Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida and InterContinental® Miami raised an excess of $2.7 million net expenses at the annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball. This year’s InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball was held on Saturday, November 6, headlined by singer and actress Jennifer Hudson at InterContinental® Miami. Jennifer Hudson performed a captivating concert for the Ball guests where actress and filmmaker Gabrielle Anwar returned as celebrity emcee of the Ball.
The theme of the annual Ball was “Galactica,” prompted by pop culture, vintage sci-fi films and space science. The “Galactica” theme led to some very innovative and inventive analyses on the Ball’s “white carpet.” The trio known as the “Three Amigos,” including Shareef Malnik, Glenn Sampert and Norman Wedderburn, welcomed guests to the 26th annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Ball.
All assets raised from the Ball benefitted Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida. Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida is a non-profit organization that grants life-transforming wishes for critically ill children.
The Ball’s space theme was theorized by the Ball’s Creative Direction Maxwell Blandford. InterContinental® Miami was creatively transformed by DECO Productions into a “galactic wonderland.” The space was attributed to retro space movies “Barbarella,” “Forbidden Planet” and “The Green Slime.”
Ball guests dined on a space-themed menu curated by Chef Jhonnatan Contreras. During the dinner, “Wish Kid” Jacob Schwartz was recognized. Jacob is a critically ill six-year-old that was diagnosed with high-grade osteosarcoma. His wish was to enjoy the ocean and was realized when his family traveled to Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys, courtesy of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida. Jacob’s mother, Helen Schwartz, spoke at the ball. She thanked the charity for granting her son’s wish that led to an unforgettable, stressless opportunity for him to just enjoy being a kid again. Gala Chair Shareef Malnik dedicated the Ball to Jacob.
Gabrielle Anwar, actress, filmmaker and Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Ambassador, returned for her 10th year as a celebrity emcee to host her signature Wishes live auction. The auction showcased “nine out-of-this world experiences and one-of-a-kind items.”
Presented by the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation, the Ball’s entertainer Jennifer Hudson performed a 45-minute set of fan favorites. Jennifer Hudson gave performances of “Natural Woman” and “Respect,” the title song from the Aretha Franklin biopic that she stars in. All guests received VIP gift bags that consisted of a coffee table book by artist Romero Britto, a custom star-shaped donut from The Salty and a $100 gift certificate from Alto car service.
The InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish® Nightclub presented by E11EVEN MIAMI was the official after-party, held following the Ball at InterContinental® Miami. The after-party was headlined by Ja Rule who also performed live. DJ Affect “set the tone for the evening,” highlighting a runway show that showcased looks by House of Skye. House of Skye is a global luxury fashion house by Skye Drynan. 42 custom designs strolled down the runway. The models wore “sky-high bling ponytails and alien-esque high twists coifed by in-kind donor Danny Jelaca of Danny Jelaca Hair.” Makeup was created by Beauty For real and further eye candy was supplied by Forealism.
The Ball’s partner, founder and in-kind donor InterContinental® Miami has contributed those donations to Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, which has further allowed the organization to raise more than $32 million. These donations have resulted in over 6,300 wishes being granted to children with life-threatening medical conditions in the chapter’s area.