Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s “Wild About Kids” Gala

Over $310,000 to Benefit Positive Programs for Local Youth

Eris Thomas & Dr. Robert Thomas, 2014 Wild About Kids, Gala Chairs

Over 430 attendees enjoyed a “night of stars” at Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s Nov. 8 “Wild About Kids” gala at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami. The eighth annual event raised over $310,000 to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s accredited and outcomes-driven after school and summer programs.

During the event, local philanthropists/husband and wife Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq. and Marile Lopez were honored with Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s Charles “Bebe” Rebozo Humanitarian Award for their vision, leadership and dedication given to the organization and its children. St. Louis Cardinals outfielder/former Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade member Jon Jay was honored with the Community Leadership Award as an alumnus who has demonstrated tremendous support, leadership and commitment to the enrichment, development and well-being of the children in the Miami-Dade community.

Acclaimed local artist Alexander Mijares, a Miami native with Cuban and Spanish roots, created/donated a beautiful piece for the gala. Internationally renowned fashion designer Angel Sanchez was among the VIP guests at the event. Miami Marlins infielder Adeiny Hechavarria gave a special and surprise donation on the spot.

Andres Raul Lopez, Marile & Jorge L. Lopez (Recipients, 2014 Charles “Bebe” Rebozo Humanitarian Award) Annia Perez-Fuentes, Carlos Perez-Fuentes, Saramelia Lopez, Luis Jorge Lopez

The event included a cocktail reception, dinner, dancing, live entertainment, and raffle/auction. A fun-filled after party, also at the JW Marriott Marquis, followed. Guests had the opportunity to sponsor a child through donations.

Longtime supporters of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and local philanthropists, Dr. Robert H. Thomas and Eris Thomas (Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Executive Board member) served as chairs of the event. Serving as gala honorary co-chairs were Dr. Michael S. Gordon and Lynda Gordon, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade former Board President and current Special Events Chair Olga Guilarte.

“Wild About Kids” gala committee members were Donna Abood, Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Board of Directors Member Charlie Barton, Tom Bezold, Katie Cabanas, Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado, Jackie Gonzalez, Judy Kramer, Eddie Lacasa, Marile Lopez, Alfredo Mesa, Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Executive Board Member Yuni Navarro, Melissa Pallett, Elizabeth & Ralph Patino, and Maggie Zulueta.

Janelle Jay, Jon Jay (Recipient, 2014 Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, Community Builder Award) & Nikki Jay, Justo & Maria Jay

Event sponsors included Dr. Michael S. & Lynda Gordon, Carmen Rebozo Foundation, Juan Jose Delgado & Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado, Academica, Peter L. & Kerrin Bermont, Coca-Cola®, Coral Gables Executive Physicians, Ocean Bank, A-Rod Corp™, DLA Piper, Baptist Health South Florida, Wheels Up, Jorge Luis Lopez Law Firm, Robert & Judith Kramer, Barry & Rae Stein, Pinecrest Magazine, WSVN Channel 7, Modern Luxury Miami Magazine, FPL, Alpine Creative Group, Galaxy Productions, Offices of Ring Bender McKown & Castillo, LLP, Bacardi®, Winn-Dixie, Rodolfo “Rudy” Lleonart & Family, Northern Trust, Angels Entertainment, and Chic Parisien.

“This year’s ‘Wild About Kids’ gala was a wonderful success, in terms of funds raised, how much the guests enjoyed it, and the awareness that we created of what Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade does to change the lives of area youth,” said Eris Thomas. “We are very grateful to all who attended and participated.”

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