When it comes to spirited presentations and surprises, the annual InterContinental Make-A-Wish Ball—the main fundraising event for the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening diseases—always delivers the goods. The 19th edition of the soiree proved that some things do indeed get better with age.
More than 900 locals and out-of-towners turned out for what’s become one of Miami’s foremost galas. Among those were race-car driver Hélio Castroneves, Miami Heat Assistant Coach Juwan Howard, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and even boxing promoter Don King.
DECO Productions gave the ball a vaudevillian feel with themes of magic and illusion. This was carried over to the event’s famous live auction where Gala Chairman Shareef Malnik “sawed” auction MC Gabrielle Anwar in half in that oldest of magician tricks. This year’s entertainment duties went to Adam Lambert, who took the stage for a 40-minute set, during which he had the crowd on their feet and singing along. All the extravagance certainly paid off. “Now I know how Chuck Yeager felt when he broke the sound barrier,” said Malnik when announcing that the ball had netted more than $2 million. –Photography by Manny Hernandez & World Red Eye