‘Reach for the Stars’ auction marks platinum anniversary


By Brooke Noble….

Pictured (l-r) are Dr. Lawrence E. Stein, Actors’ Playhouse chairman of the board; Barbara S. Stein, executive producing director, and Bob Soper, celebrity guest auctioneer for his 20th year.

Notable guests, community members and theater supporters gathered at the historic Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables on Saturday, Apr. 16, for the platinum celebration of the 20th annual “Reach for the Stars” Gala Auction presented by Actors’ Playhouse and Lexus of Kendall.

Started as a small fundraising event at the Dadeland Mall in 1991, the “Reach for the Stars” Gala Auction truly has taken on a life of it’s own, blossoming into one of the City Beautiful’s most extravagant events of the year.

Hosted by founding board chair Dr. Lawrence Stein and executive producing director Barbara S. Stein, more than 600 guests attended one of the most anticipated events on the South Florida calendar that featured over $350,000 worth of live and silent auction items up for bid.

The evening’s gourmet dining was provided by 33 of Coral Gables’ finest restaurants, with an open bar sponsored by Barcardi and complimentary wine and champagne from Premier Beverage Co.

Celebrity guest auctioneer for his 20th year was South Florida’s own Bob Soper, former CBS4 chief meteorologist, with the help of Actors’ Playhouse artistic director David Arisco.

The popular auction is the major fundraising event for Actors’ Playhouse each year. This year’s funds of more than $130,000 will be dedicated to capital improvements of the historic Miracle Theatre and the operating costs of Actors’ Playhouse 2011-12 Season.

“Actors’ Playhouse is a very fortunate organization to have so many wonderful patrons and sponsors, who for many years have invested their friendship and support of our organization,” Stein said. “We are grateful beyond measure for our cherished relationships with our supporters and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”

Headlining this year’s auction was a 2011 Lexus RX 350 one-year lease from Lexus of Kendall. Additionally, live and silent auction items included Air Berlin Business Class Tickets to anywhere in Europe the airline flies, worldwide hotel travel courtesy of InterContinental Miami, exclusive celebrity wine dinners at popular South Florida restaurants, jewelry, golf packages, fine art, antiques, sports collectors items, spa visits, couture clothing and gift certificates.

Lexus of Kendall was the presenting sponsor of this year’s event, together with Platinum Sponsors Air Berlin and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. Gold Sponsors included Azamara Club Cruises, Bacardi USA, The Biltmore Hotel, ClubMed, AT&T The Real Yellow Pages and Seabourn.

Silver Sponsors included Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Continental Connection, Alberto Romeu Studio, Assurant, AroundTown Magazine, Atlantis Paradise Island, Bravo Musicians, Christina’s Party Rentals, Bradford Renaissance Portraits, Frame & Crate, Gables Gems, Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, Marlins Ballpark, MiaCucina, Premier Beverage Company, Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet, Solo Printing, Steinway & Sons, The Westin Colonnade Coral Gables, Zip Mailer, Inc. and artists Clifford Bailey, Carlos Navarro, Gapal, Cynthia Coulombe, Jama, Carbonell, Ed King, and Fer Sucre.

Gala VIP Sponsors included Baptist Health South Florida, Florida Power & Light, AT&T and Kevin J. King & Tricia A. King. VIP Sponsors included Donna Abood, Norma Jean Abraham, Marc and Madeline Auerbach, BAC Florida Bank, Banco Popular, BankAtlantic, Bank of Coral Gables, Cherry, Bekaert & Holland LLP, Coral Gables Community Foundation, Esserman Automotive Group, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Gulliver Schools, International Finance Bank, Kahn Carlin & Co., PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, TotalBank, U.S. Century Bank, and Waste Management.

Participating restaurants included Anacapri on Ponce, BGR The Burger Joint, Café at Books & Books in Coral Gables, California Pizza Kitchen, Catering by Lovables, Charlotte Bistro, Chilorio’s Very Mexican, Cold Stone Creamery, Cookies By Design, Courtyard Café by Marriott Coral Gables, CrepeMaker on the Mile, Edda’s Cake Designs, Edible Arrangements, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, La Cofradia Restaurant, Miss Saigon Bistro, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Norman’s 180, Ortanique on the Mile, Panera Bread, Pasha’s, Peppy’s in the Gables, Rincon Argentino, Romanicos Chocolate, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Seasons 52, Special Events Catering By Les, Starbucks Coffee, Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill, Tropical Chinese Restaurant, The Westin Colonnade Coral Gables and Yuga Restaurant.

With the close of a successful 20th Gala, the theater already is planning next year’s 21st Anniversary Gala event, which will be celebrated Apr. 14, 2012. For additional information on how to get involved contact the Actors’ Playhouse Development Office at 305-444-9293, ext. 609.

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