Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon Draws Fashion-Forward Philanthropists

Christy Martin, Steven Kravit, Swanee DiMare, Joel Hoffman, Eilah Beavers

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens became a kaleidoscope of color as some of Miami’s most charitable and fashion-forward ladies sported the latest spring designs for the 10th Annual Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon, featuring Emmy Award-winning reporter Laurie Jennings as mistress of ceremonies. Known informally as the “Hat Luncheon,” this iconic affair welcomed 300 guests from Miami, Palm Beach and New York for an elegant lunch and fundraiser dedicated to safeguarding this National Historic Landmark and cultural hub for future generations.

Presented by Nordstrom, the luncheon earns its notable nickname due to the guests’ fashionable hats, ranging from the classic to the avant-garde. A natural fit for this cultural hotspot, the hats added a touch of flair and whimsy to the fundraiser, which addresses the important issue of historic preservation-a poignant matter following the conclusion of Vizcaya’s centennial year. With post-Irma recovery and the Vizcaya Village restoration project well underway, there is much to be accomplished at Vizcaya in 2018 and years to come. The strategic plan for a unified Vizcaya aims for the Village to realize its full potential as a community resource through innovative programming for locals and visitors as well as by relating the full history of the estate.

Guests were welcomed into the Courtyard of the Main House for a cocktail reception where they enjoyed classical sets by the talented students of the Frost School of Music and browsed the latest pieces by Jimmy Quiroga Designs. Following the reception, guests were ushered into the East Terrace for an elegant seated luncheon featuring prosecco from Dall’Armellina Vineyards.

The luncheon kicked off with a warm welcome by Vizcaya Executive Director Joel Hoffman and Nordstrom General Manager Steve Kravitz. As a violin danced in the background and glasses clicked, the Mistress of Ceremonies Laurie Jennings guided guests through the remainder of the program, which included the announcement of the hat contest winners. This year’s style leaders included Amanda Church for Most Elegant Ensemble, Daisy Casuso for Best Hat and Gigi Whitman for Most Avant-Garde.

For James Deering-level guests, the fun continued as the festivities returned to the Courtyard for the luncheon’s first ever Après Fête, with a lounge atmosphere, live entertainment, catered bites and bars provided by beverage sponsors.

The 10th Annual Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon’s Co-Chairs are Eilah Campbell-Beavers, Swanee DiMare and Christy Martin. The committee includes: Lesli Ann Brown, Suzy Buckley, Daisy Casuso, Heide Dans, Sonia Gibson, Linda Levy Goldberg, Ana Hernandez, Carol Iacovelli, Shari Liu, Marile Lopez, Nicole Lozano, Bronwyn Miller, Laura Munilla, and Alexa Wolman. Hat contest judges included Leslie Ann Wolfson, Steve Kravitz, Barbara Hevia and Criselda Breene.

Sponsors for this event include Nordstrom as the presenting sponsor as well as Art Work by Lesli, Ava Grace Vineyards, Casamigos Tequila, Dall’Armellina Vineyards, DiMare Fresh, Diptyque Paris, Funkshion, Jimmy Quiroga Designs, JM Design Lighting & Fabric, Miami Kids Magazine, Petals Box,, Terra Group, Thierry Isambert Culinary Event Design and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. For more information about the Preservation Luncheon, visit

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