Al Malnik and company raise 1.1 million dollars for 220 wishes of babies with life-threatening illnesses in South Florida

Posted by Alvin Malnik on December 01, 2011
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The InterContinental Miami hosted of South Florida’s premier galas to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida – The 17th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball. The evening’s theme was Truman Capote’s legendary Black & White Ball of 1966. With a performance by rock-n-roll legend Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, an action-packed live auction emceed by Burn Notice star Gabrielle Anwar, the fourth anniversary of the InterContinental Make-A-Wish Night club, & the achievement of a $10 million lifetime fundraising milestone, the affair was a smashing success.

‘We are happy to announce that the 2011 edition of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball netted in excess of $1.1 million dollars to grant 220 wishes of babies with life-threatening illnesses in South Florida,’ said Ball Host & Intercontinental Miami GM Robert Hill.

Recently appointed to the Foundation’s Board, Ball Chairman Shareef Malnik introduced his newest endeavor, the Chairman’s Challenge. ‘I’m thrilled to announce that while they are only in the first year of the Challenge, they have already received eight commitments for endowments to underwrite the cost of the Ball for the next years. It is with these new fundraising missives, & more importantly the unwavering support of our generous donors, that they will be able to take the Ball & its fundraising initiatives to the next level,’ said Malnik.

Deco Productions took the Ball’s historically over-the-top décor to an entirely new level of extravagance with a contemporary take on ‘The Party of the Century,’ in homage to Truman Capote’s A-list-only vanity affair at New York’s Plaza Hotel. On arrival, masked guests were welcomed by living chandeliers with elaborate crystal headpieces that were functional lighting fixtures & living stanchions led guests to the white carpet. Upstairs on the mezzanine, warriors handed guests drinks from behind interactive gallery bars, & psychedelic black & white art installations were brought to life by camouflaged performers, igniting guests’ senses with a feeling of mystery.

Honored at this year’s event were Lifetime Benefactors Al & Nancy Malnik; Grand Benefactors Stanley & Gala Cohen; Founding Benefactors Howard & Barbara Glicken; & Wish Star Benefactor James L. Ferraro, as well as Wish Benefactors Harvey & Roberta Chaplin, Stuart A. Miller of Lennar Corporation & Robert Press of Trafalgar Capital Advisors.

‘This year’s Ball was a dream come true,’ Said Norman Wedderburn, President & CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Florida. ‘Joan Jett gave a performance of a lifetime, Gabrielle Anwar put her heart & soul in to raising funds in the coursework of the live auction, & our supporters seldom appeared more excited & optimistic. All of these elements combined contributed to the amazing achievement of our lifetime fundraising milestone, which they far surpassed.’

The 17th Annual Miami Make-A-Wish Ball Raises $1.1 Million – Al Malnik

Posted by Alvin Malnik on November 17, 2011
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The 17th annual Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, often called the “party of the century,” raised $1.1 million dollars for the organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions, in an effort to enrich and improve their quality of life. The evening was star-studded, with actress Gabrielle Anwar of Burn Notice emceeing a live auction and legendary musician Joan Jett taking the stage for an outstanding performance. The live auction included over-the-top items such as a 2012 McLaren MP4-12C, a Bogosse Lifestyle travel package that includes private travel from Miami to the Dominican Republic and VIP ground transportation, and a “James Bond 007 experience.”

“Joan Jett gave a performance of a lifetime, Gabrielle Anwar put her heart and soul into raising funds during the live auction, and our supporters never seemed more excited and optimistic. All of these elements combined contributed to the incredible achievement of our lifetime fundraising milestone, which we far surpassed.” –Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida

Norman Wedderburn, along with Shareef Malnik and Robert Hill are the trio who made this year’s Make-A-Wish Miami blowout possible. Robert Hill, the General Manager for the Intercontinental Hotel said “We are happy to announce that the 2011 edition of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball netted in excess of $1.1 million dollars to grant 220 wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses in South Florida. The impact of granting wishes to Wish Kids and their families is life changing and simply cannot be measured by a number, each story is different but the hope and joy we are able to create is and will continue to be the driving force behind the effort of all of us involved.”

