Miami Children’s Museum’s 2017 Be A Kid Again Gala “Le Grand Carnaval”

Almost $2 Million raised for Educational Programming

Christy Martin, Jeff Berkowitz, David Martin, Daniela Swaebe, Michael Comras and Debbie Spiegelman
Yolanda & Jeff Berkowitz and Shannon Hori Cogan

Miami Children’s Museum thrilled more than 800 attendees at its Annual Be A Kid Again Gala, held at Soho Studios in Wynwood. The theme of the evening was “Le Grand Carnaval,” wondrously realized with a world of unique performers, exotic cuisine and a night filled with fantasy! Close to $2 million was raised to support educational programming with the help of generous donors, sponsors, an extensive silent auction and a high end live auction. The event, emceed by journalist and former CBS4 Anchor Shannon Hori Cogan, also honored MCM Chairman of the Board, Jeff Berkowitz, for his many years of great leadership and service to the Museum.

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Premier Sponsors for the event were Fairholme Foundation, Dr. Brigitt Rok Potamkin & Mr. Alan Potamkin. Presenting Sponsors included Yolanda & Jeff Berkowitz, Bilzin Sumberg, Comras Company, Heidi & Jose Dans, Greenberg Traurig, Susan & Richard Lampen/Opko Health Inc., Medina Family Foundation and Terra. The event was co-chaired by Christy & David Martin and Daniela Swaebe & Michael Comras. The silent auction was curated by auction chair, Melissa Netkin and Wine Auction Chair, Steven Haas.

Among the nearly 800 attendees were: Yolanda & Jeff Berkowitz, Susan & Richard Lampen, Romero Britto, Christy & David Martin, Daniela Swaebe & Michael Comras, Patricia & Phillip Frost, Jessica & Jack Collins, Lisette & Manny Medina, Matthew & Eva Gorson, Tom Wood, Ana & Neisen Kasdin, Vanessa & Lee Krelstein, Melissa & Robert Netkin, Jennifer & Javier Cervera, Bruce & Tracey Berkowitz, Jessica & Gary Reshefky, William Talbert, Jennifer Valoppi & Christian de Berdouare, Michael & Nicole Simkins, Marianne & John Devine, Jenny & Kevin Faith, Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Produced by Wow Factor, guests felt like a kid again from the moment they entered “Le Grand Carnaval” at Soho Studios. The night kicked off with a not to be missed cocktail reception with an extensive silent auction, performances from The Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota, a tempting array of cuisine provided by Chef David Schwadron Catering and Event Design and the sounds of the Valerie Tyson Band. The highlight event of the evening was an energetic live auction, raising nearly $200,000, featuring spectacular items including: a $10,000 Shopping Spree courtesy of Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour, Audi Q5 24 month lease courtesy of The Collection, Personalized Portrait by Romero Britto and once in a lifetime luxury vacations.

The celebration continued with the After Party hosted by the Museum’s young professionals group, the Playmakers, and co-Chaired by Michael Berkowitz and Janet C. Moreira. DJ Twilo and DJ Zog played tunes along with a premium bar and late night treats. Sponsors included Jolie & Michael Berkowitz, Felicia & Andrew Berkowitz, 13th Floor Investments, Weber Law, Janet C. Moreira / MAVEN Intellectual Property, Ironview Capital Management, 3 Pillars Events, Duffy’s Foundation, Wells Fargo, Golden Sands General Contractors, Donna Melnuk and Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A.

Miami Children’s Museum (MCM) offers bilingual and interactive exhibits, programs, classes and learning materials related to arts, culture, community and communication. The Museum has 14 interactive galleries as well as housing many exciting and fun traveling exhibits. MCM is dedicated to enriching the lives of all children by fostering a love of learning and enabling children to realize their highest potential. Through arts and educational programs, MCM seeks to include and target all audiences in Miami’s changing and diverse community by becoming the “town center” for Miami-Dade County’s children and families.’

For more information about Miami Children’s Museum call: (305)373-KIDS (5437) or visit

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