Archive for November, 2009
We here at Haute Living heard about the Make-A-Wish Ball on Saturday, November 7, 2009, where the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida and InterContinental Miami celebrated the 15th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, raising $1 million, with a Beatles-inspired cocktail reception and dinner, musical performance by Beatlemania Now, extravagant live auction emceed by Pamela Anderson, and 2nd Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub.
Florida Governor Charlie Crist also appeared as a special honoree. “We are delighted to announce that our 15th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball was an extraordinary success,” said Norman Wedderburn, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida President/CEO. “As a result of the unwavering support of our donors, we were able to raise an astonishing amount of money for our children amidst these tough times. I am extremely grateful for all of the generous supporters who donated and contributed their time and efforts towards making this year’s Ball an unforgettable experience and more importantly, providing the resources that will make wishes come true for 200 children across South Florida.”
This year’s InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball was made possible by the committee’s star players: President/CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, Norm Wedderburn; Ball Chairman and proprietor of The Forge, Shareef Malnik; and recently appointed InterContinental Miami General Manager, Robert B. Hill.
Also honored at this year’s Ball were Lifetime Benefactors Al and Nancy Malnik; Grand Benefactors Stanley and Gala Cohen; Founding Benefactors Howard and Barbara Glicken; and Wish Star Benefactor James L. Ferraro, as well as Wish Benefactors Harvey and Roberta Chaplin, Stuart A. Miller of Lennar Corporation and Robert Press of Trafalgar Capital Advisors.
The evening began with an extravagant Beatles-inspired cocktail reception in the hotel’s Mezzanine, which was transformed into a wonderland reminiscent of the legendary group’s songs “Strawberry Fields,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” and “All You Need Is Love,” among others. The fantasy decor included a yellow submarine made of 1,000 balloons, a hand-carved carousel of air-brushed animals, six-foot-tall strawberries dotted with giant rhinestone “seeds,” and eight-foot-high letters that spelled out “LOVE” on an Abbey Road Studios facade.
Guests enjoyed bountiful hors d’oeuvre stations created by InterContinental Miami’s gifted Executive Chef Alexander Feher, spirits provided by Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., and the renowned silent auction that raised $87,000. More than 140 premier items were donated by top hospitality, entertainment, fashion and luxury brands, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Ocean Reef Club, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Lines and Christian Dior, to name a few.
At the end of the reception, guests were summoned to dinner by the event’s 47 themed performers, including a 10-foot lobster man on stilts, a bearded lady, a strong man, Sgt. Pepper characters, glittering mermaids and colorful sea anemones.
The dinner gala continued with beats by Miami HEAT resident DJ Irie and an action-packed live auction hosted by Anderson. Attorney Jim Ferraro donated nearly $500,000 for three items-a Ferrari California donated by Ken Gorin of THE COLLECTION; a home rental and golf experience at famed St. Andrews Links, Scotland, provided by Paul and Emma Woodhouse; and a trip to Punta Mita, Mexico courtesy of Strategic Hotels and Resorts, owners of InterContinental Miami. A total of $210,000 was raised by Miami’s top VIPs and philanthropists at the live auction.
The grand finale of the event featured live music entertainment, with Beatlemania Now bringing the crowd to its feet from the first chords of “I Saw Her Standing There.” Following the Ball and for the second time in InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball’s history, the after-party at InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub celebrated the Ball’s endeavors and reintroduced the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida to the next generation of contributors and Miami’s tastemakers in the fashion, arts, music and nightlife industries.
By Stephanie Wilson
More than 200 of South Florida’s top philanthropists and supporting VIPs attended the Kick-Off event for the 15th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball on Thursday, May 21 at InterContinental Miami. Norman Wedderburn, President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and Shareef Malnik, owner of The Forge restaurant and returning Gala Chair of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, together announced the theme for this year’s Ball, “Imagine,” inspired by John Lennon’s influential song promoting peace and hope.
