Al Malnik

Wishes Do Come True!

Posted by Alvin Malnik on July 05, 2016
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Each autumn in Miami, a gala for the best cause we can think of brings in the likes of local and A-list celebrities for one reason and one reason alone—the children. This year, the Intercontinental Miami Make-A-Wish ball celebrates with yet another event for the most-noble cause. Held at The InterContinental Miami Hotel on November 2, this year’s theme is named “magic,” so be prepared to expect the unexpected, as well as a performance by Adam Lambert. And while you’re dressed your best and sipping champagne, keep in mind that this isn’t just a party, it’s a party with a purpose.

18th Annual Make-A-Wish Ball – 2012

“Make-A-Wish is an opportunity to give. Putting a smile on the face of children with life-threatening illness is all-satisfying,” explains Shareef Malnik, whose family has been involved with the charity for 19 years. “My parents, Nancy and Al Malnik, became lifetime benefactors of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball. Nine years ago, they, along with former President, CEO and Founder of Make-A-Wish Nancy Strong, asked me to become Chairman. I have been Chairman now for nine years and two years ago I joined the Board of Directors, as well.”

Wishes do come true 2

As a member of the board, Malnik and his family go the extra mile to ensure Make-A-Wish stands out from other charity events. At the top of their priorities is entertainment. “Although our first goal is to raise as much money for the children as possible, it is condition upon the guests enjoying their evening. If people are entertained, they will come back. In the long run, with that philosophy and strategy, we will grant more wishes,” he explains.

Over the past nine years, the wish fund has increased from $300,000 to $1,700,000 net proceeds. All of which goes toward kids with a dream. “This is as a result of charitable contributions from a lot of great people that want to help children,” Malnik says.  Wishes do come true 3- Al Malnik

Aiding in drawing in those funds is the event’s celebrity-filled guest list. This year, attendees include, Lambert, Gabrielle Anwar as the celebrity auctioneer,Flo Rida, Miami Housewives and Miami Heat players will all be saying cheers in the name of charity.

Al Manik with Kim Kardashian WestOver the last few years, stars like Anwar, Melanie Amaro, Paula Abdul, Sharon Stone, Kim Kardashian, Pamela Anderson, Venus and Serena Williams and so many more have shown support for the event. Some of these celebs made last year’s event the most memorable by far for Malnik. “Last year’s ball stands out for several reasons: Gabrielle [Anwar] knocked the ball out of the park with the auction. We raised more money than ever before. And I was forced into a pair of ballet tights in order to offer comedic relief for the audience.”

Malnik is always willing to go that extra mile to ensure the gala is a success. “Each year my goal is to beat last year, in terms of money raised and entertainment level to guests,” Malnik says.

He applies this same philosophy to the after party as well. Now in its sixth year, the event features DJs and a fashion show by Heatherette designer Traver Rains.Al Malnik, Shareef Malnik, and Paula Abdul

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Alvin Malnik is Making Magic Happen

Posted by Alvin Malnik on July 05, 2016
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The Southern Florida Make-a-Wish Foundation chapter has granted more than 10,000 wishes to children, making it one of the most successful chapters in the world.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation grew out of the former Arizona highway patrol officer’s effort to grant the wish of a seven-year-old boy with leukemia. The boy wanted to be a highway patrol motorcycle officer, which was in 1980. Unfortunately, the boy died a few days after receiving his wish. However, the impact of how joyful the simple act had made the child stuck with Shankwitz.

Since its inception, Make-a-Wish has granted well over 300,000 wishes. In an interview about him receiving the Medal of Honor, Shankwitz told a news reporter: “There’s a wish granted somewhere in the world every 26 minutes, all because of one little boy.”

Alvin Malnik Making Magic HappenThe South Florida chapter of Make-a-Wish is one of the most robust and grants a wish to children with life-threatening medical diseases every 16 hours. Since the start of the chapter in 1983, more than 10,000 children have received wishes in the area that Make-a-Wish serves. The Southern Florida chapter covers 13 counties in Florida and also the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The president and CEO of the Southern Florida chapter, Norman Wedderburn, says there are three requirements for a child to be eligible to have a wish granted.

“We determine a child’s medical eligibility with the help of a treating physician. To receive a wish, the child must be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Children, who have reached the age of 2½ and are under the age of 18 at the time of referral, may be eligible for a wish. The wish can take place after the 18th birthday, but the child needed to be referred prior to that date. And a child may not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization. After all this has been determined, we make it happen.”

