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The Miami Children’s Museum “Be a Kid Again” Gala and Auction

BE A KID AGAIN ANNUAL GALA & AUCTION

On Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Soho Studios in the arts district of Wynwood, Miami Children’s Museum hosted more than 600 attendees for the 2018 Be A Kid Again Gala “Superheroes: From Fiction to Fantasy,” a world of crime-fighting caped crusaders and villains! The evening, emceed by Pulitzer Prize winning humorist Dave Barry, raised nearly $1 million to support educational programming with the help of generous donors, sponsors, an extensive silent auction and a high end live auction. This year’s gala was chaired by Jennifer and Gabriel Montoya with Auction Chair Melissa Netkin.

Guests felt like a kid again from the moment they entered Soho Studios. Costumed superheroes abounded about as the night kicked off with performances from aerialists, the Miami Children’s Museum Theater Troupe channeling their inner villains and a red carpet experience with image and fashion consultant, Elysze Held. The not to be missed cocktail reception previewed over 200 unique silent auction items including designer handbags, great travel, fine jewelry and rare wines. The main event of the evening was an energetic live auction featuring spectacular items and led by celebrity auctioneer Neil and The Saffer & Company Benefit Auction Team.. Among the highest bidders were Board Vice President, Marianne Devine who took home a lease for a Range Rover Velar courtesy of Land Rover North Dade, a division of the Warren Henry Auto Group Adding the Spice to our Superhero themed extravaganza was a taste tempting array of treats provided by Chef David Schwadron Catering and Event Design with a twist that brought to life all the iconic visions of fantasy and fun.

This year’s Be a Kid Again Gala Sponsors included Dr. Brigitt Rok Potamkin and Mr. Alan Potamkin and the Fairholme Foundation, Greenberg Traurig, Jeff and Yolanda Berkowitz, Susan and Richard Lampen & Jackie and Adam Malamed, Jose and Heide Dans, Totalitarian, Constance and Mike Fernandez, Northern Trust Bank, Allied Universal, Baptist Health South Florida, Berkowitz Pollack Brant, Rycon Construction, Jennifer and Gabriel Montoya, Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, Academica, Trish and Dan Bell, Carnival Cruise Lines/Carnival Foundation, Jacklyn Taplin Schiffrin and Joshua Schiffrin, CPM, Michael and Jolie Berkowitz & Andrew and Felicia Berkowitz, Watermill Institutional Trading, Miami Marlins, , Bilzin Sumberg, Comras Company / Terra Group, Medina Family Foundation, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A., Weber Law, Hypower, Inc., Century Risk Advisors, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, U. S. Trust, Bank Of America Private Wealth Management and Pam Garrison.

The After Party, presented by EFFEN Vodka, chaired by Brittany Sharpton and Brooke Sharpton and hosted by Playmakers, kept the party going! Miami’s most influential emerging professionals joined gala goers on the dance floor with 10-foot LED robots and together they partied into the night. Attendees were treated to a 3 Hours Open Bar featuring EFFEN Vodka, light bites and sweets catered by Chef David Schwadron Cuisine & Event Design and special guest DJ A Fly Guy. Don’t miss next year’s annual Be A Kid Again Annual Gala set for March 16, 2019!

Sponsors for the After Party include EFFEN Vodka, Greenspoon Marder, 13th Floor Investments, McHugh Construction, Tom Gallagher Insurance, Duffy’s Foundation, Ironview Capital Management, Toshiba Business Solutions, NextGen, Wells Fargo, Health Foundation of South Florida, The No-Fault Group, YAFN, RSP Nutrition, Capital One and JWR Construction Services

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Ian’s Friends Foundation

 Neil,

I want to thank you for your ongoing support of Ian’s Friends Foundation! It was such an honor to have you join us Saturday night. I am ecstatic to report that our event raised over $900,000 for pediatric brain tumor research! It is because of YOU that we are able to make a difference.  On behalf of all of the children battling brain tumors, thank you for your time! Your support is critical in sponsoring the research so desperately needed to find a cure for pediatric brain tumors.

We hope to work with you again in the future. With gratitude,

 

- Kathy OrtstadtExecutive Director Ian’s Friends Foundation

JFS

Just wanted to tell you how impressed Pamela and I were with your work at the JFS Annual Dinner.  You really were responsible for making the auctions a financial success … and at the same time, made it fun for the participants & onlookers. 

Any way … didn’t want to let the weekend pass w/o letting you know you really helped make the evening a success.  I estimated you took in almost $200,000 during the Live Auction … and I know there was a good deal of activity on the timed auction items, as well.  See you soon ! ~ bob

ROBERT S WEINROTH

 

- Peter ParkerManager

Place of Hope

Neil – you are a tremendous part of the team. You do a superb job and really bring a level of excitement and fun to the process and the evening! Thanks so much for being so very good at what you do! We also beleive that God brings each person into the fold to accomplish His plan. You are certainly in that fold!

Charles L. Bender III
Executive Director PLACE OF HOPE

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Ruth Rales Jewish Family Services

Thanks so much for last night.  What an amazing evening!!!  needless to say, it was a STELLAR CASH CALL!!!  We couldn’t have done it without you.
Thanks again!!! Love you guys!!!

Jill Waldman,

Ruth Rales Jewish Family Sevices

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American Cancer Society-Orlando

Thank you so much Neil! You were fantastic! Very nice to meet you and your wife. You are the best auctioneer we have ever had. I am very happy how everything turned out. It was a great event and I think it will just keep growing bigger. Thanks again!

- Brandi HolstenAuction Chair ACS Cattle Barons Ball Orlando

PARC

“Neil Saffer knows how to get a crowd involved!  He is articulate and educated on the products for auction.  He knows how to speak to the crowd without being demanding or over the top.  He was able to make our auction a success and bring critical fund-raising dollars to PARC.”

- Sue BuchholtzPresident & CEO of PARC in St. Petersburg, FL

Chabad of East Boca raton

Now I can believe that miracles can happen!
You were a very big part of this successful event. Your professionalism is apparent in your demeanor.
I think you could actually get water from the rock! I had no intention of buying anything, but as you know I did.
Neil, it is a pleasure to meet, and get to know you. You are a talented person.
Thank you so much, look forward to seeing you soon,

 

 

- Herb RaiffeChabad of East Boca Raton

Ruth Rales Jewish Family Services

Thanks so much for last nite. What an amazing evening!!! needless to say, it was a STELLAR CASH CALL!!! We couldn’t have done it without you.

Thanks again!!! Love you guys!!!

 

 

- Jill Waldman,Norman and Ruth Rales Jewish Family Services

Unity School of Delray Beach

After each one of our annual auctions, we come back to  Unity School and rave about the ever fantastic auctioneer,  Neil Saffer. Year after year you bring fun and excitement to the night!  Your sense of humor and joy of raising money for our school ensures that each one of our auction events surpasses the last in both profitability and entertainment.  Not only do you amuse our donors but you cajole them into happily opening wide their wallets to support our mission. Please don’t ever give up your auction career because we would be hard pressed to replace your amazing gift for fund raising on the auction podium. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for our school. “

- Diane Shawcross Unity SchoolDevelopment Director

Catholic Charities Diocese of Palm Beach

Thank YOU Neil! It always is a treat to work with a professional who brings so many unique ideas to the table. Thank you for everything you contribute and do for us!! Until next year!

- Janelle HoffmanDevelopment Coordinator Catholic Charities Diocese of Palm Beach