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

Board President Raul Marmol and Emcee Michele Gillen

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade hosted their Third Annual Gala featuring a “Wild About Kids” theme at The Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami. The gala’s chair was philanthropist Lana DeSimone and the co-emcee was chef and TV personality Ralph Pagano, host of FLN’s Pressure Cook, who was also featured in TV’s Iron Chef & Hell’s Kitchen. His co-emcee was Michele Gillen, CBS4 I-Team Chief Investigative Reporter.

The evening began with a cocktail reception at 7 p.m. sponsored by Bacardi, a silent auction and a piano performance by Isaac Rodriguez. Dinner was served at 8 p.m. while guests enjoyed live music by the band Private Stock. The highlight of the night was a special performance by children from Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade of Abbott and Costello’s Who’s on First routine. After their performance, the children walked around the ballroom encouraging guests to sponsor a child through a $250 donation. All proceeds benefited the five clubs in the Miami-Dade area.

Donation collected by co-emcee Ralph Pagano

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade honored the Florida Marlins for their outstanding commitment to the youth, the community and the Clubs. The award was accepted by Andre Dawson who played during the Marlin’s 2003 World Series Championship season. During his career, he was an 8-time National League All-Star. The gala also presented an inaugural award called the Charles “Bebe” Rebozo Humanitarian Award to a person, a family or an organization who has shown overwhelming support and constant dedication to the children of Miami-Dade. This year’s award was given to the Carmen Rebozo Foundation and the award was accepted by Fred Rebozo and Olga Guilarte.

Miami’s own famed artist Romero Britto generously provided a colorful image entitled, Children of the World, to represent the gala. The organization also announced the support of UPS as a gold sponsor of the gala. Other supporters included DeSimone Consulting Engineers, Fraunces Tavern Restaurant, NYC, Jim Bernhardt State Farm, Bacardi and Radio Paz.

Special lighting effects filled the ballroom and the tall centerpieces with orchids and curly willows decorated each table. The menu included beef tenderloin and crab cakes accompanied by basil mashed potatoes. Guests were treated to a variety of desserts and a special hot chocolate station by car port as they departed for the evening.

Executive Director Alex Roig & wife Christina

“The Third Annual ‘Wild About Kids’ Gala celebrated how wild we are about our kids. The children in our community count on our organization to have a place where they can attend after-school and summer programs for studying, sports, mentoring and organized activities,” stated Alex Rodriguez-Roig, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.