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Benefits Miami/South Florida 2020

1. Best Buddies Gala
Raising $2.9 million for Best Buddies International, some 850 guests attended the 23rd annual Best Buddies Miami Gala at Mana Wynwood. Hip-hop artist Flo Rida performed at the event, which also had a cocktail reception, dinner, and live and silent auctions. Proceeds support the organization's work to foster friendships, employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Next: November 20, 2020

Best Buddies Gala Credit Omar VegaPhoto: Omar Vega

2. InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball
With a dramatic "Masterpiece XXV" theme that nodded to the event's 25th anniversary, the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball evoked Game of Thrones as well as artists who have created masterpieces in art, film, dance, fashion, and music. Steven Tyler performed with The Loving Mary Band after dinner, entertaining the 850 guests who helped raise $3 million to support Make-A-Wish Southern Florida. Next: November 7, 2020 

3. ForEverglades Benefit
The 15th annual ForEverglades Benefit, which supports the work of the Everglades Foundation, took place February 15 at The Breakers in Palm Beach. The 800 guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and a performance by Pitbull in an atmosphere more festive than formal. The evening was reported to raise $3.5 million. Next: February 2021

4. New World Symphony Gala
Raising more than $2.1 million at its largest annual fundraiser, the New World Symphony marked its 32nd anniversary gala with a performance by symphony fellows and 12 alumni led by its co-founder and artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas. The gala’s theme was “A World of Difference,” and guests continued the evening with an after-party with the salsa band Marlow Rosado and his Orchestra. Next: February 27, 2021

New World Gala 2020 (ezequiel Williams)Photo: Ezequiel Williams/

5. Up from #6PĂ©rez Art Museum Miami's Art of the Party
The Pérez Art Museum Miami’s sixth annual Art of the Party welcomed artists and philanthropists alike to its biggest fundraiser of the year, which raised $1.3 million to support the museum’s arts education program. Held on March 7, the benefit, presented by Valentino, was once again produced by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder Lee Brian Schrager and featured dinner by chefs from Crest Restaurants and Constellation Culinary Group. Violinists Jared Burnett and Juan Areco Duo performed during cocktails and dinner, while the Remix after-party on the Palm Terrace featured DJ Gabby Mejia as well as a live portrait studio. Next: Winter 2021

6. Golden Angels Gala
More than 550 guests gathered at the JW Marriott Marquis in February for the gala, which benefited the Miracle Fund at Jackson Health Foundation. Former television anchor Laurie Jennings served as emcee of the event, which had a Moroccan theme with colorful tents and mosaic design and ended with a dance party. The gala raised more than $1 million. Next: Winter 2021

Jhf Golden Angels Gala Credit Courtesy Of Jackson Health FoundationPhoto: Courtesy of Jackson Health Foundation

7. YoungArts BackYard Ball
More than 800 guests attended the National YoungArts Foundation’s Backyard Ball performance and gala on January 7, raising more than $1.7 million in support of emerging artists. Known for high-energy entertainment, the ball featured a performance directed by the choreographer John Heginbotham that featured a percussive and tap battle as well as original and familiar songs. The event design was inspired by Miami’s tropical environment and used a palm print pattern as well as Phalaenopsis orchids, Monstera leaves, and palm leaves. Adding bling was presenting sponsor the House of Harry Winston, which displayed diamond collections and watches during cocktails. Next: January 2021

Backyard Bash Afterparty Photo By Jason Koerner 2Photo: Jason Koerner

8. Diamond Ball
Nicklaus Children's Hospital's Diamond Ball raised a record of nearly $2 million at its 13th annual edition, held on October 19 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami. The sold-out, black-tie benefit drew more than 650 guests for cocktails, dinner, dancing, a live and silent auction, and more. This year's event had a special focus on children's mental health. Next: October 10, 2020

9. Vizcaya Ball
The 63rd edition of the Vizcaya Ball in 2019 had a theme of “Rock Your Rococo,” nodding to Rococo design elements throughout the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The ball raises money for the preservation of the museum, which is a National Historic Landmark. Next: November 21, 2020

10. Up from #19: Norton Museum of Art Annual Gala
Supporting its exhibits and education programs, the 45th Annual Norton Gala raised nearly $2.5 million. Among the nearly 750 guests were art world luminaries and philanthropists who marked one year of the West Palm Beach museum's new, expanded home and celebrated the exhibition "Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern." Harbor Entertainment provided event production and Tom Mathieu handled florals, which included towering orchid centerpieces. Music came from Zanadu Group, while the caterer was Constellation Culinary Group. Next: Winter 2021

Norton Museum Of Art Annual GalaPhoto: Capehart Photography

11. St. Jude Angels & Stars Gala
The 17th annual St. Jude Angels & Stars Gala raised $800,000 to benefit the children's research hospital. Held at the InterContinental Miami hotel, the black-tie event drew 600 guests and featured entertainment from Luis Enrique and DJ Mauricio Parra; FedEx was the title sponsor. Next: May 16, 2020 (At the time of press, these dates have not been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.)