Nearly one thousand A-list VIPs, socialites, philanthropists and celebrities attended the Make-A-Wish Ball, including: Sammy and Sonya Sosa, Elsa Benitez, Andre Dawson, Chris Nirschel Al and Nancy Malnik, Jim Ferraro, Ken Gorin, Laurence Geller, Andy Hilfiger, Sanford Ziff, Roy and Lea Black, Carlos A. Gimenez, Lance Parker, Greg Lotus, Donald and Lisa Pliner, Fernando Wong, Ema Koja and more.

South Florida Philanthropist And Cultural Icons

Posted by Alvin Malnik on October 04, 2011
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Miami Beach developer, philanthropist and supporter of numerous arts and cultural organizations, Craig Robins, caught up with the Malnik family at a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida. Robins was joined by his father, Jerry Robins, while Al and Nancy Malnik were jointed by Al’s son, Shareef Malnik and Shareef’s two children, Bruna and Yaseen Malnik.

Robins, 48, is no stranger to the fundraising circuit and has lent his name and efforts to numerous charitable organizations in the past. Many of his volunteer efforts are focused on the arts. Malnik and Robins each maintain their own private art collections, but both believe art should be shared. Many of Malnik’s treasured pieces are on display at The Forge, a Miami Beach restaurant now run by his son, Shareef.

Pieces from Robins’ private art and design collection the “Craig Robins Collection,” are displayed in public places throughout South Florida as well. His generosity towards local artists goes back a long way. When Robins purchased and restored numerous Art Deco buildings in the 90s, it was not unusual for him to offer local artists free studio and living space in one of his renovated buildings.

In December 2010, Robins, the co-founder of Design Miami I, donated an outdoor installation titled “Netscape,” to the Miami Art Museum. The large-scale steel structure was created by the Design Miami I 2010 “Designer of the Year” recipient, Konstantin Grcic. The installation features a star-shaped modular steel structure with hammock-like swings constructed from fiberglass and polypropylene netting.

The recent donation is one of a long list of Robins’ efforts to bring world-class art and artists to the South Florida area.

Al Malnik, Shareef Malnik and LeBron James Continue To Step Up – Philanthropy

Posted by Alvin Malnik on September 23, 2011
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Two Miami icons have at least one thing in common: a mega-sized commitment to providing children with the tools they need to succeed and lead happy lives.

Shareef Malnik, proprietor of The Forge miami beach restaurant, and LeBron James, Miami Heat All Star basketball player, both do more than just lend their names to charitable organizations. Both have perfected the art of harnessing their power and financial clout to secure unwavering support and sizable donations for organizations making a difference in the lives of needy children.

James’ family foundation and the “Two Kings” charity, a partnership with Jay-Z, work with Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the country to renovate buildings and playgrounds, and update computer access and equipment in cities where high school graduation rates can be as low as 50 and 60 percent.

The February 2011 Boys & Girls Club of America gymnasium unveiling, during the NBA All-Star game weekend, marked the third year in a row Jay-Z and James joined forces for this cause.

Taking a page from his father’s (Al Malnik) philanthropy book, Shareef Malnik’s commitment to the Make-a Wish Foundation of Southern Florida stems from their desire to see children with life-threatening illnesses smile. In addition to the hectic schedule surrounding his Miami Beach restaurant, Malnik chairs the organization’s annual Intercontinental Ball, which by all accounts is a year-round endeavor.

The Ball, in its 16th year, has raised more than $9.6 million under Malnik’s guidance. That’s enough to grant the wishes of 2,100 children with life-threatening medical conditions. Each year the event features dinner, drinks, dancing and the chance to bid on fantasy items and experiences which Malnik promises will be bigger and better than any other in 2011.

Al Malnik – A Beacon Of Hope And Inspiration

Posted by Alvin Malnik on August 15, 2011
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Alvin Malnik will live forever. Few people can truly make that claim, but Malnik has marked the pages of history with permanent ink and a sensational success story of ambition and generosity. Every story has its beginning and with Malnik, it begins in St. Louis, Missouri.

Malnik was born to Russian Jewish immigrants and grew up in a poor, mostly ethnic neighborhood. He was a self-described “wild teenager” who at one point, ran with a neighborhood crew and enjoyed mischief typical of his age. It wasn’t long before his family moved into slightly more comfortable accommodations that he began to turn his young life around. He was introduced to peers from better economic situations, which gave him the initial spark for ambition, and success that would eventually lead him to pursue a career in law. Sometimes, all it takes the flip of a coin to change your entire world.

