The Midnight Train to Georgia.” Marie Petticar, talented a senior from Miramar High School, serenaded guests as well.
The event was emceed by Willard Shepard of NBC Miami. Celebrity guests included Kyle MacLachlan of “Desperate Housewives,” and his wife Desiree Gruber, producer of “Project Runway,” Niche Media CEO Jason, Binn, and celebrity rappers Cool and Dre. The Cole twins were joined by their mother, Mrs. Nat King Cole, their husbands, Gary Augustus and Julian Hooker, and friends from Florida, California and around the country.
The Gala sponsors included Al and Nancy Malnik, Madelyn Savarick, UNUM, Goldman Sachs, USI, Excel Services, Lincoln Financial, United Healthcare, The Fountainbleau, Chocolit, designer Paul Rubin, Saks, Guava Media, Ellis and Lisa Jones, Guy and Lee Ann Mancini, and Denise and Jordan Zimmerman.
The evening kicked off with a silent auction in The Forge’s famed wine room with a lively cocktail hour featuring entertainment by DJ Irie, a 2007 BET Award nominee and winner of Miami New Times’ 2005 Best Club DJ. Designer Rubin Singer showed his creations during an informal fashion show and he dressed the Cole twins in black and white Grecian-style gowns.
Following the cocktail party, guests proceeded into the black and white themed ballroom for dinner and an intimate concert. Guests then danced and continued the party at the Glass Bar at The Forge for the official after party.
The Cole twins launched the Foundation after learning of budget cuts in South Florida public schools. The Foundation was created to provide funding for music education to children of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and diversities, including music instrument instruction, music composition and songwriting, technical instruction in the recording arts, music instruments and equipment, and music related seminars and field trips.
“We were thrilled by the tremendous support from our friends and the South Florida community and the funds raised will help music programs in South Florida schools,” said Timolin Cole. “By enriching students with the opportunity to enhance their musical talents and abilities, our father’s legacy lives on.”
Casey Cole added, “We will continue with fundraising efforts over the next 12 months and are working with school officials in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties to determine where the funds are most needed.”
Nat King Cole was one of the most popular singers ever to hit the American charts. A brilliant recording and concert artist during the 40s, 50s, and 60s, he attracted millions of fans around the world with a sensitive and caressing singing voice that was unmistakable. Cole had a rare blend of technical musical knowledge and sheer performing artistry topped off with an abundance of showmanship. In the 23 years that he recorded with Capitol Records, he turned out hit after amazing hit – nearly 700 songs – all the while managing to remain a gentle, tolerant and gracious human being.
In 1965, Nat King Cole died tragically of lung cancer. He was only 45. Nathaniel Adams Coles was born in Montgomery, Alabama on March 17, 1919. He was the son of Baptist minister, Edward James Coles, and mother, Perlina Adams, who sang soprano and directed the choir in her husband’s church. Cole grew up in Chicago, met and married a girl in New York named Maria Hawkins, who was from Boston. They had five children and lived in Hancock Park in Los Angeles.
NKC Generation Hope, Inc. has been established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in South Florida. Its officers are Timolin and Casey Cole, both of Boca Raton. Honorary Board Members are: Mrs. Nat King Cole of Ponte Vedre, Fla.; Ms. Natalie Cole and Ms. Carole Cole, both of Los Angeles; Ms. Madelyn Savarick of Boca Raton; Mr. Jimmy Cefalo of Pittston, Pennsylvania; Mr. Colin Cowie of Los Angeles; Mr. Anthony C. Gruppo of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Jones of Los Angeles; Ms. Leslie Linder of West Palm Beach; Mr. and Mrs. Al Malnik of Palm Beach; Ms. Marylynne Stephan McGlone of Palm Beach; Ms.Holly Robinson and Mr. Rodney Peete, both of Los Angeles, and Mr. and Mrs. Jordan Zimmerman also of Boca Raton.
To obtain more information on Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc., please visit: www.natkingcolefoundation.org