Moments Of Brilliance, Be A Voice Gala 2018

Yolanda Berkowitz, Christian Wardle, Avery Felks, Nelson Hincapie, Michael Moser, Suzanne and Brad Meltzer

On Saturday, January 13th 2018, Voices For Children Foundation, the largest of the non-profits that supports the Guardian ad Litem Program in Florida, kicked off the winter gala season and held its Moments Of Brilliance, Be A Voice Gala 2018 at the serene Mandarin Oriental, Miami on Brickell Key.

Now in its 22nd year, the esteemed gala was not only attended by 400 of the city’s luminaries in philanthropy and business; but more importantly, it also raised over $740,000 dollars that ultimately facilitates advocacy for children in foster care in Miami Dade County.

“Through the power of philanthropy, Jeff and I have connected with this community in meaningful and fulfilling ways. Voices For Children and the Guardian ad Litem Program have given us the opportunity to improve outcomes for kids in foster care and the Be a Voice Gala is a wonderful way to highlight the tremendous impact of both organizations and their supporters”, said Yolanda Berkowitz, Miami philanthropist”.

The sparkling evening began with an intimate cocktail reception in the plush ballroom area, transformed by a dazzling display of Harry Winston jewelry and timepiece creations for guests to admire and enjoy. Following the cocktail, guests danced to spinning tunes by DJ Kucha and bid on a live auction for a variety of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that included: a retreat in Aspen, a wine immersion in Chile, a Miami experience with the Miami Heat and the Fontainebleau and so much more.

As dinner was beginning, guests were engaged with a thought-provoking perspective from Bradel, a brave young woman who was able to eloquently speak about her experience as a victim of human trafficking. Now working full-time as a Mentor-Survivor with current victims of human trafficking, she concluded her speech with, “I now get to stand in their corner and be their voice and instill in them the hope that they can be more than their labels.”

“Within our community we have everything we need to continue to improve the lives of children who end up in the foster care system,” said Nelson Hincapie, President and CEO for Voices For Children. “The overwhelming support is a testament of our common desire to see the brilliance in each child who finds themselves in the darkest of places—without a family.”

The 2018 Be A Voice Gala was made possible via Presenting Sponsor Harry Winston, Inc.; Golden Fan Sponsors Jeff and Yolanda Berkowitz; Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson with Jay and Susan Shapiro Dynasty Guardian Sponsors Ruby Bacardi; John Moriarty & Associates of Florida; Kaufman Rossin, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP Tai Pan Guardian Sponsors Appelrouth, Farah & Co; Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants; Bilzin Sumberg; Blue Dog Capital Partners; FirstService Residential; Florida Power & Light Company; Roberto and Nicole Gadala-Maria; Greenberg Traurig, P.A.; KPMG, LLP; Miami HEAT Charitable Fund; Paul and Bertha Pino; Plaza Construction; Swire Properties; Total Bank; Mandarin Guardian Sponsors Akerman, LLP; AT&T; Citi Private Bank; Dr. Steven Poliakoff; Mandarin Oriental, Miami; Karelia Fernandez P.A.; Angel and Lynette Ferrer; Friends of WLRN, Inc.; State Senator Rene Garcia; Todd and Suzanne Legon; Miami Design District; Rose Realty & Associates, Inc. Media Sponsors include: Brickell Magazine and Selecta Magazine with public relations support from TARA, Ink.

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