After spending two years as an Army officer in Texas, Malnik decided to resettle in South Florida with the toss of a coin. He enrolled at the law school of the University of Miami and became a lawyer. South Beach would be the home of his new practice on Lincoln Road.

Malnik enjoyed success with both his law practice and with other ventures in the film and restaurant industries. He opened The Forge Miami in 1968, which remains one of the most highly praised restaurants in the country, and was the center of a cultural reawakening in South Beach and Miami. Malnik’s renaissance would continue through the decades that followed, forever transforming Miami into the premier destination it is today.

Success can be measured a thousand ways and comes in many forms – Alvin Malnik has embraced them all. The secret ingredient to this incredible success story? A simple mixture of ambition, dedication, hard work and love. It’s his love of family and community that truly makes a difference. Wherever he goes, he inspires an absolute positivity in others through his altruism and philanthropy.

Among the many honors Malnik has gained over the years, perhaps the most prestigious came from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of South Florida, who named him a lifetime benefactor. Giving the foundation over a decade of support, Malnik has helped raise millions of dollars for the organization that grants special wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Through wish-granting, the foundation fosters feelings of hope, joy and strength which are some of the most important components of recovery. Malnik himself once remarked, “They literally bring the child back to life by granting a wish. They really do. We saw it.”

The Malnik family hosts a fantastic ball for the Make a Wish Foundation each year to raise awareness and inspire others to pledge support for the organization. For years, these events have raised millions in donations and granted wishes for thousands; and the ball grows more popular each year. Entering its 17th year, the annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball celebrates the foundation’s anniversary – 2011 will celebrate 28 years of wish-granting. Malnik and his family have built an unstoppable legacy of giving that will go on for years to come, spreading happiness and hope to those who need it most.

While Malnik’s work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation might be the most notable, the philanthropist has supported a myriad of other organizations and causes. Through his work with the Nat King Cole Foundation, he helped establish Nat King Cole Generation Hope. With the help of the legendary singer’s youngest daughters, Timolin and Casey Cole of Boca Raton, Malnik supports the funding for music education in local schools and to children of all ages. The teaching of music and the arts in public schools faces scrutiny as budgets tighten, but it is through this beacon of hope that future generations can be enriched through the magic of music.

The support doesn’t stop there either. Alvin Malnik has been honored by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for his role in the Al & Nancy Malnik Family Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Research Fund. He has also set up a trust for neurological services at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. Incredibly, the list goes on. Malnik is renowned for being founder of University of Miami/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Mount Sinai Medical Center and is also the principal benefactor for the Jay Weiss Research Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

While a human being cannot physically live forever, their ideas and actions create legacies that remain immortal through the inspired generations that follow them. Alvin Malnik’s achievements inspire this kind of long-lasting hope in the world. He’s helped create legions of givers, people who use their good fortunes for the benefit of others, for years to come. That’s why one could say that Alvin Malnik will live forever. He’s created a powerful empire of love and generosity that will last through the ages.

12th Annual InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball Delivers Sensational Society Turnout – Al Malnik ARCHIVE RECAP

Posted by Alvin Malnik on July 27, 2011
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Grammy Award Winner Macy Gray and wacky Comedian Pauly Shore Took to the Stage to Help Raise over $675,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida.

A spectacular Winter Wonderland came to life at the 12th Annual InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball on Saturday, November 4th. Featuring an over-the-top performance by the ever smooth Macy Gray and special guest emcee Pauly Shore, the gala raised more than $675,000, enough for the Make-A Wish Foundation of Southern Florida to grant 135 wishes.

Gala Chairman, Shareef Malnik, greeted guests as they walked the red carpet into a winter themed cocktail hour. Sipping drinks courtesy of Southern Wine & Spirits, guests browsed the silent auction and savored the sumptuous display of appetizers created by Chef Alexander Feher. One of Holland’s most notable performers, Nanine Linning, a/k/a The Champagne Lady, dazzled the crowd as she welcomed everyone to dinner while hanging from a chandelier and pouring Perrier Jouët for each amazed onlooker.

Fantastic snow machines dusted the ballroom with an icy flurry as DJ Irie of the Miami Heat played a stellar set of explosive sounds that beckoned guests to hit the dance floor. At every seat in the room, a tin of caviar on ice was waiting, and as guests took their seats at the premium tables, personal butlers were on hand to service their every need. Following dinner, the famous Make-A-Wish Live Auction commenced with the acclaimed Red Barron at the helm and comedian Pauly Shore working the room to help bring home the winning bids.