While many believe a child must be terminally ill to be eligible for a wish, that is not the case.

So in its more than 30 years of making dreams come true, you probably want to know some of the wishes that the chapter has granted.

“It’s been everything from tree houses to a recent one — a synthetic ice skating rink. Our children have met presidents; two children met the Pope; a child met the first lady; they’ve requested and met every celebrity you could imagine from Taylor Swift to the Jonas Brothers. We had one young girl who waited a number of years to meet Paul McCartney.”

One of the Southern Florida chapter’s “Wish” kids wanted to be in a Broadway play and Norm recalls, “we were able to get her a cameo on Broadway in the musical Wicked.” Another child wanted to be in a James Bond movie — “that was a while back,” Norm states.

Children’s wishes usually fall into four categories: “I wish to be” (something), “I wish to meet” (someone), “I wish to go” (somewhere), and “I wish to have” (something). Families are always encouraged and welcomed to participate in the experience of wish making. What is the average cost of a wish? $5,000, according to foundation statistics.

“We’ve given a number of children horses, musical equipment, such as pianos. And then there are some that I will call ‘unique’ — a young man wanted to ring the bell to close the stock exchange. And he did.”
Wishes, Wedderburn says, are as large and as wide as the imagination of the children. The foundation’s “wish granters” are volunteers who have the job to explore the imagination and go into the home of the child.

“They might really want to go to Disney World because that’s what they think is the top, but it might be More Alvin Malnik Making Magic Happensomething different once you start talking to them.”

The volunteers ark the children to come up with 12 potential wishes. “We then narrow it down with the child so that we can really grant the child’s ‘No. 1’ heartfelt wish.”

Wedderburn, who gave up practicing law to become the head of the non-profit group, has been the CEO of the Southern Florida chapter for the past 10 years. Wedderburn joined as a board member in 1998 after another lawyer introduced him to the organization. Wedderburn got so involved, he says, he sold his interest in his law practice to work for the organization full time.

“What’s special about Make-a-Wish,” he says, is that we can show donors the child their contribution impacted and exactly what they’ve done with their money, and that’s a really rare thing in the world of non-profits. Other organizations do incredible things, but you aren’t always aware of the impact your money is having on individuals. If you walk into my office, the walls are lined with pictures of ‘wish’ children that I have personally underwritten their wish. I know who they are, their disease, and where the dollars went.”

Make-a-Wish does not receive any state or federal funding, and all of the money to grant wishes is raised through corporate sponsorships, special events, foundation grants, and individual contributions.

While Wedderburn is proud that his chapter granted more wishes last year than all but three of the other 62 chapters in the world, he says there’s never a time to let the magic wand rest for even a second.

“While we are happy about the children we have reached, our goal is always to reach every eligible child in our community. Yes, we take a moment to celebrate our successes, but then we realize that there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Couple for a Cause

Shareef Malnik cast a spell over his soon-to-be-wife, Gabrielle Anwar with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Prior to meeting her fiancé, the Burn Notice actress had her own charities that she supported, but his dedication to Make-a-Wish now has her in a solid and recurring role. She’s going on her fourth year at the annual Wishmaker’s Ball at the InterContinental Miami as celebrity auctioneer, which this year is set for Saturday, Nov. 7.

There is no doubt about Malnik’s strong impact on the annual charity, which is a Greek mythology theme this year. “Something that she conjured up,” Malnik is shares during our interview.

“He’s so involved in the behind-the-scenes and making sure it’s a success, and every now and then I pipe up with an idea and I do it in a way that he has to listen,” Anwar jokes. “As it gets towards the night of the ball, we start rehearsing some of the ideas we’ve batted around for a few months.”

The couple’s extravagant ideas have become one of those “what will they do next?” highlights of the evening. You almost want to be a fly on the wall after listening to the two of them talk about their participation, their plans, and what surprises they have in store for this year’s event.

“Yes, we’ve had people say that to us before,” says Anwar, which is precisely why there is gag reel on YouTube of the couple “rehearsing” at the Miami City Ballet for the 2012 ball. This is where they led the crowd in a Bollywood-inspired dance to the music of “Jai Ho,” from the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

“She whipped me into shape to dance in front of the crowd, and it was a good eight weeks,” says Malnik. “Eight weeks to get me to look at least okay next to her — a professional dancer.”

