On Sunday, April 10, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida held its annual Garden Party in honor of the upcoming 17thAnnual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball. Hosted by Lifetime Benefactors Al & Nancy Malnik at their oceanfront estate, the private affair, themed “Avant Garden,” was attended by more than 200 guests and six inflatable “Friends With You” Wish Characters, who together celebrated the Ball’s magical mission. In an announcement never before made this far in advance, Burn Notice star Gabrielle Anwar was named as the emcee for the famous live auction of the Ball, to be held on Saturday, November 5, 2011.
“The positive energy at this year’s Garden Party was palpable,” said Shareef Malnik, Chairman of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball. “It is with this perfect beginning – a beautiful day and a memorable event filled with an incredible group of individuals who contribute countless hours and dollars to make a difference for children in need – that I am confident the 2011 Ball will be the most special yet.” Robert Hill, Ball Host, continued, “I would like to extend a very special thank you to Al and Nancy Malnik as well as their family for opening their home. This magnificent event is only a preview for what’s to come. Being part of and giving back to the community has always been part of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts since its founding in 1946. I am very proud of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball; it is one of the premier ways we exhibit our company values. This year is going to be a significant event, our $10 Million Ball, and one you do not want to miss.”
Guests at the annual spring soiree, which was held at the Malnik’s estate for the sixth consecutive year, included “The Three Amigos:” Norman Wedderburn, President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida; Shareef Malnik, Ball Chairman and proprietor of The Forge Restaurant | Winebar; and Robert Hill, Ball Host and General Manager of InterContinental Miami. The inspiring trio, along with other VIP guests, including the 2011 Ball’s emcee Gabrielle Anwar, Star BenefactorJames Ferraro, FOX Channel 7 news anchor Belkys Nerey, award-winning interior designer Fernando Wong, socialites Merle and Danny Weiss, Lady Monica Heftler and many more, enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and an animated parade by colorful Art Basel favorite “Friends With You,” whose oversized Wish Characters Rainbow King, Buddy Chubb, MR. TTT, Malfi, Zoo-Zoo and more, mingled with guests to create a sense of hopeful, youthful fun.
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 500 wishes in 2011. For more information, contact the Foundation at (888) 773-WISH or log on to www.sfla.wish.org.