The Ball continues to signify an unprecedented partnership between InterContinental Miami and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Gala Host, Jack Miller, General Manger of the InterContinental Miami, graciously underwrote the entire cost of the Kick-Off event again this year. “Last year’s ball raised a record $1.6 million for South Florida’s children in need. In the Ball’s 15-year history, the event has raised more than $7.6 million and granted more than 1,600 wishes to children in our community,” said Miller. “Our partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida is the vehicle through which lasting memories are created and dreams come true for these very special children.”
“We appreciate the support of everyone who attended the reception and those generous individuals who helped make wishes come true through their continued support of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball,” said Wedderburn. “As always, we hope to raise a record amount this year to fulfill the wishes of children in Southern Florida who are battling life-threatening medical conditions.”
Esteemed guests at the event included Lifetime Benefactor Al Malnik, entertainment sponsor Antonio Misuraca, Make-A-Wish Foundation Chairman of The Board Robby Elias, Wish Foundation Chairman of the Board of Directors Ben Eisenberg, Founder of the Ferraro Law Firm and Wish Benefactor of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball James Ferraro, couturier Rene Ruiz, Lady Monica Heftler, restaurateur Fabian Basabe and avid Make-A-Wish supporters Howard and Barbara Glicken, Jillian Dinnerstein and Jonathan Basicka. Guests also enjoyed cocktails and an elegant spread that included a kobe beef carving station, raw seafood bar with stone crabs and tiger shrimp and exotic miniature desserts. Each guest received a triple-dipped chocolate covered strawberry in tribute to the Beatles’ song “Strawberry Fields Forever,” which was originally inspired by the name of a Salvation Army Children’s Home just around the corner of Lennon’s childhood home in London. Celebrity DJ Irie provided the beats and was thanked for his commitment and support to The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida.
“On behalf of the Foundation, I would also like to thank my father Al Malnik and step-mother Nancy for their unwavering support,” announced Shareef Malnik. “Thank you also to Mr. Jim Ferraro who sponsored 40 wishes at last year’s event and Mr. Stuart Miller who sponsored 20 wishes. Because of their involvement and that of everyone in this room, the Ball has historically been hugely successful and we need your participation more than ever. In addition to attending the Ball, we ask that you consider sponsoring one or more wishes. Each wish has a profound impact on a child and his or her family. For the modest cost of $5,000, you have the ability to make a sick child forget about their medical condition by focusing on their most heartfelt wish coming true.” Malnik then introduced his father, Lifetime Benefactor Al Malnik, who also encouraged guests to experience the magic of granting a wish. The evening closed with heartfelt speeches by Wish Kids Kinsley Laurent and Marina Diez, testifying to the impact such generous donations have made upon their young lives.
Bruce Sutka of Sutka Productions has again been commissioned to produce the décor for this year’s soiree following his creation of a magical experience at last year’s mystical garden-themed Ball. Guests attending this year’s Ball can expect their “Imagine” experience to begin the minute they arrive at InterContinental Miami’s limo-lined porte-cochere. The excitement will continue throughout the mezzanine reception with an elaborate silent auction. The Ball will build up to a glittering crescendo in the Grand Ballroom where more than 800 of the most glamorous and big-hearted philanthropists will be dazzled by what will await them, including a live auction featuring a Ferrari California, donated by Ken Gorin of The Collection. Following the Ball will be an invitation-only after-party at InterContinental Make-A-Wish Nightclub 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.
Tables for the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball range from $5,000 to $20,000, and for the past four consecutive years, seats have been sold out two months prior to the event. Wish Sponsors range from $5,000 to $100,000. Tables, wishes and other sponsorship opportunities can be purchased by calling 954.967.9474 extension 318 or by visiting www.sfla.wish.org.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida grants the wishes of children who have life-threatening medical conditions, to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Covering a 13-county territory of Southern Florida, the chapter’s goal is to grant more than 540 wishes this year. For more information, contact the Foundation at (888) 773-WISH or log on to www.sfla.wish.org.
Proclamation and key to the City awarded by Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower
MIAMI BEACH, FL – (Nov 11, 2009) – Miami Beach’s culinary bastion and social staple The Forge has reached new heights with the celebration of its 40 years in business. In commemoration of this milestone, the landmark and its owner Shareef Malnik were honored on Monday, April 27, 2009 with a proclamation and a key to the City of Miami Beach. The festivities took place at the offices of Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower and the day was declared “The Forge’s 40th Anniversary Day.”