“Last year, it was the Wizard of Oz theme; I played the wizard and was hiding underneath her dress. The year before I got to saw her in half, which was definitely my idea.”

All joking aside, Anwar speaks of her celebrity auctioneer role, which she says, she was tentative to take on because “I didn’t want to try to fill Paula Abdul’s shoes, even though they are tiny.” Abdul had been the celebrity auctioneer at 2010’s ball and the first ball Anwar had attended with Malnik.
In her role as auctioneer, she says, “You have to inspire the spending of money, which is sometimes difficult to inspire, I’ve recently learned. But hopefully, Shareef and I come up with an idea every year that is going to be humorous, instill some emotion, and eventually lead to generosity. It’s really not an easy combo,” she reveals.

Malnik, who owns the legendary Miami Beach steakhouse, The Forge, became the chairman of the gala in 2004. “I made an observation, not realizing that it would lead to me becoming chairman. I thought that the direction the ball was going had a limited life — even though it was a sold-out event.” Since he has taken over as chairman, the ball’s profits have gone from $300,000 to $2.5 million last year.

So what’s his secret? “I think first and foremost, you have to spend money to make money. That old idea that a charity should try to get everything for free, and they can be as lean as possible — you end up making less money. And the goal for me here is the wishes. What will it take for me to get the most possible wishes out of the ball? What does it take to get people to want to spend money at the ball and to develop incentives so that they want to keep coming back?”

Shareef’s father, Al Malnik, is a lifetime benefactor of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. At the 2012 gala, Al announced a $1-million donation to the charity to establish the Malnik Family Wish Fund. The contribution is intended to grant wishes “in perpetuity” to children suffering from life-threatening diseases.

“I had been around Make-a-Wish because of my father; it was the late Nancy Strom, a founder of the Southern Florida chapter, who asked me to get involved as chairman. And the more I became involved, the more it became part of my DNA,” says Shareef.

Soon after taking on the roll of chairman, his younger brother, Jarod – 6 at the time – was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, AML.

“He became eligible for a wish,” recalls Malnik. The wish Jarod got granted was to throw a strike over home plate at Fenway Park in a Red Sox game. He was able to do it and received a standing ovation from the crowd. Jarod is 16 years old and cancer free today.

“I think this happening to my family gave me more empathy for the wish families and reinforced my commitment to Make-a-Wish,” says the charity ball chairman.

While Malnik had first-hand experience, CEO Norman Wedderburn says the signature event serves a very important introductory purpose. As a main fundraising sources for Make-a-Wish Southern Florida chapter, the event is key to help “get a group of people who don’t naturally wake up one day and think about helping an organization that has not impacted their life. This gala has been used to really build awareness about the foundation and from there, get the kind of support that nurtures lifetime support. That’s the real secret in the sauce.”

Malnik adds: “It’s such a positive charity. You’re making people feel good today, as opposed to hoping that the money you give will help someone feel good some day in the future.”

Speaking of wishes, Malnik and Anwar are set to be married by the time the Wishmaker’s Ball. Dating since 2010, they’ve picked Labor Day weekend to exchange their vows.

My Wish: A Story

By Ian Sallee

”I’d like to tell you my story about my cantankerous and cancerous adventure that began when I was 16 years old. I am happy to report now, however, that I am 21 and have nearly five years of cancer-free scans under my belt.

The story began in 2010 when I was participating in a drama competition in Tampa. I was sick for most of the trip — so ill that I ended up not being able to compete, let alone leave the hotel room.

A few days later, when I returned home to Miami, I felt a bit better. But as the months wore on, I continued to have a pesky cough. For the summer months, I worked as a camp counselor, but two weeks into the job, I was sick again. I went to my family doctor. His diagnosis was that I had a bacterial infection.

I kept feeling sicker and sicker. It got so bad one day that I decided an emergency room visit was in order. They suggested a chest X-ray. What was revealed was a mass that had grown larger than my heart, located on my thymus gland, smack dab in the middle of my trachea. After a slew of tests, it was discovered to be mediastinal B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I was admitted to the hospital where I stayed for a little over two weeks. There were surgical procedures — then chemotherapy.

Dealing with cancer was the greatest hurdle of my life, but there were good experiences I didn’t even know existed, however, on the other side. I learned from hospital workers that because of my medical condition and my age, I was eligible for Make-a-Wish. It was one of sweetest things that occurred during this difficult time. And it gave me something incredibly special to look forward to — that when I finally got healthy, I would be able to, perhaps, have a wish come true. It was also a great opportunity for my family, who because of limited income, would also get the chance to do something unforgettable with me.

