The excitement was palpable at 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen as members of the Aventura Marketing Council/Chamber of Commerce (AMC) awaited the arrival of Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem for the VIP Sports Committee Luncheon sponsored by Atlantic Broadband and Marquis Bank.
The Aventura restaurant was filled to capacity for the first AMC Sports Committee Luncheon that brought out a top-tier audience including Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman, Commissioners Dr. Linda Marks and Howard Weinberg, City Manager Ron Wasson and Police Chief Bryan Pegues. Other notable guests enjoying the amazing luncheon were Florida State Senator Jason Pizzo, Rep. Barbara Watson, Rep. Joe Geller, Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Adams and a full room of other elected officials and business leaders including Cliff Schulman of Weiss Serota Helfman, former AMC Chairman for 13 years.
AMC Chairman Gary Pyott, Association 1st, opened the meeting by thanking luncheon sponsors, Atlantic Broadband and Marquis Bank as well as Young Star Aniye Strachan for her incredible singing that entertained the guests as they awaited the two champions. Pyott introduced AMC Sports Committee Chairman Ben Launerts, Region Vice President of Park One, who said, “I haven’t stopped smiling from ear to ear! As you know, 100%of the proceeds from today’s luncheon are being donated to the Wade Family Foundation and Udonis Haslem Children’s Foundation.”
Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman added, “How lucky we are to have gentlemen of the quality of Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem in our community…they couldn’t make us prouder! I encourage everyone here to fill up this wonderful restaurant every single day…not for them…. but for all the kids they help with their charities day in and day out! Over 75% of the kids in this county are at poverty level…no surprise to these wonderful gentlemen who are in a class all by themselves.”
Remarks by Sylvester King, CEO of FAB Consulting Solutions, Joey Sabato, Director of Operations for 800 Degrees and John Garcia, General Manager of 800 Degrees, explained the beginnings of this restaurant and the team concept of collaboration with Wade and Haslem. “We focus on great service and even greater food…unique items you won’t find elsewhere!” said King. Sabato introduced Chef Edward Donoso, and added, “We do private events, like today’s, we love catering and doing special menus, and will do whatever we can to make you happy. We have Happy Hours, and we have just launched our Sunday brunches.”
Maia Mediavilla, Director Marketing, Atlantic Broadband, said “We have served this community for over 15 years, proud provider of internet, tv and phone services to residents and businesses to South Florida. Recently we expanded our coverage from Miami Beach and Aventura to West Palm Beach. We’re growing and hoping to continue to serve these communities. Part of our DNA is to continue helping wonderful charities like the ones today.”
Janet Henfield-Green, Sr. Vice President of Marquis Bank, said “We are a local community bank located in Aventura with headquarters in Coral Gables, and just opened in Fort Lauderdale. We offer personalized service to professionals, business owners and investors. What we lack in branches, we make up in personalized service…everyone who walks in our door is a VIP.
We can customize all of our services to give you what you need!”
Mediavilla introduced Wade, “What do I say to introduce a man who has been a part of our lives with the Miami Heat since 2003. He’s a three-time NBA champion, all with the Miami Heat in 2006, 2012 and 2013, but there’s so much more to this man. He’s a businessman, we’re here today in his restaurant that he has partnered with Udonis Haslem; he’s working on his winery, and he’s a man with a big heart. And most of the time, we don’t hear about the selfless giving and sharing that he does.”
Wade said, “I just want to thank you all for being here. UD and I want to thank you for all that you do to help others. UD and I have been partners, teammates and brothers for 16 years, and no matter what jersey I wear, we always stayed very close. We had an opportunity to do something away from the basketball court, and since we’ve had a little success on the court together, we thought we could have success together in business. We partnered on 800 Degrees as our first restaurant together, but it will not be the last. Our Wade Family Foundation tries to meet needs in our community. We’ve been able to do a lot of cool things and help a lot of people. That’s all from the support we get, like today. I do a lot of work in the inner city, and just visited the students at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. But it’s you we have to thank for that support, and we really appreciate you for being here with us today.”
Introducing Udonis Haslem was Henfield-Green, “Our three-time NBA champion, co-team captain and leader of rebounds for the Miami HEAT, businessman and philanthropist, founder of the Udonis Haslem Children’s Foundation and home-grown hero, Udonis Haslem.” Haslem took the microphone, “Dwyane and I have spent a lot of time together over the last 16 years, and we’ve had a lot of success together. We’re very motivated by eating clean, and you see the woodfired kitchen, everything we’ve done…. the wings, the burgers… we don’t just put our names on it or put money into it. We are serious about how it tastes. We really want this to grow and want to impact this great community of Aventura first. Thank you guys for giving us this opportunity. My foundation gave me the opportunity to be in both worlds…. the business world and the world of people who have struggles. We fill the gaps and needs…we partner with grandparents… donate things on holidays…pay for funerals. We live in a different world than so many people of Miami, and we just try to help. Dwyane and I understand that we’ve been given this platform for a reason, and to help others in need has become that reason. So, thank you guys, keep coming back to 800 Degrees…you’ll never know who you’ll see here!”
Door prizes included an autographed Dwyane Wade basketball shoes; autographed Udonis Haslem jersey; and 800 Degrees Party for Ten, donated by the 800 Degrees team.
Four $100 dining gift certificates to 800 Degrees were provided by meeting sponsors Atlantic Broadband and Marquis Bank.