Few, if any, events during the month of August in Miami elicit the palpable excitement of Nick D’Annunzio’s annual birthday bash, which turns the average sweltering/humid summer night into one of fever-pitch fun.
This year was no exception. Co-principal of Miami Beach-based PR agency TARA, Ink., D’Annunzio celebrated his birthday with a PanAm-era luau benefiting Make-A-Wish Southern Florida on Saturday, August 10, at OCHO- the hip and very private upstairs poolside bar on the eighth floor of Soho Beach House. The oceanfront deck of OCHO was transformed to resemble 1960s Hawaii as guests, who had been “leied” upon arrival-not a bad way to start- sipped on spiked Coconut Cartel coconuts- out of actual coconuts, and Reyka Vodka and noshed on “Hawaiian” tacos and chips and guac. More than 500 guests, all dressed in-theme enjoyed entertainment by a hula dancer, who moved her hips expertly to DJ Dutch’s island-disco grooves, while Elvis’ Blue Hawaii was projected on the wall of a nearby building. For those made sleepy by the summer heat, natural Hawaiian ginger energy shots by KLEAN33 gave them the necessary boost to party on. D’Annunzio was surprised with a luscious, custom-made mango sheet cake by Cecconi’s.
Partygoers included: Tara Solomon, Nick’s fiancé and partner at TARA, Ink.; Michael D’Annunzio, Nick’s father; Dr. Alan Heldman; Carlos Betancourt; Priscilla Gaya Petro; Chris Paciello; Tony and Dionea Orcini; Brandi Reddick; Laura Buccellati; Brad Alphonso; Fabian and Martina Basabe; Carole Seikaly; Leann Standish; Tim Walker; Daniel and Marcella Novela; Alfred Spellman; Alan Randolph; Gary and Dana Shear; Cristian and Vivienne Del Rio; Pier Paolo Visconti; and Jack and Tara Benemeleh, to name a few.
In lieu of gifts, D’Annunzio asked guests to make donations to Make-A-Wish Southern Florida- 100 percent of the party proceeds benefited the charity. This celebration marked the fifth year of D’Annunzio’s charitable birthday bashes, with past themes including The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Totally ‘80s Birthday, and Burlesque & Seduction. “Past birthday celebrations have been truly unforgettable,” says D’Annunzio, “and this year’s luau was no exception. What could be more fun than an oceanfront party with close friends and perfect weather, supporting a cause we all believe in? I feel truly blessed.” Nick was thrilled to report that the amount raised for Make-a-Wish far exceeded his expectations.
Many guests with late-night munchies made their way to the second floor Club Bar of Soho Beach House for late night bites, dancing and revelry. Joining in on the fun was Sofia Vergara, who mingled, unnoticed (except for us) among the guests.