Fund-Raising Scavenger Hunt Pairs Miami Philanthropists With Celebrities

By D. Channing Muller November 24, 2009, 3:58 PM EST

The Winner's Circle Gala at the Eden Roc

Photo: Elizabeth Renfrow for BizBash

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The Rally for Kids With Cancer Scavenger Cup took place last weekend in Miami Beach. The event pairs local fund-raisers with celebrities like event co-chair Eva Longoria Parker, C.S.I. Miami's Eva La Rue, and former N.B.A. player John Salley for a city-wide scavenger hunt aimed at raising money for children with cancer.

Toronto-based Solutions With Impact coordinated the two-day fund-raiser, which included a draft party Friday night, kickoff brunch and scavenger hunt rally on Saturday, and a finale gala Saturday night. Founded by Solutions With Impact president Joel Hock (who we spoke with in April), the event has had similar incarnations in Toronto and Los Angeles earlier this year.

The festivities began on Friday night with the Qualifiers Celebrity Draft Party at local philanthropist and entrepreneur Loren Ridinger’s house in Miami Beach. Eric Aragon, creative director at Solutions With Impact, designed the outdoor cocktail party, which took place in a tented area of Ridinger’s back garden and around the pool. Each of the 21 local philanthropist drivers for the scavenger hunt—among them J.R. Ridinger and shoe designer Donald Pliner's wife, Lisa—had their own V.I.P. lounge area outfitted with white leather furniture from Blooming Design and Events and Room Service Furniture and Event Rentals.

Jason Kennedy of E! News helmed the celebrity navigator draft, where the drivers—who each had to raise at least $25,000—were paired with a celebrity. The hunt began on Saturday morning, following the Start Your Engines brunch at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach hotel, and made seven pit stops around Miami at spots including American Airlines Arena and the Gibson Guitar Showroom, where they had to perform a task in order to gain the clue to their next destination. Team Market America—made up of Ridinger and Longoria Parker—won the rally.

Participants and nearly 400 additional supporters returned to the Eden Roc that night for the Winner’s Circle Jeans and Jewels Gala. Thirty-three dinner tables surrounded the pool, over which Off the Wall Sound and Lighting set up the main stage for the night’s program and entertainment. Local NBC6 traffic reporter Roxanne Vargas served as the night’s M.C., and Toronto-based auctioneer Jay Mandarino led the live auction, which raised more than $174,000. The Gypsy Kings played a 25-minute set before the event wrapped up around midnight.

Monies raised will be donated to Jackson Memorial Foundation, Miami Children’s Hospital’s International Kids Fund, and the Holtz Children’s Hospital.

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