Giving Back

Make-A-Wish Foundation Garden Party – Alvin Malnik

Posted by Alvin Malnik on July 28, 2009
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The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida held the 2009 InterContinentalMiami Make-A-Wish Ball Garden Party, a private cocktail reception for 200 of South Florida’s leading philanthropists. The intimate gathering was held at the private Palm Beach area estate of lifetime benefactors Al and Nancy Malnik and was the first event of the year in honor of the highly anticipated annual ball.

“We are very fortunate to have such dedicated individuals in attendance year after year, whose support has proven as strong as ever in these hard economic times,” states Shareef Malnik, Gala Chair of InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball.

Guests at the garden party included Norman Wedderburn, President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida; Jack Miller, General Manager of InterContinental Miami and Gala Host of the IC Miami MAW Ball; Shareef Malnik, owner of The Forge restaurant and returning Gala Chair of the IC Miami MAW Ball; James Ferraro, of The Ferraro Law Firm and Wish Benefactor of the IC MAW Ball. Special celebrity guests included designer and 2008 IC Miami MAW Ball Nightclub’s fashion show host Richie Rich, champion boxer Bernard Hopkins and burgeoning singer/songwriter Jamie Jo Harris. Guests mingled oceanside and enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and live entertainment by The King’s Academy Jazz Band and Choir.


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Granting Wishes – Alvin Malnik

Posted by Alvin Malnik on July 20, 2009
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Usually, when VIPs and celebrities gather, we know to expect an opulent atmosphere emphasized by a lavish dinner, elaborate cocktails, and the country’s A-listers dressed to the nines. On November 10, this exact depiction took place at the InterContinental Miami, however there were a few exceptions. First, there was a charitable reason behind it all, the 13th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish ball, and second, there was an exceptional host, Sharon Stone.

The big screen femme fatale and off-screen philanthropist was the soirée’s definitive highlight, aggressively seducing the attendees as well as their hefty wallets. Stone captivated the crowd with a touching story of how a young girl with HIV asked Stone to grant her wish before beginning the auction. Accordingly, she went to work by firmly stating, “You’ve got the money and I’m going to get it!”

Stone also played a major role in the highly anticipated auction of the night: the offering of her vintage black 1985 Rolls-Royce. The highest bidder, Jim Ferraro, bought the car for $160,000, which included a case of vintage Dom Pérignon, a bottle of Rémy Martin Louis XIII, Tiffany & Co. crystal champagne stirrers, and seven key chains carefully stored in the car’s trunk.

Another prized item up for auction was a Ferrari F430 F1 Coupe donated by The Collection, Miami’s premier luxury car dealership. The car collected the highest bid of $240,000 from Dr. Roger Medel, CEO of Pediatrix in Miami.

With more than 900 guests spanning from socialites to philanthropists, the ball was packed. Notables included Scottie Pippen, Mike and Alicia Piazza, Al Malnik, Rob Van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice) and South Beach diva Elaine Lancaster. Guests enjoyed a lavish five-course Hollywood-themed gala dinner while Triton Productions wowed the crowd with a video presentation beamed onto a circular video screen. The video montage featured welcome speeches by 2007 Ball Chairman Shareef Malnik and President/CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, Norman Wedderburn.

Ms. Stone truly fulfilled her goal, as the star-studded event was one for the record books, raising $1.5 million for terminally ill, young children across South Florida. Wishes at the event were bought at $5,000 each, with real estate mogul Jim Ferraro buying a record 40 wishes at a total of $200,000, emerging as the star donor of the event for the second year in a row. Following Ferraro was Market America’s CEOs J.R. Ridinger and his wife, Loren, who purchased 20 wishes.

“We are overwhelmingly delighted that our 13th Annual InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball has managed to raise a record amount of money for our children,” Wedderburn said. “The money raised this year beats last year’s amount by more than $600,000. These generous funds will go toward granting hundreds of wishes for underprivileged children throughout South Florida. I would like to particularly thank my good friends Shareef Malnik and Jack Miller for their continued hard work, personal support, and friendship.”

In the 13 years that the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball has been conducted, more than $6 million has been raised to benefit the South Florida branch of the organization. The ball is the perfect excuse for a night of fun that is ultimately a rewarding experience for all in attendance.

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