Shared from the 10/25/2015 The Miami Herald eEdition

MCM’s Halloween bash nets $96,000 for educational program


Leo Melchiondo, Chris Melchiondo, Kelly Melchiondo, Deborah Spiegelman, Alexis Wagner, Max Wagner, Scott Wagner, Teddy Wagner and Hannah Hausman at the Not So Scary Halloween Bash at the Miami Children’s Museum.


Carlos F. Garcia, Adam and Chanin Carlin, Joe Rose, Carol Williamson, Yolanda Berkowitz, Ed Williamson, Mary Snow, Tom C. Murphy, Jeff Berkowitz, Hank Langston, Suzanne Murphy, Kristin and Jason Anderson.



Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard


Mary Rosenberg, Harriet Shapiro, Iliette Oliveros, Bonnie Sepe, Marlene Berg, Barbara Berg. Virginia Praschnik, Norma Jean Abraham, Diane Madden, Ivette Martino Sarol and Susan Kaufman at the 28th Annual Cancer Link luncheon.

Mini-ghouls and goblins, witches and wizards brought their parents to celebrate Halloween a little early at the “Not So Scary Family Halloween Bash!” at Miami Children’s

Museum on Watson Island. The event was chaired by Alexis and Scott Wagner and Kelly and Chris Melchiondo and sponsored by Whole Foods South Beach, Whole Foods Downtown Miami, Greenberg Traurig, Golden Sands General Contractors and Robert and Michelle Diener. Perfect for the whole family, the annual festivity filled extravaganza welcomed costume dressed fans to trick-or-treat all over the museum. The museum’s 14 galleries brimmed with exciting activities for kids of all ages and the little ones even had the fab opportunity to take part in the interactive Wizard of Oz exhibit. From decorating pumpkins to creating fun crafts, partygoers also lined up for a costume parade. Let’s not forget the always famous, face painting and kids showing off their dances moves to the Monster Mash. Now, what Halloween bash would be complete without a Haunted House featuring 2,500 square foot of clowns, zombies, haunting music and sounds. And get this, MCM’s Haunted House will also stay open through the Halloween Season. Hooray! Thanks to the silent auction and the event, the museum raised nearly $96,000 that will directly support the Museum’s educational programming.


Patrons turned out in themed ensembles to celebrate The Coral Gables Community Foundation’s 24th annual gala, A Night in Old Shanghai at the Coral Gables Country Club. Hundreds of Miami’s civic, social and business movers and shakers flocked to the lively affair co-chaired by Sissy DeMaria and Mary Young. Congrats! The evening raised a record $300,000 with proceeds earmarked to worthy Coral Gables High School students pursuing dreams of a college education among other passionate projects the foundation champions. This success was thanks in large part to a generous matching pledge by longtime Foundation supporters Matthew Meehan and Rod Hildebrant. Authentic Chinese lion dancers and drummers roared throughout the room thanks to Williamson Automotive. Chef Richard Hutton tempted the notables with a dazzling array of Asian-themed appetizers and dishes while a New World Symphony violinist serenaded guests. Supporters bid away on a slew of sensational auction items including stays at a chateau in the Basque country in France thanks to Ajit and Maria Alicia Asrani , a mountaintop villa in Costa Rica courtesy of NPI, the Al Capone suite at the Biltmore Hotel and vintage wine courtesy of Bob and Jodi Dickinson along with Miami Heat tickets to name a few. Coastal Construction CEO Tom Murphy, Jr. and the Murphy family including Suzanne and Tom Murphy C. Murphy were awarded the prestigious Philanthropy Award, Jeff and Yolanda Berkowitz received the Legacy Award, Ed and Carol Williamson were honored with the Jerry Santeiro Community Award, Adam and Chanin Carlin were recipients of the Arts and Culture Award, Hank O. “Hank” Langston for the Education Award and Joe Rose received the Sports Award presented by Doctors Hospital and the Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute. “The Night in Old Shanghai gala was a work of love for all involved and we are thrilled that this year’s event was the most successful in the Foundation’s history,” said Sissy DeMaria, gala co-chair. “The overwhelming success was due to the immense generosity of the people who live and work in the City Beautiful and we are truly grateful for their support and contributions.”


In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the necessary color reigned supreme at Cancer Link’s “SHADES OF PINK” Luncheon held at Jungle Island. Cancer Link Co-Presidents Mary Rosenberg and Harriet Shapiro, along with Founder and Chairman Marlene Berg, welcomed the colorful crowd who oohed and ahhed at the Miami-Dade and Broward County calendar firefighters who posed for pictures adorned in pink suspenders. The lifesavers energized the charitable audience in the Treetop ballroom which set the tone for the live auction boasting a 12-day Malaysian Cruise, donated by Crystal Cruises. Cancer Link’s signature silent auction featured more than 200 dazzling items and a styling fashion presentation by Mayda Cisneros Couture Collection presenting the top fall fashion trends. A special Road to Recovery Fitness Challenge by sponsor Joe Mara, raised more than $40,000 from pledges and donations then matched by BasePoint Capital and was topped off to $50,000 by The Fairhome Foundation. Way to go!

Pictured above: Mary Rosenberg, Harriet Shapiro, Iliette Oliveros, Bonnie Sepe, Marlene Berg, Barbara Berg. Virginia Praschnik, Norma Jean Abraham, Diane Madden, Ivette Martino Sarol and Susan Kaufman at the 28th Annual Cancer Link luncheon.

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