The Biltmore Ball, Oct. 20, to benefit Coral Gables Community Foundation

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The Coral Gables Community Foundation gala committee is looking to the landmark Biltmore Hotel and the city’s Spanish architectural roots as inspiration for the Gables’ most anticipated and elegant annual affair.

Newly renamed “The Biltmore Ball to Benefit the Coral Gables Community Foundation,” the black-tie fundraiser is a time-honored tradition for the “City Beautiful.” It is an event that benefits the pivotal outreach efforts of the Coral Gables Community Foundation.

On Friday, Oct. 20 — and in the spirit of this year’s theme, “Memories of Madrid” — the community’s high society will converge on the Biltmore Hotel to pay homage to the monarchs, matadors, monuments, and museums of Spain.

Co-chaired for the third year by Sissy DeMaria and Mary Young, the gala will transport attendees to an evening of enchantment and unparalleled elegance. Just like Coral Gables itself, the Biltmore Hotel, was designed with Spain’s Andalusian region in mind, and will serve as the quintessential backdrop, dazzling guests with a magnificent array of courtyards, gardens, fountains, plazas, and ballrooms.

“For this year’s affair, we have taken cues from artists like Miro and Goya, and architectural inspiration from landmarks such as the Prado Museum, Reina Sofía Museum and the Royal Palace of Madrid to create one of the dreamiest galas to date,” DeMaria said.

“It’s only fitting that a venue as iconic as the Biltmore would be the setting for the latest edition of our event…as well as added inspiration for our work within the community and years of fundraisers to come.”

Within the grand ballroom, adorned in tapestries of brilliant reds and golds, guests (with flutes of Spanish Cava in-hand) will by mesmerized by the exuberant, theatrical flair of Spanish guitarists and the beauty of pirouetting flamenco dancers.

Guests will take a culinary journey to the Iberian Peninsula with a delectable menu prepared by award-winning Biltmore chef, Michael Vietta. Amidst the gowns and tuxedos, many event-goers — as per the tradition of years past — will opt for designs in step with the theme, donning matador-fashioned suits or flamenco-style dresses.

A number of prominent members of the community will be honored including Manny Medina and the Medina Family for the Willy Bermello Legacy Award; Jon and Nancy Batchelor for the Arts & Culture Award; Swanee and Paul DiMare for the Jerry Santeiro Community Award; Tom and Marie-Ilene Whitehurst for the Philanthropy Award; Mike Lowell for the Sports & Wellness Award presented by Doctors Hospital and Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute; David Lawrence for the Education Award, and Bacardi for the Landmark Award presented by The Biltmore.

“We are delighted to celebrate these pillars of our community, and we profusely thank all of our sponsors who have helped make this gala such a success,” said John O’Rourke, chair of the Coral Gables Community Foundation Board of Directors.

“This year, in a strategic partnership with the Biltmore Hotel, we have renamed our charity to ‘The Biltmore Ball,’ extending our reach and visibility. It’s an honor to have such overwhelming support which, in turn, is helping us do more for our neighborhood and our neighbors in need,” O’Rourke added.

“It’s a tremendous point of pride to unveil the latest edition of our gala — most especially in tandem with the Biltmore Hotel,” said Mary Snow, executive director of the Coral Gables Community Foundation. “This year’s event will pay special tribute to Coral Gables, serving as a celebration of our city’s distinctive heritage and worldly roots.”

In addition to live entertainment, guests will enjoy live and silent auctions filled with exotic worldwide travel excursions, luxury retail items, and gift certificates — all benefiting the important mission of the Foundation.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave. For more information on how to attend or sponsor the event or for additional details about the Coral Gables Community Foundation contact Mary Snow by phone at 305-446-9670, by email at, or visit

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