Project: New Born Luncheon and Fashion Show Presented by the Bal Harbour Shops

Randy Whitman, Schatzi Kassal, Cheryl Stephenson, Lola Jacobson
Bal Harbour Shops brought the best of Fashion Week to South Florida with a collective runway fashion show unlike any other in the Southeastern United States. The Resort 2009 collections shown previously in New York, Milan and Paris were revealed at a benefit luncheon with all proceeds going to Project: New Born, an organization founded in 1973 by Schatzi Kassal that maintains and supports the Project: New Born Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

This year’s venue, The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club, was the backdrop to view six looks in a collaborative fashion show from each of these top luxury brands: Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Neiman Marcus, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Saks Fifth Avenue, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent.

Schatzi Kassal, Bunny Bastian
Following the show, the coveted “Lola” award, named after noted philanthropist Lola Jacobson, was given to Cheryl Stephenson, marketing director of Bal Harbour Shops, for her tireless efforts on behalf of the premature babies that Project: New Born saves. The Founders Award was given to founding babe Peggy Banick and her husband Richard Banick, a prominent Miami Lawyer.

About Project: New Born

A non-profit organization founded in 1973 by Schatzi Kassal, Project: New Born maintains and supports the Project: New Born Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Funds are raised for research and equipment, subsidizing salaries of key personnel and supporting advocacy programs pertaining to the well being of premature and high risk infants. Headed by an exceptionally dedicated and dynamic group of Executive Officers including The Banyan Society (those who donated at a specific minimum level) Grand Chairperson: Lola Jacobson, Co-Presidents: Nancy DeGraff, Lori Levan, Joslynn Drucilla Miller and Co-Chairs: Brenda Nestor Castellano and Diane S. Sepler. The Project: New Born Neonatal Intensive Care Unit consists of 126 beds, including the Phyllis Simon Special Care Unit, plus a referral unit expressly for preemies requiring extremely complicated procedures bringing the total number of beds to 175. 2008 marks the 35th Anniversary Year for this organization.

Swanee DiMare, Marlene Berg, Bonnie Sepe
About Schatzi Kassal
In 1973 Schatzi gathered 250 of her friends and convinced them to donate $1,000 to the Neonatal Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital and thus founded Project: New Born, an organization inspired by her third child’s illness. Today the group of 250 members is now 2,500 members strong and has raised more than $10 million for Project: New Born. Schatzi also created the charity’s Banyan Society along with her dear friend, The Banyan Society Grand Chairperson, Lola Jacobson.

About Lola Jacobson

Lola Jacobson is recognized as one of South Florida’s most devoted philanthropists. She has participated in the Honorary Board of the Diabetes Research Institute and served as Honorary Chairman of Health Crisis Network. Lola and her husband Donald are Founders of Mount Sinai and Baptist Hospitals and members of the University of Miami’s Bowman Foster Ashe Memorial Foundation. Lola was awarded by the Diabetes Research Institute, the American Red Cross (with the Spectrum Award for Women) and The University of Miami’s Humanitarian of the Year Helping Hands Award. But the cause closest to Lola’s heart is Project: New Born Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where both of Lola’s grandchildren spent the first two months of their lives.

Gilka Kay, Lady Monica Heftler, Andria Holtz
Since 1977, Lola has been instrumental in saving the lives of premature children in South Florida and has become the quintessential advocate for the cause. Today Lola is the leading fundraiser, with Project: New Born’s annual Bal Harbour Shops’ Fashion Show Luncheon where the “Lola” Award, named in her honor, is given at the luncheon. In a show of gratitude, this year Project: New Born dedicated the Jacobson Family Hall of Honor and the magnificent crystal wall recognizing their extraordinary work for the Banyan Society.

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