When Opportunity Strikes
Art Basel is the perfect time to mix, mingle and FUNDRAISE
It was Philanthropic Basel for Allison Weiss Brady. The social star knows that when the jet-set arrives, it’s time to have glam dinners and chic art openings focused on raising cash. Read about AWB’s Basel fundraising adventures in this post-Basel edition of the Social Scribe.
Just because one of the biggest art fairs comes to town doesn’t mean you stop fundraising, right?
After whetting my art appetite at mixed media artist Eleazar Delgado’s “Sunshine Culture Collection” gallery event, which raised money for the non-profit Gene Spotlight, and running into luminaries Amy Rosenberg, Joshua Kingston, Curtis Lando, Estrellita Starr Sibila, and Julian Kreisberg, I was ready for the Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) parties to begin.
For the third year in a row, Russell Simmons was gracious enough to attend a dinner party at our house the Friday night of ABMB. We have raised funds for various non-profits at this annual dinner and this year it benefited Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, ranked # 2 by U.S. News & World Reports. With three weeks to plan the event, Penn raised over $50,000.
Russell had four events that night to attend including his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation party for the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series. His date that night was the gorgeous model Hana Nitsche, and Russell showed me modeling pictures of her on his blackberry from a recent Basel event. As always, the guests were thrilled to speak with Russell, who must have found himself in some interesting dinner conversations.
At one point in the night, two of the guests showed him their line of in-grown hair serum products for both men and women. He was so impressed by their Prince Reigns and Stellar Cellulite Gel products that he tweeted about them.
Joining Russell as the special celebrity guests of the evening was The Real Housewives of Miami star, Ana Quincoces. Accompanied by her daughter Kati, Ana wore Herve Leger and was gorgeous as always.
Ana has two cookbooks published and I recently read Sabor: A Passion for Cuban Cuisine. We featured some of her dishes at the event including the tropical avocado and pineapple salad, followed by corn fritters. We also prepared some excellent vegan dishes for Russell.
Prior to the dinner party, I got a Facebook message that Jill Zarin from The Real Housewives of New York was coming to town and they wanted to know about my dinner. Coincidentally, they co-chaired Russell’s gala at his house last year for his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. It was perfect, a mini New York reunion in the heart of Miami.
Also involved in the event were co-chairs Phil & Patricia Frost, David & Beth Ertel, Jaime & Cheryl Peisach, the ever-fabulous Barton. G & Jill Viner, and committee members Rosy & Daniel Levy, dermatologist Joshua M. Berlin, and Matthew & Natalia Storm, Jennifer Diliz, and Romina Nabhen of Saks Fifth Avenue at Dadeland, with performances by Brendan O’Hara and newcomer Tanecia Lynette.
The next evening we went to the festive holiday party at the home of philanthropists Tina & Dan Carlo. Tina wore a gorgeous red dress that kept with the holiday spirit. On both nights, SocialMiami’s own Manny Hernandez was on the scene, shooting the who’s who of the Miami social set.
From the holiday party, the fundraising theme stayed alive as we attended the Miami Art Museum gala. We were invited by Mark & Julie Paresky and we ran into Ana Quincoces (again) with Marcos D. Jimenez, Sari & Arthur Agatston, Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, Rob Barlick and Ana Codina Barlick, and Alberto Ibarguen from the Knight Foundation.
Art Basel goes by so fast, doesn’t it? Well, at least I got some good fundraising done and had the opportunity to socialize with interesting people. Now I need some rest before the New Year. Look out 2013, here we come.
Allison Weiss Brady handles marketing for celebrities and non-profits. She is active in many organizations in South Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania including Big Brother Big Sister, The Community Coalition, Voices Against Brain Cancer, Gene Spotlight, The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation, and one of her family’s foundations Say Yes to Education, which recently partnered with Quincy Jones. Allison sits on the board of Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and she and her husband Chip Brady were honored by Russell Simmons at the 2010 Rush Philanthropic gala in East Hampton. She and her husband Chip are members of Art Basel’s Junior Host Committee and Allison is a member of the Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon Founding Committee. Allison was also the sole recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s 2008 Young Alumni of the Year Award, and serves on the Overseers board for the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.