Jose Lambiet

Star-studded fundraisers for Make-a-Wish, Connected Warriors raise thousands

Miami Beach restaurateur Shareef Malnik with wife Gabrielle Anwar, star of the new defunct TV series Burn Notice, lead the auction at Saturday's Make-a-Wish Foundation gala at the Intercontinental in Miami
Miami Beach restaurateur Shareef Malnik with wife Gabrielle Anwar, star of the new defunct TV series Burn Notice, lead the auction at Saturday's Make-a-Wish Foundation gala at the Intercontinental in Miami Mike Jachles Photo

The social season kicked off in earnest over the weekend with two major wingdings and hundreds of thousands raised for charities.

In downtown Miami, the Intercontinental hotel hosted the 22nd Make-a-Wish Foundation gala Saturday night. Nearly 900 members of the local society gathered for a night of partying highlighted by a short recital by “All of Me” singer John Legend.

Hip-hop producer Jermaine Dupri, a.k.a. Janet Jackson’s ex, handled the DJ chores at the after party.

Once again, gala chairman Shareef Malnik, the owner of The Forge in Miami Beach, talked “Burn Notice” star Gabrielle Anwar into lending her talent to handle the auction.

(She might not have had much of a choice, since she’s Malnik’s wife.)

But the result was that the entire event raised about $2 million to make the wishes of hundreds of disease-stricken children come true.

At Trump National Doral Miami, meanwhile, Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres held his yearly fundraiser for Connected Warriors, a nonprofit that provides yoga therapy to trauma-suffering veterans.

Torres’ wingding used to be at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, but Torres, recent move south to a new home in the Coconut Grove area convinced him to move his gala south.

In addition to a VIP party Saturday night and banquet Sunday night, golf nut Torres held his golf tournament Monday.

And the guest list reached deep into the rosters of rock’n’roll bands as well as sports retirees, including: Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain, Bob Seger saxophonist Alto Reed, former New York Giants running back Ottis Anderson, former New York Jets kicker Don Silvestri and retired New York Yankees catcher Rick Cerone.

Incidentally, the banquet was chaired by Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, of all people.

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