The road to my Make-a-Wish began after speaking with social workers in my oncology office. They told me to “dream big” since this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I didn’t only dream big, I dreamt “huge.” Over the next four years, I created a laundry list of wishes that included — but weren’t limited to — a trip to Uganda to track a family of gorillas, an Antarctic cruise, a chance to meet Nelson Mandela, and to be knighted by the Queen of England. And those were just the wishes I shared with Make-a-Wish.

I was determined to make sure that if the aforementioned wishes didn’t work out, something within the realm of possibility would come to fruition. It dawned on me that traveling was it — that was something that was in my heart to do. Since my family would be joining me, I wondered where I should go. Italy! I could spend quality time with my family, experience a new and different place, and learn about another culture.

When four years of treatment was finally over and my biopsy was negative for the lymphoma, I could finally fulfill my “wish.” I was going to Italy. The Make-a-Wish trip turned out to be one of the most enchanting and unforgettable experiences of my life, to date.

We ate delicious Italian meals, saw ancient and modern art, explored the streets, and bought mementos and souvenirs — normal tourist stuff. We visited Ischia, a volcanic island paradise that looked like a postcard. We traveled to the ruins of Pompeii and climbed to the top of Mount Vesuvius. We had a private tour of Rome and the Vatican. We climbed the Spanish Steps and on to the Coliseum. All of these experiences were astonishing, but more than that, I was grateful for the chance to be doing something special that most people would not have the opportunity to experience.”

The Make-a-Wish Foundation truly makes a difference in these children’s lives. Whether they send a toddler to Walt Disney World or a 20-year-old to Italy, what Make-a-Wish does for children with life-threatening medical conditions is provide them something to look forward to on the other side of difficult times when they are struggling with disease.

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Alvin Malnik-Nat King Cole Generation Hope-The Gala

Posted by Alvin Malnik on February 17, 2010
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philanthropist-alvin-malnik

The Cole twins, Timolin and Casey of Boca Raton, daughters of legendary Nat King Cole, have established Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc., a non-profit foundation to benefit music education in schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

The Gala was chaired by philanthropist and international financier Alvin 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 Alvin Malnik in 1968 now owned by his son Shareef Malnik. 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 visits from celebrity guests and star-studded entertainment including a performance by Siedah Garrett and 11 time Grammy nominated songwriter and producer Dennis Lambert. DJ Irie, a 2007 BET Award nominee and winner of Miami New Times’ 2005 Best Club DJ, lent his award winning musical talent during the cocktail reception and the After Party at the Glass bar inside The Forge. Guests included some of today’s hottest entertainers, the Cole Family and friends.

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.

“Our father was a pioneer and music legend who transcended color and race. During his lifetime, the arts were an integral part of the educational curriculum; today’s youth are art starved,” said Timolin Cole. “By enriching students with the opportunity to enhance their musical talents and abilities, his legacy lives on.”

Twin sister Casey Cole added, “We believe our father, by right, has earned his place in history as a true American hero and legend through his contributions to the world of music. We hope that through the funds raised we can help inspire a new generation of youth through the power of music.”

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.

Cole’s first mainstream vocal hit was his 1943 recording of one of his compositions, “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” based on a black folk tale that his father had used as a theme for a sermon. Johnny Mercer invited him to record it for the fledgling Capitol Records label. It sold over 500,000 copies, proving that folk-based material could appeal to a wide audience. Although Cole would never be considered a rocker, the song can be seen as anticipating the first rock and roll records. Indeed, Bo Diddley, who performed similar transformations of folk material, counted Cole as an influence.

alvin-malnik-nat-built-it
Beginning in the late 1940s, Cole began recording and performing more pop-oriented material for mainstream audiences, often accompanied by a string orchestra. His stature as a popular icon was cemented during this period by hits such as “The Christmas Song” (Cole recorded that tune four times: on June 14, 1946, as a pure Trio recording, on August 19, 1946, with an added string section, on August 24, 1953, and in 1961 for the double album The Nat King Cole Story; this final version, recorded in stereo, is the one most often heard today), “Nature Boy” (1948), “Mona Lisa” (1950), “Too Young” (the #1 song in 1951),[3] and his signature tune “Unforgettable” (1951). While this shift to pop music led some jazz critics and fans to accuse Cole of selling out, he never totally abandoned his jazz roots; as late as 1956, for instance, he recorded an all-jazz album After Midnight. Cole had one of his last big hits two years before his death, in 1963, with the classic “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer”, which reached #6 on the Pop chart.

