Miami Beach

Beach Buzz: The Social Cog is helping adults with autism spectrum disorders

Social Cog members enjoy Painting with a Twist in November 2014. The Social Cog will host its first fundraising cocktail reception, Night at The Museo, on April 30 at Museo Vault in the Wynwood Art District in Miami.
Social Cog members enjoy Painting with a Twist in November 2014. The Social Cog will host its first fundraising cocktail reception, Night at The Museo, on April 30 at Museo Vault in the Wynwood Art District in Miami.

The Social Cog will host its first fundraising cocktail reception, Night at The Museo, on Thursday, April 30, 6-8 p.m. at Museo Vault (346 NW 29th St.) in the Wynwood Art District in Miami. The event will include a silent auction and photography exhibit, “Scenes from South Beach and Wynwood” by New York photographer Debbie Rasiel.

Founded in 2013, The Social Cog is a nonprofit social program created to address a previously unmet need for independently functioning adults (post high school) with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.

The Social Cog creates connections and community for its members, who attend outings with others who share common interests. Members are encouraged to socialize during the outings and connect to at least one other person with whom they can socialize between outings.

The Social Cog staff is headed by co-founder Dr. Nicholas Maccarrone, a licensed psychologist, who supervises the program’s social coaches (fourth year doctoral students in psychcology at Nova Southeastern University).

“We are very excited to be holding our first fundraiser and introducing The Social Cog to the community,” said Natalie Davis, executive director and co-founder. “Membership has approximately doubled in the organization’s second year from 15 participants to 30 and we are experiencing great success in members forming friendships.”

A longtime Miami Beach resident, Davis co-founded the group in part to address issues relating to her own 23-year-old son, Joshua, who has an autism spectrum disorder.

“He was lonely and had difficulty making friends; however, as a result of the program, he has developed friendships and is enjoying social activities,” says Davis, adding that Joshua and his friends now get together on the weekends outside the program for activities including birthday parties, movies, bowling and watching sports.

Co-chairs for the Night at the Museo event are Shari Lombardi and Judy Hyde. Event committee members include Lauren Cagianello, Moni Cohen, Lori Rabinowitz and Marte Singerman.

Events tickets are $50 each. To attend, purchase raffle tickets or learn about sponsorship opportunities, call 305-501-2333 or visit


More than 1,200 guests are expected to attend the 93rd annual dinner gala and silent auction hosted by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

The gala will honor Miami Beach’s 100th anniversary and five award recipients: Alan and Diane Lieberman, owners of South Beach Group Hotels and SBI Realty (Excellence in Tourism); Stanley Tate, visionary behind the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program (Lifetime Achievement); Bernie Yuman, Entertainment Entrepreneur and Beach High grad (Hi-Tides Outstanding Achievement) and Rabbi Gary Glickstein, spiritual leader of Temple Beth Sholom (Distinguished Service).

“This year’s event will showcase the incredible history of Miami Beach and the accomplishments that our award recipients have achieved to strengthen the City in their own unique way,” said Chamber Chairman Michael S. Goldberg, who will serve as Gala emcee, along with media personality Tara Solomon.

Co-chairs for the gala subcommittee are Robin Jacobs and Sherry Kaplan Roberts.

Party goers will enjoy entertainment, dancing, a silent auction and live auction featuring tickets to the American Idol Finale and 2016 MTV Movie Awards.

Tickets are $325 each. Proceeds benefit the Chamber’s Education Foundation, which supports educational initiatives in Miami Beach. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, call 305-674-1300 or visit


Miami Beach’s Fisher Island Club is so exclusive it has its own fragrance.

Approximately 100 attendees celebrated the launch of the new eau de toilette, “1936” at a garden party in the Vanderbilt Mansion courtyard on April 16.

“We commissioned ‘1936’ as a tribute to our island’s storied past and a way for members and guests to bottle their memories of our paradise, wherever they are in the world,” said Fisher Island Club CEO Bernard Lackner.

The new scent, which comes in a one ounce clear glass bottle, is available for sale exclusively to Club members and guests (in the hotel’s lobby) for $50.


▪  The Vagabond Restaurant & Bar’s Executive Chef Alex Chang will team with famed chef Norman Van Aken to host a “Four Corners of the World” dinner series at MiMo’s Vagabond Restaurant & Bar. It kicks off on Cinco de Mayo (May 5) with signature dishes from Mexico (future events will showcase Japan, Peru and India). Seatings are at 7:00 and 9:30 pm; prix-fixe menus are $130 each (food only) or $190 (food and wine pairing). Van Aken’s new book My Key West Kitchen, will be available for purchase/signing. To reserve, call 786-409-5635 or visit

▪ NCJW Greater Miami Section will host its annual Mother’s Day Event and Bazaar on May 7, 6:30 pm at the Miami Beach JCC (4221 Pine Tree Drive). Honoree for the evening is Judge Sarah Zabel, who will receive the Hannah G. Solomon Award. Tickets are $75 prior to May 1; $80 thereafter. To RSVP, call 305-538-4744 or visit

Beach Buzz appears every other Sunday, and focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.