04/24/2012 01:33 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Big Houses + Intimate Parties = Our Kind of Fun


The Make-A-Wish Garden Party at the Malnik Estate. Photo credit: Manny Hernandez


The Three Amigos: InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball Host Robert Hill, Ball Chairman Shareef Malnik and President/CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida Norman Wedderburn. Photo credit: Manny Hernandez

Who doesn't love a good house party, particularly when it's for Make-A-Wish Southern Florida and the residence is a Belle Époque-themed, "Great Gatbsy"-esque manse smack dab on the beach? Philanthropists Al and Nancy Malnik hosted their annual spring Garden Party that serves as the very civilized prequel to the InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball.


Al and Nancy Malnik. Photo credit: Manny Hernandez


Alberto Latorre, Silvia Karman Cubina and Carlos Betancourt. Photo credit: Manny Hernandez


Duane McLaughlin and Amber Ridinger. Photo credit: Manny Hernandez

Details of the 18th annual Ball, to be held November 3, were announced; they include the India/Bollywood theme (big yay) and the encore appearance of celebrity auctioneer Gabrielle Anwar, star of Burn Notice and the actress who famously seduced Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. How much do we love that Gabrielle publicly states via microphone -- at an event where children are present, no less -- that she must be a very good lover to have been asked back? Such confidence! Her lover is, of course, dashing restaurateur and Ball Chairman Shareef Malnik.


Gabrielle Anwar and Shareef Malnik. Photo credit: Manny Hernandez


Anthony and Jessica Burns. Photo credit: Manny Hernandez


Lesley Abravanel with husband, Magnus Andersson, and children, Aaron Noah and Sydney Loren. Photo credit: Manny Hernandez

The beautiful Lopez "Wish" Family seemed unfazed by any adult talk, and added a special element to the event. A highlight of the afternoon was the dramatic unveiling of a five-foot portrait of hostess Nancy Malnik by artist Romero Britto, created for her as a love gift for all she does for Make-A-Wish. How's that for a hostess gift?


The Pliners' keyhole-shaped saltwater pool, surrounded by palm trees. Photo credit: Seth Browarnik/


Marta Krupa, Ana Quincones, Adriana de Moura, Karent Sierra, Lisa Pliner, Lisa Hochstein, Elaine Lancaster and Joanna Krupa. Photo credit: Seth Browarnik/

Onto the waterfront, Moroccan palace of husband-and-wife footwear designers Donald and Lisa Pliner, one of our favorite homes in Miami, where an al fresco luncheon and runway show to preview the 2012 Fall "Lisa for Donald J Pliner" shoe collection were held. Filmed for an upcoming episode of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Miami, the event drew a bevy of glamor to the palm-dotted grounds, including the two rumored new Housewives, model Joanna Krupa and Lisa Hochstein, wife of Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Lenny Hochstein and former Playboy model.


Athina Marturet, Stacy Robins and Sylvia Fassardi Vilagliano. Photo credit: Seth Browarnik/


Belkys Nerey and Lisa Petrillo. Photo credit: Seth Browarnik/


Miss Elaine Lancaster. Photo credit: Seth Browarnik/

Gotta hand it to Lisa: Her 2012 Fall collection is a winner, with silhouettes that include sweet, man-tailored spats in alluring combinations such as sable suede with fuchsia river snake, towering lurex stilettos (a Miami daytime staple) festooned with over-sized bows at the heel, and black leather boots with street-savvy heels for weekend wear -- all with Lisa's signature green soles, which represent "peace and tranquility," as well as her hypnotic green eyes. You can find "Lisa for Donald J Pliner" at Macy's or


Karent Sierra, Joanna Krupa, Lisa Hochstein and Marta Krupa. Photo credit: Seth Browarnik/


Lisa Pliner, Elaine Lancaster and Donald J Pliner with pooch, Babydoll. Photo credit: Seth Browarnik/

As of July, Lisa and Donald, along with daughter Starr and famous lapdog Babydoll Pliner, will be saying goodbye to Miami and relocating to Malibu. Which would be ideal if Bravo does a Real Housewives of Malibu, because if there were ever a woman made for reality TV (and we mean this in a good way, of course), it is Lisa: High-octane, globe-trotting glamor, keen business sense, big heart and very little filter. See you on the West Coast, girlfriend.


Ashley Turchin. Photo credit: Seth Browarnik/


Karent Sierra, Lisa Hochstein, Elaine Lancaster, Lisa Pliner, Adriana de Moura, Lea Black, Marta Krupa and Joanna Krupa. Photo credit: Seth Browarnik/

To view more photos from the event, visit