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; 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, Ms. Madelyn Savarick of Boca Raton; 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

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Make A Wish 15th Annual Ball – The People Behind It

Posted by Alvin Malnik on February 08, 2010
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Gala Chairman Shareef MalnikShareef Malnik
Gala Chairman

Shareef Malnik, owner of The Forge restaurant in Miami Beach and the Gala Chairman for the fifth consecutive year, became involved as the Chairman to reinvigorate the image of the Ball.  “I believe very strongly in what the Make-A-Wish organization stands for and I saw the opportunity to be able to use my expertise in events and marketing to increase the fundraising potential of this event.  In my first year [as Gala Chairman], we broke every fundraising and attendance record in the event’s history!”  Malnik’s motivation to continue his involvement comes from seeing the happiness that the Foundation is able to bring to deserving children’s lives.  After experiencing the diagnosis of his younger brother with Leukemia and having him become eligible to receive a wish from the organization, Malnik was able to grasp the importance and the hope that a wish provides.  Thankfully, his brother is now cancer-free, but Malnik continues to bring improvements to the event.

Gala Host Jack J. MillerRobert B. Hill
General Manager,
InterContinenal Miami

Robert B. Hill, General Manager at the InterContinental Miami since September 2009 is a 20-year veteran in the hospitality industry and most recently comes from the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin where he served as General Manager since 2006. Prior to that, he served as Hotel Manager at the InterContinental Chicago and Executive Assistant Manager at the Willard InterContinental in Washington D.C. Robert returns to Miami where he previously held the position of Assistant Food & Beverage Director from 1996 to 1999. He has also held positions at InterContinental properties in Maui and London. Robert is a native of Limerick, Ireland and graduated from the prestigious Shannon College of Hotel Management.“Robert has proven his commitment to the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand, and his experience will be instrumental in continuing the success of one of our finest properties,” said Lew Fader, vice president of operations, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, North America. “We’re delighted that he has taken this next step in his career with us and know that he will be an asset to the InterContinental Miami.”

Lifetime Benefactors Al & Nancy Malnik Grand Banafactors Stanley & Gala Cohen Founding Benefactors Howard & Barbara Glicken Wish Benefactor James L. Ferraro
Lifetime Benefactors
Al & Nancy Malnik
Grand Benefactors
Stanley & Gala Cohen
Founding Benefactors
Howard & Barbara Glicken
Wish Star Benefactor
James L. Ferraro

Wish Benefactors
Harvey & Roberta Chaplin
Stuart A. Miller, Lennar Corporation
Robert Press, Trafalgar Capital Advisors

Dream Catchers
Drs. Roger & Ginger Medel
E. Roe & Penny Stamps

Honorary Chairpersons
Jonathan Babicka
Karim Benyahia & Pascale Van Cleemput Benyahia
Jason & Haley Binn
Maxwell Blandford
Michael Capponi
Cynthia Carr
Wayne & Arlene Chaplin
Jeffrey & Linda Chodorow
Jeffrey & Michelle Eisenberg
Katherine Fernandez-Rundle
Barry Florescue
Willie & Gloria Gary
Ken Gorin
Austin & Sara Harrelson
Lady Monica Heftler
Patrik Hoffman
Courtland Lantaff
Laurence Leavy
Evan Lefferts
Donald & Judy Lefton
Clif Loftin
Peter Loftin
Andrew & Lisa Mandala
Dr. Frederick Miller & Sharon Barnwell-Miller
Eric Milon
Antonio Misuraca
Stephen & Sandra Muss
Adam Nathanson
Richard Polidori
Gail Posner
Jerry & Sandi Powers
J.R. & Loren Ridinger
Jerry & Joan Robins
Brad Rosenblatt
Jaime Rubinson
Rene Ruiz
David Scheiner
Jacqueline Simkin
Count Alan & Countess Claudine Smurfit
Ira Sochet & Sheree Savar Sochet
Bruce Sutka
Brian & Karyn Tageson
Bobby Yampolsky
Jordan & Denise Zimmerman


After the Ball, the party continues well into the night at the exclusive
InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub.