Featured auction items included a $20,000 gift certificate donated by jewelry designer extraordinaire, Georg Jensen, a $20,000 gift certificate courtesy of local couture designer Rene Ruiz whose gowns adorned some of the most beautiful women in the room, and a 2006 Lotus Elise courtesy of THE COLLECTION. To top off the auction, James Ferraro, a generous benefactor of Make-A-Wish, got the audience excited when he pledged $100,000 to the foundation, equivalent to 20 wishes and challenged the room to match his donation which they surpassed with a gift of 37 wishes.

Attendees included: Macy Gray; Pauly Shore; Latin pop star Ana Cristina; DJ Irie; Jack Miller, InterContinental Miami General Manager; Norm Wedderburn, CEO Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida; Randy Friedlander, Make-A-Wish Foundation Chairman of the Board; Al & Nancy Malnik, Lifetime Benefactors; Howard & Barbara Glicken, Founding Benefactors; Jacob the Jeweler; Craig Robins & Ambra Medda; Jim Ferraro; Jerry & Sandi Powers; Ken Gorin; Lee Schrager; Michael Capponi; Jeffrey & Linda Chodorow; Cynthia Carr; Veronica Cervera; Antonio Misuraca; State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle; Claudia & Alan Potamkin; Loren & J.R. Ridinger; Kamal Hotchandani; Cecile Barker; Edie Lacquer; Roy & Leah Black; Peter Loftin; Thomas Kramer; Alan & Diane Lieberman; Elaine Lancaster; Mark Lenkhul; Jorge & Darlene Perez; Michael Dreiling; and Nicole Rifkind.

Since the beginning of the InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball twelve years ago, more than 4.7 million dollars has been raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida in order to grant the wishes of 1,235 children with life-threatening medical conditions. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, please call 954.967.9474, or visit www.sfla.wish.org.

Photography: Ian Ankele, Harvey Bilt, Seth Browarnik.

Make A Wish Garden Party at the Malnik Home

Posted by Alvin Malnik on April 19, 2011
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Six “Friends With You” inflatable art characters were among the guests invited to the Make-a-Wish Garden Party, hosted by Al and Nancy Malnik at their Ocean Ridge home on a perfect Sunday afternoon. Six characters created by Miami art collective added a colorful, whimsical touch to the private event, which preceded the 17th annual InterContinental Miami Make-a-Wish Ball, taking place November 5.

The Malniks are lifetime benefactors of the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, which aims to grant more than 500 wishes to children with threatening medical conditions in 2011. This was the sixth consecutive year the Malnik’s has hosted the spring garden party at their Ocean Ridge home.

The party, which ran from 4 to 6 p.m. was a casual cocktail affair, with hors d’oeuvres by Silver Sac Catering. Music and entertainment was provided by DJ Joe Dert and by the Friends With You characters—Malfi, MR. TTT, Rainbow King, Buddy Chubb, MR. TT, and Zoo-Zoo—who mingled with guests by the Malniks’ stunning oceanfront pool.

“The theme of this year’s event was ‘Avant Garden,'” said Shareef Malnik, Make-a-Wish Ball chairman. “When we looked for a partner artist that could play a large role in creating a magical and youthful environment, Friends With You was the obvious choice.”

Malnik took note of the art collective’s popularity during December’s Art Basel Miami Beach as an indicator that the characters would contribute to the party’s mood of hope and youthful fun. “The characters absolutely succeeded in bringing great cheer to the crowd of supporters who come out year after year.”

Another first for this year’s garden party was the announcement of the celebrity M.C. for the live auction portion of the ball—Burn Notice’s star Gabrielle Anwar, who was in attendance.






2011 Make A Wish Garden Party to be held on April 10th. Al & Nancy Malnik

Posted by Alvin Malnik on April 11, 2011
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This Sunday, April 10 Al and Nancy Malnik will be hosting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida annual Garden Party at their beach front home in Ocean Ridge from 4 to 6 p.m. The event will help promote the upcoming 17th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, and is strictly invite only.

Lifetime Benefactors, Al and Nancy Malnik will house the expected 200 guests at their oceanfront estate in Ocean Ridge. Guests who are able to attend will sip on delicious cocktails, nibble on hors d’oeuvres and enjoy live entertainment leisurely on their Sunday afternoon.

