26th Annual Miami Make-A-Wish Ball a Big Hit

24Fashion TV is proud to present a recap of the 26th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish Ball that took place on the evening of November 6th at the InterContinental Miami. The event was headlined by singer and actress Jennifer Hudson who performed a private concert for Ball guests. 

Guests were welcomed at the 26th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball by Shareef Malnik,  Chairman Emeritus, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida; Gala Chair of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball; Managing Partner, Greyhawk Capital; and CEO, Forge Legacy Investments; Glenn Sampert, Gala Host and General Manager of InterContinental Miami; and Norman Wedderburn, President and CEO of Make-A-WishSouthern Florida – the trio affectionately known as the “Three Amigos.”

The Ball’s space-inspired theme transformed the InterContinental Miami hotel into a galactic wonderland, from the valet porte cochere and lobby entrance with otherworldly performers to a spacious step-and-repeat for photographs as well as a sweeping mezzanine and impressive Grand Ballroom decorated in shimmering silver and mystical black hues. 

Among the people spotted on the red carpet were Chairman Emeritus, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, Shareef Malnik and wife and actress Gabrielle Anwar, NASA astronaut Loren Acton and his wife Evelyn Acton, actress Spencer Malnik, attorney and businessman Alvin Malnik and wife Nancy Elaine Gresham, Jared Malnik, NBA All-Star Jamal Mashburn, Bailey Mashburn, celebrity fashion designer Skye Drynan, artist and CEO/co-founder of 24Fashion TV Victoria Unikel, celebrity stylist Elysze Held, Lesli Brown, producer Clif Loftin, Ryan Cook, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida Norman Wedderburn, RHOM star Lisa Hochstein, stylist Danny Jelaca, Annette Prats, Lawrence Malott and Thomas Malott, owner of E11even Dennis DeGori and business partners Gino Lopinto, attorney Scott Silver, jewelry artist Yvonne Rosemeier, real estate developer Alitza Weiss, RHOM star Kiki Barth, Tara Ink principal Nick D’Annunzio, VP Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Karen Mullins, actor Christopher Fannon.

A lavish cocktail reception on the InterContinental Miami’s mezzanine followed and featured premium libations and elaborate food displays, including the popular seafood towers and raw bars created by InterContinental Miami Executive Chef Jhonnatan Contreras and his team, while guests bid at the Ball’s famous silent auction – regarded as one of the most luxurious at any gala in South Florida. Brimming with coveted objects, memorabilia and travel experiences donated by leading hospitality, entertainment, fashion and luxury brands, the silent auction included a fine jewelry and watch concession by King Jewelers. DJ Ani Phearce presided during the cocktail reception, spinning his own brand of magic.

After the grand cocktail reception, a special performance ushered guests into the Grand Ballroom. During dinner and dancing, actress and filmmaker Gabrielle Anwar, a Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Ambassador, returned for the 10th year as celebrity emcee. The evening closed with a concert by the renowned singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, presented by Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation. 

The official after-party was designated as InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub and was presented by E11EVEN MIAMI, Downtown Miami’s 24/7 ultraclub. Immediately following the Ball at InterContinental Miami, the nightclub was headlined by Ja Rule, who performed for the audience. DJ Affect will set the tone for the evening, highlighted by a fashion runway show showcasing looks by House of Skye, a global, digitally distributed luxury fashion house by Skye Drynan, whose designs have been worn by celebrities including Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Iggy Azalea, Paris Hilton, Miranda Lambert, Tyler Posey, Elle King, and Carrie Underwood. Models will be coifed by in-kind donor Danny Jelaca of Danny Jelaca Hair.

Committee members of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub presented by E11EVEN MIAMI, which was produced by Maxwell Blandford, Ken DeGori, and Clif Loftin, are: Shareef Malnik, Chairman Emeritus, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida; Gala Chair of the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball; Ken DeGori, Vice Chairman, InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub; Maxwell Blandford, Creative Director of InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball and Co-Chair of InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Nightclub; Michael Capponi, Co-Chair; Nick D’Annunzio, Co-Chair and Ball committee member; Clif Loftin, Co-Chair; Gus Munoz, Co-Chair and Ball committee member; Tara Solomon, Co-Chair and Ball committee member; Nicholas Zazzera, Co-Chair and Ball committee member; Antonio Misuraca; Violet Camacho; Louis Fonseca; and Robert Fernandez. Creative direction for the Nightclub is provided by DECO Productions.

As the Ball’s 26-year partner, founder, and in-kind donor, InterContinental Miami has contributed through in-kind donations to Make-A-Wish Southern Florida that have enabled the organization to raise more than $29 million, resulting in more than 5,800 wishes being granted to children with life-threatening medical conditions in the chapter’s region, which includes South Florida, the Treasure Coast, southwest Florida, the Sarasota area, and Tampa Bay.