The Coral Gables Community Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary at the annual gala, “A Passage to India,” on Friday, Oct. 14, at the Coral Gables Country Club.
Nearly 400 of Miami’s philanthropic, social, civic and business influencers turned out in saris and sherwanis to celebrate the evening’s distinguished honorees and the foundation’s accomplishments over the past 25 years.
The gala, co-chaired by Sissy DeMaria and Mary Young, was the most successful in organization history, raising funds earmarked for worthy Gables High School students pursuing dreams of a college education among other passionate projects the foundation champions.
“It was a pleasure to co-chair this year’s 25th anniversary gala,” DeMaria said. “As a foundation board member, I see firsthand the good work we do in the community throughout the year. The Indian theme set the tone for a fun and vibrant evening enjoyed by so many of the Gables’ top civic, business and community leaders.”
The evening began as guests received henna tattoos and were treated to a dazzling performance by dancers in authentic Indian costumes presented by FECi. Chef Richard Hutton tempted the notables with a dazzling array of Indian-themed appetizers and dishes.
Guests bid on priceless vacations and gifts, including stays at a mountaintop villa in Costa Rica courtesy of NPI; the Rosemary Cottage on exclusive Fisher Island; a sprawling home in Asheville, NC, the Al Capone suite at the Biltmore Hotel, as well as a stunning diamond necklace and earring set by Montica Jewelry.
Armando Codina received the prestigious Legacy Award; Rick and Margarita Tonkinson were awarded the Philanthropy Award; former Mayor Dorothy Thomson was honored with the Jerry Santeiro Community Award; Trish and Dan Bell were recipients of the Arts and Culture Award; Robert “Bobby” Martinez received the Education Award, and longtime Miami Dolphins player and executive Nat Moore received the Sports and Wellness Award presented by Doctors Hospital and the Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute.
“We are so proud of the success of this year’s 25th anniversary gala. Funds raised will support bright local students attend college through our four-year scholarship program as well as deserving non-profit organizations through our Community Giving initiative,” said Mary Snow, executive director of the Coral Gables Community Foundation.