In June, Mount Sinai Medical Center honored Florence and the late Irving Wallack, and paid tribute to their son David for his generosity to the medical center. The event celebrated the Wallack family’s commitment to healthcare in the Miami Beach community with a dedication on the pedestal of a sculpture that stands outside the medical center’s emergency room.
The Wallacks are among South Beach’s most respected families, having helped shape the city’s hotel industry and the Ocean Drive landscape. It began when Irving and Florence Wallack moved from New York to Miami Beach in the 1950s and opened hotels, first at 852 Collins Avenue and then at 900 Ocean Drive. It continued into the 1970s when Irving innovated Miami Beach’s first co-op conversion of apartments on South Beach. David Wallack took up his parents’ mantle of innovation and established the Eastern Sun, Florida’s first commercial-sized adult congregate living facility. He continued on the path of innovative entrepreneurship when he decided to relocate the Eastern Sun and turn the space into what is now known as Mango’s Tropical Café, a world famous South Beach landmark drawing more than a million patrons a year.
Today, David’s son, Josh, is the chief operating officer of Mango’s. In addition, the restaurant is part of Mount Sinai’s community partnership program, which consists of area businesses that help raise the much-needed funds to support South Florida’s largest private, independent notfor- profit teaching hospital. By participating in this program, David and Josh give their patrons an opportunity to join them in supporting Mount Sinai’s mission to provide quality healthcare to the community.
“Mount Sinai is our hospital – it’s our community’s hospital,” said David. “And we are proud to be a partner in this innovative program.”
As a result of the Wallack family’s generosity, David and Josh are corporate members of the Society of Mount Sinai, which includes the medical center’s most generous philanthropic supporters. The Wallack Family Foundation is also part of the Founders of Mount Sinai, the medical center foundations’ most time-honored organization. “If he were here today,” Sonenreich said, “Irving Wallack would surely be proud of his son and his grandson for all they have accomplished and for their commitment to healthcare in our community.”
There to honor and thank the Wallack family at the dedication ceremony were Mark H. Hildebrandt, vice chairman of the Mount Sinai Board of Trustees; Bonnie Schaefer, president of the Mount Sinai Foundation; and Steve Sonenreich, Mount Sinai’s president and CEO.
The sculpture is prominently displayed within the Mount Sinai campus. The inscription on the northern side of the pedestal reads as follows – Dedicated to Florence & Irving Wallack by David Wallack and Family. The inscription on the southern side of the pedestal reads – Dedicated by Mango’s Tropical Café South Beach.