Destination Fashion Raises $31M for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti and his son Marc of The Buoniconti Fund, the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, hosted an inspirational evening with more than 2,000 supporters to celebrate Destination Fashion 2012, presented by Micky and Madeleine Arison. Held at Miami’s famed Bal Harbour Shops, Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour presented Emilio Pucci’s Spring 2013 Fashion Show Designed by Peter Dundas, which was followed by an interactive destination party experience and the crowd danced and cheered at a spectacular, energy-filled private concert by superstar Enrique Iglesias. Tom Brokaw served as master of ceremonies and was joined by Honorary Chairs Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones and international Polo sensation Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras to help raise $31 million for The Miami Project’s research programs.

The staggering amount raised at the event was the result of some especially magnanimous donors who made announcements that astounded the sold-out crowd, which included UM President Donna E. Shalala, Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and Miami Project founder Barth A. Green, M.D., professor and chair of neurological surgery, and W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., Scientific Director of The Miami Project, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The surprises began when Christine E. Lynn, who was being honored with the Humanitarian Award and is a Buoniconti Fund Board Member and longtime supporter, announced a gift of $25 million to build the Christine E. Lynn Tower for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, which will house state-of-the-art spinal cord injury surgical suites, surgical intensive care units and a rehabilitation center to enhance The Miami Project’s research efforts toward finding a cure for paralysis. Buoniconti Fund Board Member Paul DiMare and his wife Swanee, who were also honored during the evening with The Buoniconti Fund Award, and Tim Gannon, Buoniconti Fund Board Member and one of the founders of Outback Steakhouse, each gave an additional $1 million to the cause.

In February of this year, The Buoniconti Fund pledged $40 million to Momentum2: the Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

The November 10 affair included the presentation of the Inspiration Award to Micky and Madeleine Arison, the Champion for a Cure Award will go to Edie Laquer and the Laquer Foundation, the Humanitarian Award to Christine E. Lynn, The Buoniconti Fund Award to Paul and Swanee DiMare, and the Philanthropist Award to Beatrice and Dr. Sanford Ziff.

Following the Emilio Pucci Fashion show and dinner, The Buoniconti Fund paid tribute to its notable 2012 Women of Substance and Style, who walked down the runway accompanied by celebrity presenters. The evening culminated with guests dancing to the musical stylings of DJ Irie and travelling through the shops, which were transformed into “destinations” from around the world, including Asia, Africa and the Americas. Bal Harbour Shops donated one-of-a-kind silent auction items, including a Harry Winston diamond timepiece valued at more than $34,000, Tiffany & Co. platinum and diamond earrings valued at $11,000, and Warren Henry Auto Group donated a year lease for the new Range Rover Evoque, to name a few.

Notable celebrities and presenters included: Steve Alaimo, Moises Alou, Stanley Bahnsen, Rick Barry, Bob Beamon, Woody Bennett, Bruce Bowen, Miguel Cabrera, Helio Castronoves, Jeff Conine, Channing Crowder, Christopher Cuomo, Gil de Ferran, Colin Egglesfield, Todd English, Scott Erickson, Mike Eruzione, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Rod Gilbert, Tim Hardaway, Randall Hill, Marvin Jones, James Lafferty, Brad Leland, Danell Levya, Rex Linn, Joe Manganiello, Mercury Morris, Alonzo Mourning, Tony Nathan, Wayne Newton, John Offerdahl, Louis Oliver, Tony Perez, Mike Piazza, Errict Rhett, Brett Romberg, Mark Rypien, Matthew Settle, Dwight Stephenson, Tico Torres, Aiden Turner, EJ Viso and Jed Weaver.

In addition to the Arisons, who presented Destination Fashion, Champions for a Cure sponsors were Edie Laquer and The Laquer Foundation join Event, Continent and Ocean Sponsors, including Bal Harbour Shops, Bal Harbour Village, Barton G., Carnival Corporation & plc., Coastal Construction Group, Susan and Mark Dalton, Wayne Gaunce, Kim and James Pallota.

Scene sponsors were the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation, Bunny Bastian, Trish and Dan Bell, Chanin and Adam Carlin, Roberta and Harvey Chaplin, City National Bank, Swanee and Paul DiMare, The Fairholme Foundation, Mary and Howard Frank, Richard Gray, Gretchen and Jay Jordan, Kandy and Jeffrey Kramer, Krupnick Campbell Malone Buser Slama Hancock et al, Lauren’s Kids, Christine E. Lynn, Robert and Judi Prokop Newman, Victoria Ranger Nunez and Mike Nunez, Simkins Rubell Family, Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, Laura and Irwin Tauber and Beatrice and Dr. Sanford Ziff.

Other sponsors included American Airlines, Atlantico Rum, Aventura Worldwide Transportation Service, Chateau Group – Chateau Beach Residences, Comcast, Departures, FranklinDodd Communications, Ocean Drive Magazine, One Bal Harbour Resort and Spa, and Quarzo Bal Harbour Boutique Hotel, Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour, Selecta Magazine, Southern Wine and Spirits, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort and Tiffany & Co., and the Warren Henry Auto Group.

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