12th Annual “Wild About Kids” Gala Presented by Norwegian Cruise Line

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade celebrate "A Night in Havana"

Alex Rodriguez-Roig, Belkys Nerey,
Olga Gulliarte and Andres Guilarte

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade celebrated its 12th Annual “Wild About Kids” Gala Presented by Norwegian Cruise Line with “A Night in Havana” themed event, raising $700,000.

More than 600 guests packed their bags and headed to a visionary evening in Havana during the 12th Annual “Wild About Kids” Gala at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. A 5-piece band welcomed guests to the rhythms of traditional Cuban music while they enjoyed cocktails and canapés. Attendees were invited to partake in an incredible silent auction featuring more than 180 items ranging from unique travel opportunities, elegant jewelry, memorabilia and lifestyle experiences. An exquisite 18-piece gallery of original artwork designed by Carmen Sotolongo Kelley joined the silent auction with pieces directly inspired by Cuban culture.

As guests entered into the ballroom, they were transported back to Havana, Cuba, and were escorted to tables that featured tropical floral centerpieces with birds of paradise and banana leaves. Upon each chair, guests received a traditional Cuban Fedora hat and a paper fan to enjoy. Guests enjoyed dinner, dancing and the sounds of Havana-style music throughout the evening. Each corner of the dance floor included lounges for guests to rest in between songs and were accented with rustic suitcases as bags were packed to go to Havana.

Belkys Nerey, anchor of WSVN Channel 7, welcomed guests to an unforgettable evening and introduced Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade President Alex Rodriguez-Roig. She continued her emcee duties throughout the night and was joined by Miami’s number one deejay, DJ Zog, who helped energize the crowd throughout the evening.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade President Alex Rodriguez-Roig and Gala Chairs Andy and Allison Stuart shared personal stories about their experiences with the organization and kept guests informed on how the dollars raised during the gala will help Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s positive programs. A special highlight video was debuted to attendees showcasing a day in the life of children who attend Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and the impact it has on their lives.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming number of people who turned out this evening to help provide thousands of children in Miami the opportunity to enjoy Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s positive programs”, said Alex Rodriguez-Roig. “This night could not have been possible without the support of Andy, Allision and the executive team at Norwegian Cruise Line.

Andy Stuart, Allison Stuart and Alex Rodriguez-Roig

As the night progressed, presenting sponsor, Norwegian Cruise Line, dazzled the crowd during a 30-minute special performance of its onboard production ¡HAVANA! that set the tone for “A Night in Havana.” Throughout the performance, entertainers sang and danced to original music performed by Albita Rodriguez and other cast members.

Emily Garay, a member of the South Beach Club, spoke about the positive impact the Club has had on her life including the recent opportunity to attend the Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert, where she won a $100,000 scholarship from BeyGood and The Shawn Carter Foundation.

During a special version of Hora Loca, guests were informed about a Seabourn Cruise seven-day Mediterranean Cruise Sponsor-a-Child golden ticket giveaway. One lucky golden ticket winner would be selected once the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade received sponsorships for 250 kids. A recording-breaking 280 golden tickets were given out that raised more than $56,000 to help sponsor 224 kids.

Following dinner, attendees were treated to a traditional Cuban coffee cart and freshly-made donuts with toppings that complemented the flavors of the homemade confection. The evening’s “A Night in Havana” vision was brought to life by Aloré Event Firm.

Event Gala chairs were Andrew Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line; and his wife Allison Stuart. The special event chair was Olga Guilarte. Gala committee members included Jane Barrelier, Tom Bezold, Belinda Biggs, Jennifer Price, Stacey Donayre, Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado, Karen Dudley, Marisa Farrell-Arteaga, Alicia Gerrits Hawkins, Judy Kramer, Marile Lopez, Anna Noriega, Melissa Pallett-Vasquez, Raul Rodriguez Jacome, Alex Rodriguez-Roig, Arlene Peterson, Durée Ross and Eris Thomas and Saskia Bowers.