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Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida 2005

Posted by Alvin Malnik on October 28, 2009
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From November 18, 2005

11th Annual InterContinental Ball For The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida


This year’s gala was a huge success, shattering all previous records in attendance, celebrity guests, and, most importantly funds raised for those in need. More than $700,000 can now be used to grant the wishes of 141 children in South Florida living with life-threatening medical conditions.

The 2005 Ball Chairman, Shareef Malnik, owner of The Forge restaurant in Miami, emceed alongside “Apprentice” alumni Katrina Campins and Bradford Cohen. Al Malnik and his wife Nancy were honored as Lifetime Benefactors. Special Guest Honorees were music and fashion icons Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons, joined by tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, model Marcus Schenkenberg, boxing promoter Don King, and Charles Koppelman, Chairman of Martha Stewart Living. Celebrities also included Florida Marlin Jeff Conine, Miami Dolphin Sam Madison, Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, and Miami fashion designer Rene Ruiz.

Guests enjoyed music by DJ Cassidy during the cocktail hour while they mingled and toured the silent auction (more than 150 packages which included fashionable designer names, plus InterContinental Hotel stays in Bali, Paris, Cairo, Athens, Amstel, New York, and London, among others). For the Live Auction, Kimora Lee Simmons joined fellow auctioneers Lee Schrager and Shareef Malnik, encouraging guests to bid. Auction items included tennis lessons with Venus and Serena; trips to France and Chile courtesy of Southern Wine & Spirits and American Airlines; a walk-on role in Brett Ratner’s next movie, Rush Hour 3; the newly introduced Aston Martin V8 Vantage courtesy of The Collection; a date with Schenkenberg; a $50,000 membership to Casa Casaurina, plus items from Bvlgari and Rene Ruiz Couture. Ending the evening with a bang, international recording artist Wyclef Jean performed some of his greatest hits.

The night was a true success thanks to InterContinental Miami General Manager Jack Miller, special guests, generous donors, dedicated volunteers, and Platinum Sponsor Premier Beverage Company, who all helped to make this the highest grossing fundraiser in Make-A-Wish history! Be a part of the magic at next year’s 12th Annual Intercontinental Ball.

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INTERCONTINENTAL MIAMI MAKE-A-WISH BALL TO HOST MYSTICAL GALA FEATURING LIVE AUCTION EMCEED BY KIM KARDASHIAN AND PERFORMANCE BY THE HONEY BROTHERS

Posted by Alvin Malnik on March 03, 2009
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INTERCONTINENTAL MIAMI MAKE-A-WISH BALL TO HOST MYSTICAL GALA FEATURING LIVE AUCTION EMCEED BY KIM KARDASHIAN AND PERFORMANCE BY THE HONEY BROTHERS

14th Annual Ball brings star power to South Florida and raises money for deserving children throughout the region

On Saturday, November 8, 2008, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and InterContinental Miami will celebrate the 14th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball with a mystical-themed dinner, musical performance by The Honey Brothers, extravagant live auction emceed by Kim Kardashian, and the debut of the Ball’s InterContinental Make-A-Wish Nightclub hosted by Miami nightlife impresarios Michael Capponi and Shareef Malnik. Watching over the bidding war will be Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who will also be appearing as a guest honoree at this year’s Ball.

This year’s Intercontinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball has once again been made possible by the committee’s star players and “The Three Amigos” – President/CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, Norm Wedderburn, InterContinental Miami General Manager and Gala Host Jack Miller, and Ball Chairman Shareef Malnik, proprietor of The Forge. Also honored at this year’s Ball will be Lifetime Benefactors Al and Nancy Malnik, Wish Benefactor James Ferraro, Grand Benefactors Stanley and Gala Cohen, Founding Benefactors Howard and Barbara Glicken, and Corporate Benefactor Robert Press of Trafalgar Capital Advisors.

“This year’s event is destined to be the most memorable yet,” said Norm Wedderburn, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida. “With a “who’s who” guest list of Miami VIPs, our most generous and loyal benefactors in attendance, and an extraordinary line-up of auction items, I am confident we will exceed the amount of money raised last year. Our ability to grant the wishes of hundreds of children in South Florida would not be possible without the time, dedication and heart-felt generosity of our host committee and local community.”