12. Adrienne Arsht Center Gala
The marquee fundraising event for the Adrienne Arsht Center, the gala marked 13 years in 2019 and announced the naming of the Dorothea Green Theater in the Ziff Ballet Opera House. The event, which raised nearly $1 million and drew 400 guests, featured Miami Fusion starring Juanes and Brian Stokes Mitchell. This year’s gala, which had been scheduled for April 4 with headliner Patti LaBelle, has been pushed to January. Next: January 28, 2021

13. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science's A Celebration of Science
In its third edition, A Celebration of Science had a theme of “The Science of the Senses,” presenting a roving dining and entertainment experience that the museum designed to stimulate guests’ sense of wonder. The evening ended with the Big Bang After-Party. The gala is the museum’s largest fundraiser of the year, although it declined to share the benefit's fundraising total. This year’s event—which is moving from April to late September—will have a theme of “The Ocean’s Edge.” Next: September 1, 2020

3rd Annual Celebration Of Science Credit World Red EyePhoto: World Red Eye

14. Bass Ball
Always a fashionable evening, the Bass Museum’s Ball Ball drew 150 guests for an evening presented by Alexander McQueen. The invite advised guests to “Come As You Art” in black tie inspired by 18th century Romanticism. Proceeds support the Miami Beach contemporary art museum’s exhibitions and education programs. Next: Winter 2021

Bass Ball Credit World Red EyePhoto: World Red Eye

15. New to the List: Big Brothers Big Sisters: The Metamorphosis Gala
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami celebrated its Metamorphosis Gala on March 7 at Ice Palace Studios, raising more than $1 million to support its programs. The gala drew 600 guests who heard from speakers such as Miami Dade County’s superintendent Alberto Carvalho and DJ Irie as well as enjoyed a live auction and live music. The gala was presented by Carnival Corporation and Carnival Foundation, and CBS4's Rudabeh Shahbazi served as the emcee. Next: Winter 2021

16. Up from #18: Yacht Rendezvous
Benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County, the Yacht Rendezvous draws guests to Fisher Island for a weekend-long super yacht gathering. Tickets are based on the size of the yacht or per person. The 2019 gathering, which was the event’s 32nd edition, culminated in a White Party gala with featured entertainer Flo Rida. Next: November 5-7, 2020

17. New to the List: Gala in the Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 25th annual Gala in the Garden on February 1 brought 400 guests to the largest tropical botanic garden in the continental United States. Following a cocktail reception inside, guests moved to a seated dinner in a tent that overlooked Pandanus Lake. The black-tie affair raised more than $500,000. Next: Winter 2021

18. New to the List: Silver Lining Gala
Kristi House's 25th anniversary Silver Lining Gala, which had a theme of "From Trauma to Triumph," brought together 350 guests who raised more than $560,000 to support the organization's programs for child sexual abuse and trafficking victims. The event, held February 8 at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami, featured a live auction that included a surprise lot of a Miami Heat experience from former player Shane Battier. Next: Winter 2021

19. Love and Hope High Rollers Night
Love and Hope High Rollers Night, a casino-theme event that benefited the Diabetes Research Institute, raised more than $435,000. Held at the Nobu Hotel Eden Roc Miami Beach over Valentine’s Day weekend, 300 guests enjoyed the Vegas-like atmosphere with red-feathered showgirls and games such as blackjack, craps, roulette, and slots. Next: February 2021

Love And Hope High Rollers Night Credit Andrew Milne PhotographyPhoto: Andrew Milne Photography

20. Deliver the Dream Denim & Diamonds Gala
The 16th annual Denim & Diamonds Gala took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the first charity event to take place in the hotel's newly renovated ballroom. Raising more than $360,000, some 350 guests attended the event with a dress code that asked them to mix denim with their formal attire. Proceeds benefited Deliver the Dream, which supports families facing a serious illness, crisis, or disability. Next: November 7, 2020

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