By Lola Thelin Posted November 4, 2011, 1:36 PM EDT
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA The Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation hosted its fifth annual Diamond Ball, with the theme “A Masquerade Affair,” on Saturday evening. The foundation continued its tradition of selecting a new venue, hosting approximately 700 guests at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami, which opened just a year ago. “We like to start the social season with an event that is tough to match,“ said Morgana Rolle, the foundation’s assistant director of marketing and events. “This doesn’t mean we wouldn’t go back to one of our previous locations, but I can promise you if we did, [guests] wouldn’t recognize it. Our guests expect to be wowed, and we take that very seriously.”
Models dressed in masquerade attire, complete with lavish makeup and masks, welcomed guests into the 20,000-square-foot ballroom. Inside, guests were transported to the streets of Venice, a concept designed by Wow Factor Marketing Group. The color scheme included various shades of gold and black mixed with burgundy hues. La Orquidea Designs outfitted the room with enchanted trees, which stood next to tables topped with ruffled linens by Nuage Designs and AB Cover Designers, flickering candles set among a bed of petunias, and gold masks.
Michael Baiamonte, voice of the Miami Heat, returned to serve again as master of ceremonies for the night. The Drew T Band performed for the majority of the evening, and after 11 p.m., DJ Crespo took over, spinning music for the after-party in the third-floor ballroom. Miami's 4 Sound Group provided staging, which included two screens on both sides of the stage, and lighting, a combination of purple and blue hues.
Earlier in the evening, a V.I.P. cocktail reception on the 19th floor of the hotel honored the foundation’s supporters, committee members, and this year’s hall of fame inductees, Gloria and Emilio Estefan. The evening raised nearly $4.5 million, a dramatic increase from last year’s $1.6 million.