The evening will begin with a lavish cocktail reception featuring hors d’oeuvre stations created by the InterContinental’s Executive Chef Alexander Feher, spirits provided by Southern Wine & Spirits, and the renowned silent auction of 120 premier items donated by top hospitality, entertainment, fashion and luxury brands, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bal Harbour, Tiffany & Co., Ocean Reef Club, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines and Christian Dior, to name a few. Numerous InterContinental Hotels worldwide will also be providing gift certificates for the auction. For the first time ever, the Ball will offer a “Buy it Now” option, enabling guests to forego the bidding process and purchase items on the spot for a disclosed price tag.

Following the cocktail reception, Executive Chef Alexander Feher will honor attendees with an indulgent five-course meal. Guests will feast on Cold Water Lobster a la Marche with Creole Mayo, Herb and Lettuce Bundle with Citrus Vinaigrette, a main course of Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola on Polenta Disk with Potato Gratin with Madeira Reduction, as well as Rum-Infused Pineapple with Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Cup with Espresso Mousse and Chocolate Bonbon for dessert. The dinner gala will include beats by Miami Heat’s own resident DJ Irie and an action-packed live auction hosted by Kim Kardashian, star of Keeping up with the Kardashians and former contestant on Dancing with the Stars, who has contributed one of her own Catherine Malandrino dresses to be auctioned at the benefit. A-list celebrities and Miami’s top VIPs and philanthropists will be bidding on a series of luxurious items, including an 2009 Aston Martin DBS and six high-end vehicle rentals donated by THE COLLECTION; an Aspen home rental provided by Edward Freedman; a gentleman’s watch provided by celebrity jeweler Jacob & Co.; a package of 10 Lasik procedures by “surgeon to the stars” Dr. Cory Lessner of Millennium Laser Eye Centers; a private party for 500 with full bar, courtesy of The Opium Group; a wine excursion provided by Southern Wine & Spirits with accommodations courtesy of InterContinental Hotels; and a walk-on role on the hit cable TV show Entourage, courtesy of cast member, actor Kevin Connelly.

In true InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball tradition, the grand finale of the event will feature live music entertainment for the after-dinner crowd to enjoy. The Honey Brothers, featuring actor Adrian Grenier on drums, will perform a number of tracks that will be sure to fill the dance floor. The five-member band will perform the Florida premier of “Won’t Last Long,” a single from the band’s forthcoming album that includes Adrian Grenier himself on vocals.

Bruce Sutka of Sutka Productions will transform the ballroom at The InterContinental Miami into a mystical enchanted forest evoking a magical world of fantasy and mythology. Tables will be adorned in exotic tapestries featuring vibrant flower centerpieces, complete with intertwining, lush green vines and floating candles, emulating the blossoming gardens of these fantasy-like worlds. The ballroom will be populated by a variety of mythical fauna and little people guiding guests throughout the night by the sounds of their trumpets, to further enthrall guests into the magical realm. The signature InterContinental Miami ice sculpture will adorn the mezzanine level with an enormous presence, displaying a feast of seafood and sushi.

Following the Ball and for the first time in Intercontinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball’s history, the invitation-only after-party at InterContinental Make-A-Wish Nightclub will be held to celebrate the Ball’s endeavors and reintroduce the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida to its next generation of contributors and Miami’s premier buzz creators in the fashion, arts, music and nightlife industries. Hosted by Kim Kardashian, The Honey Brothers, along with nightlife impresarios Michael Capponi and Shareef Malnik. The InterContinental Miami’s Chopin Ballroom will be turned into a hip after-hours venue with giant disco balls, progressive DJ beats and a mini fashion show by cutting-edge designer Richie Rich, who recently launched his Celebutante label.

The mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. In its 13-year history, the InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball has raised in excess of $6 million. With these much needed funds, the Foundation has been able to grant more than 1,400 wishes for deserving children in our community. Past VIP guests of the Ball have included Sharon Stone, Scottie and Larsa Pippen, Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons, Venus and Serena Williams, Don King, Sex in the City’s Candace Bushnell, Marcus Schenkenberg, Pauly Shore, and performers Macy Gray, Natalie Cole and Wyclef Jean, as well as Bernadette Peters, the late Nel Carter, Andrea McCardle, Rikki Lake and Deborah Gibson.

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Holocaust Documentation & Education Center – Donation Alvin Malnik

Posted by Alvin Malnik on February 24, 2009
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On February 13, 2007, at an event attended by over 1,000 people, the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center unveiled its most prominent acquisition, an early 20th century rail car, one of the type used by Nazis during the Holocaust to transport millions of Jews to concentration camps and to their untimely deaths.

