Miami Children’s Hospital Diamond Ball & Concert

"An International Affair" at Biltmore Hotel

Mayor Slesnick, Lucy Morillo, I. Nicholas Lopez-Morillo, Jeannette Slesnick, Dr. Narendra Kini

A world of international flair was showcased at this year’s Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation Diamond Ball & Concert at the historic Biltmore Hotel where nearly 450 guests helped launch the gala season. Many donned chic international attire as an alternative to black tie and formal gowns reflecting the evening’s theme: “An International Affair.”

The evening, which launched the Foundation’s year-long celebration of Miami Children’s Hospital’s 60th anniversary as South Florida’s only freestanding hospital dedicated exclusively to providing world-class treatment and care for children, also was designed to reflect the multi-cultural diversity of Miami Children’s Hospital and Foundation, which represent more than 40 nations and serve children from all around the world.

“This year’s Diamond Ball and Concert was an intimate yet very elegant and exclusive affair because it was a ‘friend-raiser’ in addition to being our major annual fundraiser,” said Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation President Lucy Morillo. “We wish to thank on a very personal level all those who continued their generous and unwavering support throughout the year.”

Ricky & Amy Pollock, Tom Cornish, Jennifer & Eric Levin

international dress and escorted along the red carpet. Under a canopy of stars, the Biltmore’s International Plaza was transformed into an inviting reception area where guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while being entertained by international artist ranging from Thai and Indian performers to flamenco and belly dancers. Trumpets heralded the banquet hour and guests were ushered into the ballroom for a gourmet dinner to the exquisite violin music of seven-year-old prodigy Brianna Kahane.

Former President Bill Clinton greeted guests with a special video message and, following dinner and a live auction, Miami Heat All-Star and Olympic athlete Dwyane Wade, whose image and jersey are recognized worldwide, was inducted into Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation’s International Pediatric Hall of Fame for his work on behalf of children through his Wade’s World Foundation and other charitable outreach.

Denise & Manny Alfonso

Chaired by Vivian and Juan Carlos Mas, the event raised nearly $2.5 million, including an anonymous gift of $1.25 million to fund the creation of an Ion Channel Epilepsy Program (ICEP) at Miami Children’s Hospital. The funds raised go to support the Hospital in its mission to ensure all children are able to receive the highest caliber medical care, no matter where they live.

The 2009 Diamond Ball & Concert sponsors included: AmericanAirlines, Arellano Construction, Biltmore Hotel, Capital Markets, Comcast, Dan’s Video Creations, Gencom Group, Grupo Denim, Lamborghini America, Macy’s, MasTec, Miami Children’s Hospital Cardiology & Cardiovascular Surgery, Miami HEAT, Mayors Jewelers, Northern Trust, Premier Beverage, Rene Ruiz Couture, TriPink Media, Seitlin Insurance, Sheridan Health Corp., Shook Hardy & Bacon, Skanska, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, Turner Construction and Miami Children’s Hospital Pathologists and Neuro Network Partners.

Marylou & Peter Dolara and Jeannette & Mayor Slesnick

Miami Children’s Hospital is one of 170 pediatric hospitals in North America affiliated with Children’s Miracle Network and South Florida’s only freestanding Hospital dedicated exclusively to children. To learn more about the Foundation and offer support, visit www.mchf.org, or call 305-666-2889 (toll free: 1-800-987-8701).