24th Annual Coral Gables Community Foundation Gala
Celebrating “A Night in Old Shanghai”
Tom C. and Suzanne Murphy,
Gala Honorees

Carol & Ed Williamson,
Gala Honorees

The Coral Gables Community Foundation celebrated its 24th annual gala, a Night in Old Shanghai, on Friday, October 16, at the Coral Gables Country Club, attracting nearly 400 of Miami’s philanthropic, social, civic and business influencers, many who turned out in Mandarin flair.

The gala, co-chaired by Sissy DeMaria and Mary Young, raised funds earmarked for worthy Gables High School students pursuing dreams of a college education among other passionate projects the Foundation champions. This success was thanks in large part to a generous matching pledge by long-time Foundation supporters Matthew Meehan and Rod Hildebrant.

Williamson Automotive roared in the evening with authentic Chinese lion dancers and drummers who gave a spectacular performance while Chef Richard Hutton tempted the notables with a dazzling array of Asian-themed appetizers and dishes. A violinist from the New World Symphony serenaded guests as they tried their hand at luck and bid on priceless vacations and gifts, including stays at a chateau in the Basque Country in France, thanks to Ajit and Maria Alicia Asrani; a mountaintop villa in Costa Rica courtesy of NPI; the Al Capone suite at the Biltmore Hotel, as well as vintage wine courtesy of Bob and Jodi Dickinson, along with Miami Heat tickets and other donated items.

Coastal Construction CEO Tom Murphy, Jr. and the Murphy family were awarded the prestigious Philanthropy Award; Jeff and Yolanda Berkowitz received the Legacy Award; Ed and Carol Williamson were honored with the Jerry Santeiro Community Award; Adam and Chanin Carlin were recipients of the Arts and Culture Award; Henry O. “Hank” Langston awarded the Education Award; and Joe Rose received the Sports Award presented by Doctors Hospital and the Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute.

“The Night in Old Shanghai" gala was a work of love for all involved, and we are thrilled that this year’s event was the most successful in the Foundation’s history,” said Sissy DeMaria, gala co-chair. “The overwhelming success was due to the immense generosity of the people who live and work in the City Beautiful, and we are truly grateful for their support and contributions.”

Event sponsors included Bacardi, Baptist Health South Florida and Doctors Hospital, Southern Audio Visual, The Collection Residences, Adam & Chanin Carlin, Kreps De Maria, Williamson Automotive, EWM Realty International, and South Florida Luxury Guide Magazine.

Established in 1991 and led by community leaders, the Coral Gables Community Foundation provides a philanthropic conduit to connect individuals and corporations that are looking to positively impact “The City Beautiful” and its residents. For almost 25 years, the Foundation has helped youth, elderly and disabled residents by providing dental care for needy children, sponsoring cultural activities and awarding an array of annual scholarships.

Carlos F. Garcia, Adam & Chanin Carlin, Joe Rose, Carol Williamson, Yolanda Berkowitz, Ed Williamson,
Mary Snow, Tom C. Murphy, Jeff Berkowitz, Hank Langston, Suzanne Murphy, Kristin & Jason Anderson

Chanin & Adam Carlin,
Gala Honorees

Aura Reinhardt, Bill Bonn and Ruben Ceballos

Nelson Lazo, Adam & Chanin Carlin, Joe Rose, Carol & Ed Williamson,
Gala Honorees

Jeff & Yolanda Berkowitz,
Gala Honorees

Joe Rose, Gala Honoree,
and wife Marga

Dora Valdes-Fauli and Hank Langston, Gala Honoree

Mary Young, Mary Snow and Sissy DeMaria

Bob & Jodi Dickinson

Dan & Tina Carlo

Don & Jeannett Slesnick with University of Miami Theatre Students

Mr & Mrs. Armando Bucelo, Jr. and Scott & Maria Fernanda Poulin

John & Marichi O'Rourke


Carmen & Mayor Jim Cason

John O'Rourke III, Foundation Chairman-Elect

Jackie Nordstrom, Nelson Lazo, Olga Lazo and Elsa Figueredo

Gladys & Al Peraza

John & Meg Daly

Mary Young; Carlos F. Garcia, Foundation Board Chairman; Mary Snow, Foundation Executive Director; and Sissy DeMaria

Scott & Maria Fernanda Poulin

Maria Alonso and Alex Montague

Nelson Lazo, CEO, Doctors Hospital

Guests enjoying the casino

Debbie La Rocca and Carlos F. Garcia, Foundation Board Chairman

Lion Dancers


Nelson Lazo and Mark Trowbridge