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Coral Gables Community Foundation Announces Honorees For Annual Gala

Coral Gables Community Foundation Announces Honorees For Annual GalaThe Coral Gables Community Foundation today announced its honorees for its annual Biltmore Ball to Benefit the Coral Gables Foundation, to be held on Friday, October 5th at the Biltmore Hotel. This year's gala will be Un Ballo in Maschera and is titled, Venetian Fantasy.

Co-chaired by Sissy De Maria Koehne and Lauren Harrison, the glamorous evening will recognize esteemed members of the community for their tireless efforts that directly improve the quality of life for those living in the City Beautiful.

Among the recipients of the prestigious distinction include: the Kahn Family for the Jerry Santeiro Community Award; Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear for the Arts & Culture Award; Norma Jean Abraham and the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation for the Philanthropy Award; the Milton Family for the Education Award; Dick Anderson for the Sports & Wellness Award presented by Doctors Hospital and Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute and Withers Worldwide for the Landmark Award presented by The Biltmore.

Miami's high society has already marked their calendars - and ordered their carnival masks - for what has become one of the city's premier black tie affairs on the annual charity circuit. Ladies and gentlemen are making preparations to embark on a fantasy evening to Venice, courtesy of the spectacular backdrop of the historic Biltmore Hotel and its exquisitely decorated ballroom, influenced by hidden secrets of Venice, that evoke the spirit of the grand masterpiece of gothic architecture such as the Palazzo Ducale and the opulence of the Church of Gold, St. Mark's Square.

In keeping with the exotic Venetian theme, many of those attending "Venetian Fantasy" will dawn carnival masks with their traditional evening gowns and tuxedos. Venetian gondoliers will trumpet the arrival of guests through the Biltmore's storied halls.

The Biltmore Ball will also celebrate the redesign and restoration of the historic and iconic luxury hotel. The Biltmore is debuting a fresh take on the hotel's history of old world glamour and regal elegance with the addition of royal hues, luxurious materials, and elegant furniture pieces that harmonize seamlessly with the newly refurbished main lobby.

Proceeds raised at "Venetian Fantasy" will benefit the Coral Gables Community Foundation - a non-profit which fosters pivotal programs and initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of life in Coral Gables. Celebrating 27 years, the Community Foundation prides itself most recently on bringing Umbrella Sky to Giralda Plaza this summer and on providing college scholarships to economically disadvantaged students from Gables High School each year. The Foundation has long served as the philanthropic conduit within the City, connecting individuals and corporations seeking to positively impact its citizens and the community's overall growth.

Venetian Fantasy is hosted by The Biltmore Hotel and sponsored by: Platinum Sponsors PSAV, Doctors Hospital and Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute and MG Developer; Matching Gift Sponsor Norma Jean Abraham and the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation; Gold Sponsors Kreps DeMaria Public Relations & Marketing and Bacardi; Valet Sponsor Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables; Live Entertainment Sponsor Withers Worldwide; Cocktail Reception Sponsor Una & Mission Baia Miami Residences of OKO Group; Venetian Sponsor Coastal Construction and Becker; Photography Sponsor Bernardo Fort-Brescia & Laurinda Spear; Media Sponsors South Florida Luxury Guide, CULTURED Magazine and Miami Herald; and In-Kind Sponsors Pantry Liquors, Salumeria 104 and Societa Dante Alighieri.

"Our annual gala has become a time-honored tradition for our organization, and it's a tremendous point of pride to unveil our latest and most significant edition under the leadership of our event co-chairs Sissy De-Maria-Koehne and Lauren Harrison," said Mary Snow, Executive Director of the Coral Gables Community Foundation.

"Year after year, funds raised from this important event go toward the critical support of our community, and we thank all those whose outpouring of generosity and support have made our efforts all the more possible," added Jack Lowell, Chairman of the Coral Gables Community Foundation Board of Directors.

In addition to silent and live auctions and live entertainment, guests of "Venetian Fantasy" will enjoy a dazzling gastronomic experience - appropriately enhanced with authentic Italian cuisine by classically trained Executive Chef David Hackett of the Biltmore Hotel.

"Venetian Fantasy" starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Biltmore Hotel. Attire is black tie and masks are encouraged. For more information on how to attend or sponsor the event -- or for additional details about the Coral Gables Community Foundation -- contact Mary Snow, 305.446.9670,, or visit www.gablesfoundation.or/gala.

About the Coral Gables Community Foundation

The Coral Gables Community Foundation provides the philanthropic conduit connecting individuals and corporations looking to positively impact the success of the community. Now in its 27th year, the Foundation has been at the forefront of the evolving needs of Coral Gables while effectively bringing together beneficiaries and benefactors to fund programs with the greatest impact and benefit to "The City Beautiful." Venetian Fantasy will be a memorable event following the successes of the Memories of Madrid, A Passage to India and A Night in Old Shanghai galas in previous years.


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