Asha Elias, Gala Co-Chair; Edie Laquer, Honorary Chair; and Tina van der Ven, Gala Co-Chair, with the Gipsy Kings

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, along with presenting partners Carnival Foundation and Carnival Corporation and honorary chair Edie Laquer, hosted the nonprofit youth mentoring organization’s “60th Anniversary Little Gems, Big Glow” gala on Saturday, March 3 at JW Marriott Marquis. Organizers successfully raised $1.4 million as hundreds of Miami’s corporate and philanthropic elite joined community leaders, supporters and volunteers at the annual fundraiser for an evening of cocktails and a reception, followed by a gourmet dinner and dancing. This year’s event included a special one-and-a-half-hour performance by the Gipsy Kings featuring Andre Reyes.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami is a donor- and volunteer-supported organization that helps at-risk youths through adult mentorship relationships and provides holistic, wraparound services to children in our community at the organization’s headquarters, Carnival Center for Excellence. Money raised supports matching volunteer mentors, known as “Bigs,” with children, or “Littles.” Each match costs $1,500.

Asha Elias and Tina van der Ven served as gala co-chairs and Jennifer Kennedy and Kristen Munroe as mentor co-chairs.

Gala sponsors included Gala Diamond Benefactor: The Gorson Family. Trish and Dan Bell for their Sponsor a Match Challenge. Diamond Sponsors: Miami Herald and Ten-X. Sapphire Sponsors: CareerSource South Florida, Bonnie Crabtree, Jamie and Asha Elias, Greenberg Traurig, Justin and Jennifer Kennedy, Kinga and Edward Lampert, Publix Super Market Charities, Alex and Tina van der Ven, Wells Fargo Private Bank, The Hearth Insurance Group/The Whited Family. Ruby Sponsors: Missy and Jonathan Babicka, Hicks Family Fund, Kristi and Dean Jernigan, Cathy Jones, Jose Milton Foundation, Ryder System Charitable Foundation, and Stearns Weaver Miller. Emerald Sponsors: ADP Foundation, Akerman LLP, Aon Risk Solutions, Bank of the Ozarks, Bayview Asset Management/Joel Goldman, BB&T, Betty Brandt, Cherry Bekaert, City National Bank, Comcast, Coffey Burlington, Cozen O’Connor, Fairholme Foundation, FedEx, FirstService Residential/Chuck Fallon, The Five Millers Family Foundation, Gary Saslaw, P.A., Gelber Schachter & Greenberg, P.A., John Gordon, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, IberiaBank, Julie Grimes, John Moriarty & Associates, Kaufman Rossin, Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen, Levine, P.L., The Lopez-Cantera Family, Marion Moore Foundation, Merrill Lynch,Miami International Boat Show, Miami Marlins, Bronwyn Miller and Maury Udell, MMG Equity Partners/Gabe Navarro, NBC Universal, Northern Trust, Perry Ellis International, Power Financial Credit Union, Rialto Capital Management/Anthony Seijas, Rick and Kara Rosen, Roar Media/Jacques Hart and Jolie Balido-Hart, Royal Caribbean Cruises, The Templeton Family, Total Operations Support Solution/Greg Morris, Trivest Partners, TUUCI, Kirsten and John Vogel.

Special thanks to Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour, Faena Rose, NBC 6, Shiroiy D. Cama Gems & Jewels and Ulysse Nardin for their generous contributions to our BIG Box Auction and to Sysco, Food Underwriter; Bacardi, Spirit Underwriter; Mochee, Inc., Social Media Underwriter; Praschnik Fine Jewelers, Jewelry Sponsor; Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Wine Wall Sponsor; Boulud Sud, Nightcap Underwriter; Windhaven Insurance, Valet Underwriter; Sapient Nitro, Video Underwriter; Doctors Hospital, Thank You Card Underwriter; Fiction Events, Lounge Decor Underwriter; Miami City Ballet; Welcome Entertainment Underwriter and Funkshion, AV Underwriter.

Media Underwriters: Ocean Drive Magazine; Roar Media; Entercom South Florida; and APPI, Printing Underwriter.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami: Big Brothers Big Sisters is a donor and volunteer supported organization that transforms the lives of at-risk children through supportive adult mentor relationships. For more information, visit

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