Lea and Roy Black have a magical way of bringing together “A-list celebrities, social icons, business titans and top legal minds” every year for their annual gala. What began as a party for 450 at the Blacks’ home nearly 20 years ago has grown into one of the most highly anticipated events of the social season, with nearly 700 guests in attendance this year. The Blacks’ Gala took place at the Fontainebleau on Saturday night to benefit The Consequences Charity and its programs with Teach for America, Breakthrough Miami and Big Dreams for Kids, for which they gala has raised roughly $12 million over the past 19 years. Part of the magic is that this event is actually a “fun gala” (not an oxymoron) which combines giving and celebrating by encompassing all of the elements that make for a perfect party: hundreds of stylish, interesting and/or beautiful people; one-of-a-kind auction items- at a bargain; top notch entertainment; gourmet food and free-flowing cocktails to get everyone in a celebratory and spending mood. The best part? It’s all for kids in need.
The star-studded charity event began with a Grey Goose cocktail reception, and silent auction, followed by a gourmet dinner, performance by American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks and a live auction which featured a walk-on role in an upcoming Michael Bay movie, a one year lease on a 2013 all-new body style Range Rover, Jeffrey Rackover jewelry and Hublot watch to name a few.
The highlight of the evening came courtesy of Flo Rida, who performed a concert of his most popular songs and had the crowd, jumping, dancing and singing along. Flo Rida invited several Wild Ones on-stage, before stripping off his shirt and joining the frenzied crowd on the dance floor, “goin’ all out.” The party continued with sets by DJ Trouble and Whi5ker5 with the Illbots.
Lea, who stunned in a floor-length, form-fitting black gown, styled by Danny Santiago, shared: “This year’s gala was one of our best! The performances were over the top. We are very grateful to the guests for their support of a cause that benefits so many teens who have so little.”
Miami’s “most colorful elite” joining Lea & Roy and their adorable son, RJ, for the party included: Gabrielle Anwar, from Burn Notice & beau, Shareef Malnik; Lance Bass, pop singer formerly with ‘N Sync; Helio Castroneves, three-time IndyCar Racing Champion; Jonathan Cheban, reality show star; Bernard Hopkins, Middleweight Champion of the World; Sammy Sosa, baseball legend; Inés Rivero, supermodel; Dennis Rodman, basketball and Celebrity Apprentice contender; Elaine Lancaster; actress, Sofia Milos and Real Housewives of Miami co-stars: Lisa Hochstein, Joanna Krupa and Karent Sierra, all of whom showed-off beautiful Lea Black handbags. Other notable guests in attendance: Vice Mayor, Michael Gongora; Merle & Danny Weiss; Tara Solomon & Nick D’Annunzio; Greg Lotus, Lisa Pliner, Martina & Fabian Basabe; Rene Ruiz, Frank Amadeo and Paulina & David Naranjo.
The Consequences Foundation, founded by Lea Black provides preventative intervention in lieu of incarceration for at-risk youth by offering educational resources and experiences such as scholarships, vocational training, camps, workshops and after school activities encompassing a dynamic curriculum that incorporates culture, the arts, life skills, career aptitude discovery and workforce preparation. For more information, visit here.
On Friday night, Major League Baseball first baseman Ryan James Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies visited The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar. Howard came in with his wife just after 10:30 p.m. and enjoyed a variety of dishes prior to leaving later in the evening.
On Saturday evening, World Champion Boxer Bernard Hopkins and former Village People member Randy Jones visited The Forge to dine and enjoy the ambiance. Hopkins sat in the main dining room with a group of guests. Jones had arrived earlier in the evening and enjoyed the Veuve Clicquot Happy Hour with close friends.
Famed directors, Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot joined forces with Swiss watchmaker OMEGA to create Planet Ocean, a landmark new environmental documentary. Arthus-Bertrand was on hand for the film’s screening and cocktail party on Tuesday, at the Adrienne Arsht Center, along with SurfRider, and notables including: Larsa & Scottie Pippen, Chris & Adrienne Bosh (who was celebrating her birthday), Greg Frehling, Karina Ors, and Michelle Pooch.