2013 Be a Voice, Inspire Hope GalaSaturday, February 16, 7pm-1am – Mandarin Oriental, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami Brickell

“Be a Voice, Inspire Hope” gala was an evening of elegance and glamour benefiting the Voices For Children Foundation, held on Brickell Key at the Mandarin Oriental. Miami philanthropists and supporters of the Guardien ad Litem Program came out in style to stand up for Miami-Dade County’s abused, abandoned and neglected children.

As the guests checked-in they were given their table assignments and special triple or individual logo pins.  Then they were greeted with apple martinis served in wide mouthed crystal glasses of diverse color and design as well as a variety of delicacies from land and sea. There was also  live music for the well-appointed attendees by a most talented harpist, and an outside Cigar Lounge sponsored by Padron HandCrafted Cigars on the patio overlooking a breathtaking sight of Miami at night.

Beginning at 7:00pm, some 500 of Miami’s most influential community leaders and dedicated business professionals encountered the silent auction where large sprays of roses and orchids filled whatever space the fabulous auction donations did not. The night’s theme, “Inspire Hope” was obvious at the silent auction. In addition to unbelievable sports, movie and other fabulous Memorabilia, there was a Day in the Life area where one could purchase a day for oneself, as a gift or to be donated back so that one of the program’s children could have the experience of a day in business, with the Chiefs of Police or Fire, Doctors, a real estate broker or journalist, even with Hall of Famer race car driver, Bill Adams. Another specialty of the early evening was the Be an Angel Tonight section where a donation to the Voices for Children Annual Giving Society entitled one lucky angel the chance to win a fabulous Harry Winston watch valued at over $46,000.

Around 9:00pm, guests entered the ballroom for a delicious dinner of signature dishes from the in-house chefs as well as Dancing to the music of the exotic DJ Kutcha. The evening’s Emcee was Shannon Hori, CBS 4 News Anchor. The live auction was led by Paul Castronovo of 105.9 and Jeff Berkowitz, Voices for Children Golden Fan Guardian. In addition to exciting entertainment, there was a moving testimonial by Ronald Smith who touched each guest as he spoke of the importance and impact of Voices for Children and the Gauardian ad Litem Program.

One shoulder and backs were in, despite the cool night which brought out a few furs and ruffled jackets, ladies’ backs were strapped, draped and daringly bared as exemplified by the evening’s Honorary Co-Chair, Brittany Lopez who was exquisitely coiffed and backless to the waist except for a sliver of material dangling a sparkly jewel. Although black seemed the preference for Miami’s philanthropic community, there was some color. One exception was Yolanda Berkowitz who was notable in a gracefully draped winter white evening gown. Most of the ladies opted for glamorous long gowns but there were some short cocktail dresses, jeweled, embroidered or unadorned, for this black tie gala. In addition to raising significant funds to continue the work of the Voices for Children Foundation, this enchanting and important charity event was enjoyed by all.

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