The Garden Party will also hold announcements about the preparations for this year’s ball that will take place Saturday, November 5, 2011. The discussion will be prepared by President and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, Norman Wedderburn, the Ball Chairman and proprietor of The Forge Restaurant Winebar, Shareef Malnik and the Ball Host and General Manager of InterContinental Miami, Robert Hill.

If you remember, last year the Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball raised $1 million for needy children in South Florida. It also created a star studded crowd with people like Paula Abdul in attendance along with a performance by the Tony Award-winning musical, the Jersey Boys. Not to mention that the third anniversary of the Ball’s InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub featured a fashion show by designer Nicole Miller.

Check back for a post report of this beautiful seaside party!

Al Malnik Makes Pledge To Jay Weiss Center

Posted by Alvin Malnik on March 22, 2011
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“Jay was the finest, nicest, kindest human being I’ve ever met in my life,” says Al Malnik, who has pledged $1 million to support the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, named in honor of his long time friend. “I knew how much Jay enjoyed the work he was doing with the medical school, so when was told there was going to be a medical center that would not only be named after him, but also be devoted to doing the activities he so loved, I wanted to be a part of it for sure.”
The Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity was officially established in 2005 in memory of Miami’s well known philanthropist Jay W. Weiss, a longtime champion of the underserved in the Miami-Dade County community.
Considered “best of friends” since the day they met, Al Malnik and Jay’s friendship dates back to the late 1950s. Jay’s daughter, Jennie Block, says, “I can’t remember a time when our families have not been friends. Al was always very proud of my dad and his work on behalf of the community. We’re deeply appreciative of his support and many, many years of friendship. He continues to be a good friend to my father in death as he was in life.”
Al Malnik was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He moved to Miami to pursue a law degree at the University of Miami, which he earned in 1959, and has been here ever since. He practiced law and in 1968 founded the legendary The Forge Restaurant, a Miami Beach dining institution. His son, Shareef Malnik, became the owner of The Forge Restaurant in 1991 and is now CEO of the operation. Al Malnik has been presented with the key to Miami Beach twice for The Forge’s contributions to the community.
“When (Dean Emeritus) Bernie Fogel, Jennie, and I had lunch with Al, he reflected on the nearly 50 years of their friendship and about one quality in particular that he felt most passionate about. It was Jay’s ability to make you go further than you imagined you could,” says Jay’s daughter, Laurie Nuell. “He recalled a time when he really was questioning himself and was not as confident as he should have been. Jay told him that he could be anything he wanted to be and should not settle for less. In many of his successes, it was always Jay’s encouragement that helped him. As a friend, he could always turn to Jay for support—they were like brothers.”
Malnik, like his friend Jay Weiss, is deeply committed to helping his community. The Jay Weiss Center is just one of numerous organizations he supports. He is an active board member of many local arts and civic organizations, such as the United Foundation for AIDS, Miami City Ballet, and Miami Symphony. The Malnik family is also deeply committed to the Make-A-Wish Foundation: Shareef Malnik is the gala chairman of the Annual Intercontinental Make-A-Wish Ball, and Al and Nancy Malnik are lifetime benefactors of the organization. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce has honored Al Malnik and his son, Shareef, as Outstanding Citizens of the Year.

Miami Beach Int’l Fashion Week Kicks Off at the Mondrian

Posted by Alvin Malnik on February 24, 2011
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Ten South Florida philanthropists were honored at the 2nd Annual Humanitarian Awards at the kick off cocktail for Miami Beach International Fashion Week. Organized by Sobol-Perry Fashion Productions, the glamorous party, held poolside at the Mondrian Hotel, was also a fundraiser for Miami Fashion Week Foundation, Inc. The foundation raises scholarship funds for new designers and students of the fashion and design arts. Sponsors were Tiffany & Co. and Moroccan Oil.

Television news anchor Brian Andrews and radio personality Ileana Garcia served as lively emcees. The award recipients were NBC 6 news anchor Jackie Nespral; The Forge owner, Shareef Malnik; MGS Communications’ Manuel Machado; event producer/caterer Joy Wallace; Univision news anchor Maria Elena Salinas; Vince Castro; socialite Tina Carlo; Inktel CEO Ricky Arriola; Dr. Omar Pasalodos; and designer Somy Ali.

Miami Beach International Fashion Week takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, March 3-6. A celebrity-filled, high fashion event! Don’t miss it!