Venetian Fantasy – Un Ballo in Maschera
Benefiting The Coral Gables Community Foundation
The Biltmore Ball to benefit the Coral Gables Community Foundation was held at The Biltmore Hotel. Themed Venetian Fantasy, 400 of Miami’s philanthropic, social, civic and business influencers embarked on a fantasy masquerade evening to Venice, courtesy of the spectacular backdrop of the historic Biltmore Hotel and its exquisitely decorated ballroom to celebrate the evening’s distinguished honorees and the Foundation’s accomplishments over the last 27 years.
Co-chaired by Sissy DeMaria-Koehne and Lauren Harrison, the black-tie fundraiser is a time-honored tradition for the City Beautiful which benefits the pivotal outreach efforts of the Coral Gables Community Foundation. The Foundation prides itself most recently on bringing Umbrella Sky to Giralda Plaza this summer and on providing college scholarships to economically disadvantaged students from Gables High School each year. The Foundation has long served as the philanthropic conduit within the City, connecting individuals and corporations seeking to positively impact its citizens and the community’s overall growth.
The evening kicked off as guests were treated to Artisan Italian Salumi by Salumeria 104 during the cocktail reception presented by Una, Oko and Missoni Baia, and a Venetian Ballroom performance to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Mosaic Dance Project presented by Withers Worldwide. Guests bid on priceless vacations and gifts, including stays at a mountaintop villa in Costa Rica and a hacienda in Playa Barrigona courtesy of NPI; a beachfront suite in the exclusive Harbour Village Beach Club; Al Capone suite at the Biltmore Hotel as well as a week stay in the 18th century Chateau Le Pavillon in France, courtesy of Matthew Meehan and Rod Hildebrant.
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This year’s Venetian Fantasy honorees were The Kahn Family for the Jerry Santeiro Community Award presented by Trish & Dan Bell; Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear for the Arts & Culture Award; Norma Jean Abraham and the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation for the Philanthropy Award; the Milton Family for the Education Award presented by MG Developer; Dick Anderson for the Sports & Wellness Award presented by Doctors Hospital and Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute and Withers Worldwide for the Landmark Award presented by The Biltmore.
Venetian Fantasy was sponsored by: Platinum Sponsors Trish & Dan Bell, Baptist Health South Florida, Doctors Hospital and Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, MG Developer and PSAV; Matching Gift Sponsor Norma Jean Abraham and the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation; Host The Biltmore Hotel; Gold Sponsors Jose Milton Foundation, Kreps DeMaria Public Relations & Marketing and Bacardi; Valet Sponsor Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables; Live Entertainment Sponsor Withers Worldwide; Cocktail Reception Sponsor Una & Mission Baia Miami Residences of OKO Group; Venetian Sponsors Swanee & Paul DiMare, Sarah Arison, Coastal Construction and Becker; Photography Sponsor Bernardo Fort-Brescia & Laurinda Spear; Fashion Partner: Neiman Marcus Shops at Merrick Park; Media Sponsors Miami Herald, South Florida Luxury Guide and CULTURED Magazine and In-Kind Sponsors Salumeria 104, Pantry Liquors, Consulate General of Italy in Miami and Societa Dante Alighieri.