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Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation 2009 Diamond Ball & Concert, “An International Affair” to take place October 16

MIAMI –  It will be eclectic.  Also electric.  There’s no denying the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation 2009 Diamond Ball & Concert, “An International Affair” will be infused with a world of energy when such acclaimed performers as the All-Star Members of The Billy Joel Band and young musical sensations Ethan Bortnick and Charice take center stage Oct. 16 during one of South Florida’s most anticipated charity events.
 The gala’s international flair will be apparent from the moment guests arrive at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.  Their evening will include an elegant dinner, induction of Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade into the Miami Children’s Hospital International Pediatric Hall of Fame, and fabulous musical entertainment.  The event will launch the Foundation’s year-long celebration of Miami Children’s Hospital’s 60th anniversary as South Florida’s only freestanding hospital dedicated exclusively to providing world-class treatment and care for children.
“As ‘An International Affair,’ this year’s Diamond Ball & Concert mirrors the multi-cultural diversity of Miami Children’s Hospital and Foundation, which represent more than 40 nations,” says Foundation President Lucy Morillo.  “We are privileged to be joined by such international talents as Dwyane Wade, the All-Star Members of The Billy Joel Band, our own Junior Ambassador Ethan Bortnick, whose family has Russian roots, and the incomparable Charice from The Philippines as we recognize those who support our mission and honor Miami Children’s Hospital on 60 years of medical excellence.”
According to Morillo, 7-year-old Boca Raton resident Brianna Kahane also will entertain guests with her amazing violin virtuosity. “One of the most heart-warming highlights of our evening will be these wonderful children helping other children as Ethan, Charice and Brianna perform to help raise funds for young patients from around the world who are treated at Miami Children’s Hospital,” she adds.
The event will benefit Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, which supports the Hospital in its mission to ensure all children are able to receive the highest caliber medical care, no matter where they live.  The Diamond Ball & Concert, “An International Affair” is being chaired by Vivian and Juan Carlos Mas, who also co-chaired last year’s gala at AmericanAirlines Arena, which raised more than $12 million in support of enhanced pediatric medical care. 
Hall of Fame inductee Dwyane Wade – “Flash” to his many fans – is a major presence both on and off the basketball court.  An NBA All-Star, Wade also has made his mark in the hearts of children for whom he serves as a mentor and role model.  Through his Wade’s World Foundation, he supports community-based organizations that promote education, health and social skills for at-risk youngsters.  Wade’s commitment to children also extends to active involvement with Alonzo Mourning’s “Zo’s Summer Groove” and significant time spent visiting patients at Miami Children’s Hospital, earning him a spot on the Hall of Fame roster.
The All-Star Members of The Billy Joel Band are led by renowned saxophone player Mark Rivera, a 26-year veteran of Joel’s band who also assembled former Beatle Ringo Starr’s “All Starr Band,” and guitarist Tommy Byrnes, who has been with Joel for 19 years and helped Joel and Twyla Tharp create the Tony Award- winning Broadway smash “Movin’ Out.”  The all-star group also include dynamic keyboardist David Rosenthal, internationally known Chuck Burgi on drums, and bassist Andy Cichon, who joined Joel on his “2000 Years” tour.
Junior Ambassador to the Diamond Ball & Private Concert, 8-year-old world-class entertainer Ethan Bortnick will showcase both his extraordinary talent and commitment to Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation.  Ethan’s musical genius inexplicably blossomed when his brother was born with an almost fatal heart defect and was airlifted to Miami Children’s Hospital, where surgeons saved his life.  During the ensuing years he has regularly appeared on such national TV shows as Oprah, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, ABC’s Good Morning America and Martha Stewart and on stage with Beyoncé, Josh Groban, Santana, Natalie Cole, Nelly Furtado and Smokey Robinson, and been featured in numerous news features.
A 17-year-old international Filipina singer, Charice rose to popularity through YouTube and as a performer on the tribute album and television program, “Hitman: David Foster and Friends.”  She was featured during last year’s Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” tour and is one of the special guests touring with David Foster beginning in October.  Her U.S. debut album, which is being produced by Foster, will be released this fall under the Warner Bros. Record label.
In May, Brianna Kahane was named winner of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs State Final Competition for her violin solo.  Now in second grade, Brianna has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, NBC News and PBS Radio, among others.  In addition to being an accomplished violinist, she composes, improvises and harmonizes and is a talented dancer (ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop).
It will be a night to remember.  To arrange sponsorships for the Diamond Ball & Private Concert, reserve tables or seats, or for more information on becoming a Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation supporter, visit or contact Merlyn Marenco at 786.624.2038 or
Sponsors of the 2009 Diamond Ball & Private Concert include: AmericanAirlines, Comcast, Biltmore Hotel, Dan’s Video Creations, Gencom Group, Grupo Denim, Lamborghini America, MasTec, Mayors Jewelers, Neff Corp., Premier Beverage, Rene Ruiz Couture, TriPink Media, Seitlin Insurance, Macy’s, Shook Hardy & Bacon, Skanska, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, Turner Construction, Miami Children’s Hospital Pathologists and Neuro Network Partners.
Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation is a not-for profit 501 (C) (3) established to create a world-class pediatric hospital so no child need leave South Florida for superior medical care.  “Funding World-Class Care” and following the principle that all children deserve state-of-the-art pediatric care with no financial boundaries, the Foundation helped 289-bed Miami Children’s Hospital become a leader in pediatric healthcare with more than 40 subspecialties, the largest pediatric neurology center in the U.S., a top provider of cardiology and neonatology services, and a Research Institute conducting in excess of 150 clinical trials and protocols.
Miami Children’s Hospital is one of 170 pediatric hospitals in North America affiliated with Children’s Miracle Network and South Florida’s only freestanding Hospital dedicated exclusively to children.  To learn more about the Foundation and offer support, visit, or call 305-666-2889 (toll free: 1-800-987-8701).

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