Holocaust Railcar Unvailing - Donation made by Alvin Malnik

Holocaust Railcar Unvailing - Donation made by Alvin Malnik

We are grateful to the State of Florida, Bobbi and Mel Dick, and to all the following individuals (Alvin and Nancy Malnik) for their tremendous efforts and support in helping to ensure that this powerful educational visual tool, which demonstrates the loss of dignity and freedom during the reign of the Nazi regime, will become part of the first South Florida Holocaust Museum.

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Alvin Malnik, Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc Gala

Posted by Alvin Malnik on February 16, 2009
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The Cole twins, Timolin and Casey of Boca Raton, the youngest daughters of music legend Nat King Cole, have established Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc., a non-profit foundation to benefit music education in schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.  The Foundation will be launched at the Nat King Cole Generation Hope Black & White Gala on Saturday, November 29 at The Forge in Miami Beach.

The Gala will be chaired by philanthropist and international financier Alvin 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 Alvin 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 will feature visits from celebrity guests and star-studded entertainment including a performance by Siedah Garrett and 11 time Grammy nominated songwriter and producer Dennis Lambert.  DJ Irie, a 2007 BET Award nominee and winner of Miami New Times’ 2005 Best Club DJ, will lend his award winning musical talent during the cocktail reception and the After Party at the Glass bar inside The Forge.  Guests will include some of today’s hottest entertainers, the Cole Family and friends.

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.

“Our father was a pioneer and music legend who transcended color and race.  During his lifetime, the arts were an integral part of the educational curriculum; today’s youth are art starved,” said Timolin Cole.  “By enriching students with the opportunity to enhance their musical talents and abilities, his legacy
lives on.”

Twin sister Casey Cole added, “We believe our father, by right, has earned his place in history as a true American hero and legend through his contributions to the world of music.  We hope that through the funds raised we can help inspire a new generation of youth through the power of music.”

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; 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, Ms. Madelyn Savarick of Boca Raton; 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

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Gettin Ready For The WISH Party – Al Malnik

Posted by Alvin Malnik on January 27, 2009
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Celebrity Ocean Ridge lawyer Al Malnik, he of many business ventures that have included Saudi sheiks, is having Gov. Charlie Crist and the bootyful reality TV star Kim Kardashian (E!’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Dancing With The Stars) at his year Make-A-Wish Foundation ball.

And judging the invitation to the Saturday black tie at the Intercontinental downtown Miami, a leatherbound fairy-tale themed book, the soiree promises to be top shelf.

Rumor is that Reggie Bush, a top NFL running-back with the New Orleans Saints, may accompany Kardashian. He’s injured and may not play again until mid-November, so he’s free to party on.

The star of the HBO hit show Entourage, Adrien Grenier, will entertain the gala goers with his glam rock band, The Honey Brothers.

Last year’s gala sparked rumors that Basic Instinct cougar Sharon Stone, who auctioned off her personal Rolls-Royce in the middle of dinner, was dating Malnik’s son, Shareef.

Stone isn’t expected this time around but Shareef, who runs The Forge restaurant in Miami Beach, is.

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Al Malnik – Cocktail Party Starts Drums for Make-A-Wish Ball

Posted by Alvin Malnik on January 12, 2009
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The Make-A-Wish ball, one of society’s favorite events, is set for Nov. 18.  The Hotel Intercontinental held a kickoff cocktail reception Tuesday to announce this year’s ball chairman, The Forge’s owner, Shareef Malnik, who will usher in a new generation of giving and is known for his talent at putting on a grand party.  Father Al Malnik is a lifetime benefactor for the charity that grants wishes of children with life-threatening diseases.

Over 100 guests from Miami’s most influential social and business circles attended the cocktail party, organized to excite longtime supporters and gather new ones.  The ball is a hot ticket, known for the luxury prizes in silent and live auctions and for the “Wish Table” where after reading individual children’s stories, for $5,000 anyone can make a child’s wish come true.

Lee Schrager from Southern Wine & Spirits was honored for his unflagging support.  Also there Dr. Ricardo Restrepo; Ken Gorin, owner of The Collection; George Slover, Ritz-Carlton South Beach; Erika Koopman from Harrison & Shriftman; Sonia Gibson, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bal Harbour; Nancy Strom and Jennifer Gibbs, Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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