Miami Children’s Museum’s 2017 Be A Kid Again Gala “Le Grand Carnaval”
Almost $2 Million raised for Educational Programming

Christy Martin, Jeff Berkowitz, David Martin, Daniela Swaebe, Michael Comras and Debbie Spiegelman

Yolanda & Jeff Berkowitz and Shannon Hori Cogan

Miami Children’s Museum thrilled more than 800 attendees at its Annual Be A Kid Again Gala, held at Soho Studios in Wynwood. The theme of the evening was “Le Grand Carnaval,” wondrously realized with a world of unique performers, exotic cuisine and a night filled with fantasy! Close to $2 million was raised to support educational programming with the help of generous donors, sponsors, an extensive silent auction and a high end live auction. The event, emceed by journalist and former CBS4 Anchor Shannon Hori Cogan, also honored MCM Chairman of the Board, Jeff Berkowitz, for his many years of great leadership and service to the Museum.

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Alexis & Scott Wagner

Marvin Ross Friedman, Adrienne Bon Haes and Melissa Netkin

Brooke Rosenblum, Adrienne Pardo, Nikki Simkins and Sari Shore

Jeff Berkowitz and Romero Britto

Debbie Spiegelman, Richard Lampen, Susan Lampen, Kate Lampen-Sachar

Christy & David Martin

Patricia & Dr. Phillip Frost

Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Jeff Berkowitz, Commissioner Bruno Barreiro

On the dance floor

Shannon Hori Cogan

Debbie Spiegelman and Romero Britto presenting Jeff Berkowitz with his portrait

Virginia Weber, Rahul Kothari, Steve Weber

Jack Collins, Jeff Berkowitz and Jessica Collins

John & Marianne Devine, Debbie Spiegelman and Ron Street

Chris & Kelly Melchiondo

DJ Zog at the After Party

Jolie & Michael Berkowitz

Michael Comras, Jeff Berkowitz and Daniela Swaebe

Francis Suarez, Gloria Suarez, Bernerd Garsen and Daisy Olivera

Daniela Swaebe and Michael Comras

Valerie Tyson Band

Jessica & Jack Collins

Katie Drozd, Brittany Fiore, Tiffany Pedraz and Sari Libbin

Le Grand Carnaval

Shannon Hori Cogan and Debbie Spiegelman

Luis Rigual, Suzy Buckley Woodward and John Lin

Yolanda Berkowitz, Marvin Ross Friedman and Adrienne Bon Haes

Marti Mang, Romero Britto and Anthony Shriver

Glenn Orgin, Jeff Berkowitz, Debbie Spiegelman, Gary Reshefsky

Le Grand Carnaval

Michael Comras, Daniela Swaebe, Christy & David Martin

Debbie Spiegelman, Shannon Hori Cogan, Jeff & Yolanda Berkowitz

Evan & Stefanie Reed

Aerialist, The Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota

Premier Sponsors for the event were Fairholme Foundation, Dr. Brigitt Rok Potamkin & Mr. Alan Potamkin. Presenting Sponsors included Yolanda & Jeff Berkowitz, Bilzin Sumberg, Comras Company, Heidi & Jose Dans, Greenberg Traurig, Susan & Richard Lampen/Opko Health Inc., Medina Family Foundation and Terra. The event was co-chaired by Christy & David Martin and Daniela Swaebe & Michael Comras. The silent auction was curated by auction chair, Melissa Netkin and Wine Auction Chair, Steven Haas.

Among the nearly 800 attendees were: Yolanda & Jeff Berkowitz, Susan & Richard Lampen, Romero Britto, Christy & David Martin, Daniela Swaebe & Michael Comras, Patricia & Phillip Frost, Jessica & Jack Collins, Lisette & Manny Medina, Matthew & Eva Gorson, Tom Wood, Ana & Neisen Kasdin, Vanessa & Lee Krelstein, Melissa & Robert Netkin, Jennifer & Javier Cervera, Bruce & Tracey Berkowitz, Jessica & Gary Reshefky, William Talbert, Jennifer Valoppi & Christian de Berdouare, Michael & Nicole Simkins, Marianne & John Devine, Jenny & Kevin Faith, Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Produced by Wow Factor, guests felt like a kid again from the moment they entered “Le Grand Carnaval” at Soho Studios. The night kicked off with a not to be missed cocktail reception with an extensive silent auction, performances from The Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota, a tempting array of cuisine provided by Chef David Schwadron Catering and Event Design and the sounds of the Valerie Tyson Band. The highlight event of the evening was an energetic live auction, raising nearly $200,000, featuring spectacular items including: a $10,000 Shopping Spree courtesy of Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour, Audi Q5 24 month lease courtesy of The Collection, Personalized Portrait by Romero Britto and once in a lifetime luxury vacations.

The celebration continued with the After Party hosted by the Museum’s young professionals group, the Playmakers, and co-Chaired by Michael Berkowitz and Janet C. Moreira. DJ Twilo and DJ Zog played tunes along with a premium bar and late night treats. Sponsors included Jolie & Michael Berkowitz, Felicia & Andrew Berkowitz, 13th Floor Investments, Weber Law, Janet C. Moreira / MAVEN Intellectual Property, Ironview Capital Management, 3 Pillars Events, Duffy's Foundation, Wells Fargo, Golden Sands General Contractors, Donna Melnuk and Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A.

Miami Children’s Museum (MCM) offers bilingual and interactive exhibits, programs, classes and learning materials related to arts, culture, community and communication. The Museum has 14 interactive galleries as well as housing many exciting and fun traveling exhibits. MCM is dedicated to enriching the lives of all children by fostering a love of learning and enabling children to realize their highest potential. Through arts and educational programs, MCM seeks to include and target all audiences in Miami's changing and diverse community by becoming the "town center" for Miami-Dade County's children and families.’

For more information about Miami Children’s Museum call: (305)373-KIDS (5437) or visit