13th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball

Shareef Malnik, Sharon Stone, Norm Wedderburn,
Al and Nancy Malnik, Jack J. Miller

On November 10, 2007, the InterContinental Miami and the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida celebrated their annual fundraiser, the 13th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball. This year, the ball raised a record $1.5 million for South Florida’s children in need, besting last year’s amount by more than $850,000. Guests of the evening enjoyed a Hollywood themed gala dinner, a musical performance by Natalie Cole, and an extravagant live auction emceed by Hollywood actress and philanthropist Sharon Stone.

A-list VIP and celebrity attendees participated in raising more than $120,000 at the silent auction that took place during the elaborate cocktail reception. As guests enjoyed the dinner, created by Chef Alexander Feher of the InterContinental Miami, a video presentation created by the event’s production company, Triton Productions, surprised the crowd featuring welcome speeches by Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida President/CEO Norman Wedderburn, Chairman of the Board L. Robert Elias, 2007 Ball Chairman Shareef Malnik, and InterContinental Miami General Manager and Gala Host Jack J. Miller. Following the presentation, guests were given the opportunity to sponsor a wish at $5,000 each. Longtime Make-A-Wish supporter Jim Ferraro emerged as the star donor of the evening, adopting a record 40 wishes at a total of $200,000. Other high-end wish sponsors included Southern Wine & Spirits owners Harvey and Roberta Chaplin; the Stuart A. Miller Family Foundation, sponsoring 20 wishes; and Grand Benefactors, Stanley and Gala Cohen, sponsoring 10 wishes. More than $900,000 was raised through the adoption of wishes.

Al Malnik, Ken Gorin and Shareef Malnik

Sharon Stone entertained the audience during the live auction, presented by Edie Laquer of Laquer Foundation, for which an impressive array of luxury brands and leading South Florida businesses generously donated items. Among them were a 2007 Ferrari F430 F1 Coupe supplied by THE COLLECTION; a one-week charter on the 106’ Broward Motor yacht Soulmate, supplied by Tom and Rhonda Lewis at Broward Marine; Sharon Stone’s own vintage Rolls Royce; an extraordinary trip to Argentina provided by Southern Wine & Spirits; hotel accommodations provided by the InterContinental Buenos Aires; dazzling timepieces from Jacob & Co.; a three-night stay in The Setai hotel’s penthouse and a one-week stay on Red Mountain in Aspen donated by Edward Freedman; a private party package extravaganza at Mansion nightclub provided by The Opium Group; an Ocean Drive magazine photo shoot and an opportunity to dress in style by couturier Rene Ruiz.

Jim Ferraro and Sharon Stone

Musical legend Natalie Cole took to the stage with her pianist for the finale of the night, performing a total of seven tracks, including “Unforgettable,” while guests encircled her, dancing. The live entertainment was sponsored by Sentinel.

More than 900 A-list VIPs, socialites, philanthropists and celebrities attended the soirée, including former basketball superstar Scottie Pippen; Juan Pierre (Los Angeles Dodgers); Cliff Floyd (Chicago Cubs); Mike and Alicia Piazza; Erin Cosby; Robert Van Winkle (a.k.a Vanilla Ice); Lifetime Benefactors, Al and Nancy Malnik; Senator Bob Graham and his wife Adele; Jim Ferraro; John Cardillo; Harvey and Roberta Chaplin and Wayne and Arlene Chaplin (owners of Southern Wine & Spirits); Edie Laquer; J.R. and Loren Ridinger; Lee Schrager and Rene Ruiz.

Ed Freedman and guest, Ken Gorin and Shareef Malnik

The mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. This past year, the foundation granted the wishes of 514 South Florida children and recently granted their 6,000th wish. In its 13-year history, the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball has raised an overwhelming $6 million to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida