The FedEx/St. Jude Angels and Stars Gala returned to the InterContinental Miami hotel on Saturday night for its eighth year with nearly 600 guests, 100 more than last year. The gala also secured 10 more sponsors than last year, brining the total to 45, an increase organizers attribute to the media coverage of last year's gala and the 2010 honoree, international recording artist Juanes.
“Last year we had 20 million media impressions, and people want to align themselves with a successful event,” said Paola Cassana, bilingual regional event specialist for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. “Juanes is an international star and has done a lot with nonprofits around the world."
This year's sponsors included Visa, Carnival, and Grey Goose. The team offered seven sponsorship levels ranging from $2,500 to the $25,000 for the presenting sponsorship, which FedEx Express has held since the event’s inception in 2002.
The masquerade-themed evening began with a 90-minute cocktail reception in the prefunction space outside the hotel’s main ballroom, which was immersed in deep red decor. Around 10 p.m. host and model Daisy Fuentes presented Juanes with the gala’s signature Al-Rashid Hope Award for his humanitarian work to bring awareness to children’s causes around the world.
Cassana cut down the entertainment lineup this year from four performers to two, former Sin Bandera band member Noel Schajris and he Latin Grammy award-winning singer Luis Enrique, in an effort to shorten the program. This year’s gala ended about 1 a.m.