“It is a pleasure to celebrate The Forge’s years of success. The restaurant has made positive contributions to Miami Beach and has enhanced the city as a world wide destination,” says Mayor Bower.
In honor of The Forge’s 40-year birthday, Malnik is proud to announce that he is giving the storied venue a total multi-million dollar revamp and renovation that started during the summer of 2009 that includes a radical new interior design concept and new menu, including one for the popular Forge Bar, located within the restaurant. The Forge closed for these extensive renovations as of April 27, 2009, and will reopen December 15, 2009
“I see this stage of The Forge as a ‘rebirth,’ not unlike a renewal of wedding vows when you get married. When we re-open in the winter of 2009, our loyal clientele will be blown away by the exciting enhancements and changes that will have been completed,” says Malnik. “Like the fine wines in our famous cellar, The Forge only improves with age. Here’s to the next 40 years.”
The Forge has been a Miami Beach legend since the 1920s and owned by The Malnik Family since 1968. In 1991, Shareef Malnik became the proprietor of the restaurant, and proceeded to inject a shot of hipness into The Forge’s existing eloquence and glamour. The result: A full house every night of the week, successful nightclub components Jimmy’z and Glass, and the East Room, a private dining hall that was host to intimate concerts and film premieres.
The award-winning restaurant has attracted South Beach’s crème de la crème as well leading A-list celebrities over the last four decades, including Robert De Niro, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Kelly Preston and John Travolta, Elizabeth Taylor, Mikhail Gorbachev, Rod Stewart, Salma Hayek, Sir Paul McCartney, Whitney Houston, Woody Allen, Al Pacino, Jessica Alba, Iggy Pop, Matt Damon, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Jordan, Kate Moss, Matthew McConaughey, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, Naomi Campbell, Mickey Rourke, Sly Stallone, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, Desi Arnaz, Andy Warhol, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, just to name a few.
The Forge’s current expansion plans include The Forge in the Ottoman Palace Hotel in Dubai.
Just a taste of what’s to come…..
Owner Shareef Malnik is proud to announce Dewey LoSasso as new executive chef
MIAMI BEACH, FL – (October 6, 2009) – After a global search to find the new executive chef of The Forge – a culinary landmark in Miami Beach since 1969 – owner Shareef Malnik is proud to announce the appointment of Dewey LoSasso. The Forge will reopen its doors mid-December 2009 with a fresh new design, social and culinary concept.
The lengthy selection process spanned more than six months and consisted of 172 chefs showing off their kitchen skills and impressive signature dishes. Chef LoSasso proved to be top chef by beating out colleagues from around the world and being awarded the much sought-after title.
“I’ve known Dewey for years back from his days at The Foundlings Club in Miami Beach and as Donatella Versace’s personal chef,” says Malnik. “The moment we reconnected during my worldwide search for the perfect new chef something just clicked; he understands my culinary vision and where I see The Forge going in the coming years. I’m ecstatic that he has joined our team and cannot wait to reopen the restaurant and get him and the new menu out for all to experience and enjoy.”
A founding member of the 1980s era “Mango Gang,” a group of bold young chefs who put South Florida’s fresh, tropical-accented cuisine on the national gastronomic map, Dewey LoSasso grew as a groundbreaking chef who has not slowed since those heady days. Alongside fellow Mango Gang associates including Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello, Robin Haas, Allen Susser and Douglas Rodriguez, he has continued to pioneer modern cuisine, making a name for
himself as a talented innovator in Miami and New York City. After three years of raves in New York and numerous stints as guest chef in kitchens around the world, LoSasso and wife Dale, a veteran restaurant manager and wine director, returned to Miami to open their first joint venture, North One 10.
ABOUT THE FORGE:
The Forge has built a reputation as a fine dining destination with first class service and quality. The renowned establishment is best known for its superb cuisine as well as attracting leaders of businesses, devoted celebrity clientele and heads of state from around the world.
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.
After the Ball, guests are invited to head to the exclusive InterContinental
Saturday, November 7, 2009, 10:30 p.m.