Dominican Charity Stages Interior Design Contest at Its Largest U.S. Event To Date

By D. Channing Muller November 10, 2009, 9:00 AM EST

V.I.P. lounge areas on the first floor

Photo: Matt Horton/Artist Group Photography for BizBash

Mission International Rescue's M.I.A. Fund-raiser
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Mission International Rescue, a Dominican Republic-based organization that provides education, family, and health services to the country's underprivileged communities, held its largest fund-raiser in the United States at the Moore Building in Miami Thursday night for 350 people.

“The charity has really grown in the past few years and most of our supporters are from the States—they all fly to Casa de Campo [the group's Dominican headquarters] for our events—so we wanted to do something for them here,” said the organization’s executive assistant and only stateside employee, Ana Alba, who organized the event.

Alba reached out to Stephanie Tiangco of MIA Events to help coordinate the cocktail party. Atlantico Rum, Presidente, and ZYR Russian Vodka sponsored the 10 bars Ronen Bar and Furniture Rental supplied throughout the venue’s two floors, and 3B Productions set up a runway down the middle of the first floor, where the Chloé store at Bal Harbour Shops coordinated a fashion show later in the evening.

The organization also partnered with Home Miami and Home Fort Lauderdale magazines to stage an interior design competition, called Make Room Miami, on the second floor of the building. Representatives from the charity and magazines reached out to nearly 40 local interior designers to participate and narrowed the group to five finalists, based on the designers availability and the square-footage available at the venue.

Each designer, including Nathan Galui of HGTV’s show Design Star, had a 10- by 14-foot space to decorate. Scorecards located on bars and tables around the second floor allowed guest to judge the rooms’ designs along with Home Miami editor Beth Dunlop. Marianne Pilotaz won the competition for her office design.

Mission International Rescue raised about $50,000 through ticket sales, which ranged from $150 for a single ticket to $5,000 for a V.I.P. table for 25. The final amount of money raised after the night's silent and live auctions has yet to be determined.

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