The Sabrina Cohen Foundation (SCF) will host a “Spin and Splash Summer Bash” on Sunday, Aug. 25. It kicks off with an indoor cycling competition at Flywheel (1919 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach) from 2-3 p.m., followed by a pool party at the Sunset Harbour Yacht Club (1928 Purdy Avenue) from 3:30-7 p.m.
The event will promote a new SCF initiative, Sabrina’s Circle. Funds raised will provide scholarships for local residents to attend NeuroFit360, a specialized gym in Pembroke Pines that offers fitness programs for people with neurological conditions.
Since joining Neurofit in April and working with physical therapist Guy Romain and his assistants, Sabrina Cohen — who sustained a spinal cord injury 20 years ago — says her quality of life has improved dramatically.
“My balance is better. I am standing with assistance. My energy level is up, and my upper mobility is definitely stronger,” explains Cohen, who has been blogging about her workout experiences (www.sabrinaco.blogspot.com).
Cohen, 35, founded the nonprofit SCF in 2006. The Miami Beach-based group works to reverse paralysis. Now Cohen hopes to help other disabled people afford the specialized therapy that is helping her — it costs $100 per hour and is not covered by insurance.
“Regular therapy teaches you to adapt to your wheelchair, while this program pushes your limits and urges you to do more than what you’ve been told you are capable of doing,” said Chris Makos, SCF Director of Development.
SCF’s initial goal is to raise $10,000, which will allow three people to join Neurofit360 for three months each.
One of those whom SCF hopes to help is 27-year-old Laelani Day of North Miami Beach. Day — who will attend the fundraiser — is struggling to recover from a devastating car accident that left her in a coma for eight weeks and hospitalized for 8 months.
“Spin and Splash” is open to the public. Suggested donation is $55 for “Spin and Splash”); $30 for the pool party only. To register or learn more, visit www.sabrinacohenfoundation.org or call 305-968-8024.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LORD BALFOUR
After two years and a $10 million renovation, The Lord Balfour hotel, 350 Ocean Drive in South Beach, reopened recently — and paid homage to its namesake with a series of birthday celebrations July 22-25.
Also celebrating birthdays on July 24: hotel owner Alessandro Ferretti (his 57th) and its general manager Chauncey Copeland (his 54th). Co-hosted by the Greater Miami Beach Hotel Association, the event featured cocktails by house mixologist Thomas Merolla and a performance by gospel singer Maryel Epps.
In 1999, Ferretti led a group of investors (Green Comet II) that purchased the 64-room SoFi property for $13 million. First opened in 1940, the hotel was named after Lord Arthur James Balfour, a conservative British Prime Minister born July 25, 1848. They gave the hotel a $3 million facelift and renamed it the Wave Hotel.
Then in 2010, Ferretti teamed up with the Argentine group Etsa, which decided to return the art deco gem to its original splendor — and original moniker, which still adorned the façade.
“We wanted to go back and pay tribute to Balfour, who was an intense yet funny politician and philosopher,” said Ferretti, who met (and befriended) the original earl’s great, great nephew (the fifth earl of Balfour) Roderick Balfour, when the latter visited the Miami Beach hotel a few years ago.
While the hotel’s renovation includes modern touches (guest rooms feature huge murals of a tattooed woman by L.A. photographer Justice Howard), memories of Lord Balfour remain.
Illuminated ceiling panels in the hotel’s lobby sport quotes by the statesman, including one of Ferretti’s personal favorites: “A good speech, like a woman’s skirt, should be long enough to cover the subject, and short enough to create interest.”
To learn more, visit www.lordbalfourmiami.com.
ECHO AVENTURA BREAKS GROUND
Echo Aventura, the Property Markets Group’s newest 190-unit development, celebrated its official groundbreaking with a private beach-themed bash on July 24.
In addition to shovels and hard hats, the evening featured mojitos, models and money: The project’s developers presented 16 brokers with commission checks totaling over $16 million. Top brokers included Hernan Gleizer of Optimar Realty, Daniel Altinessi of Elite International and Aires Bailerio of Related ISG.
"Echo Aventura is 70 percent in contract, and sales are strong," says Philip Spiegelman, principal of ISG World.
Located on five acres in Aventura, the project offers two-, three- and four-bedroom units, with prices from $1 million. All units come equipped with private elevator access, a summer kitchen and Apple Smart Technology. Construction is slated to be completed by the end of 2015.
To learn more, visit www.echoaventura.com.