On November 18th, over 800 people turned out for one of the season’s most talked-about events, the Annual Best Buddies Gala at the Ice Palace Studios in Wynwood. Last year’s star-studded gala was named the best out of 100 in the benefit gala category by Bizbash, and this year’s event was just as successful, raising an impressive $2.5 million for Best Buddies International.

The “Rock Legends” theme celebrated Best Buddies’ influential supporters and the valuable contributions they make to advance the non-profit’s mission for individuals with IDD. The theme lent itself to creative menu options and conceptual design. The dessert, “Elton’s Piano,” was a big hit, featuring a plate bearing the Rolling Stones logo and a chocolate piano with a Union Jack lid. 

Cocktail hour in the auction hall featured live performances by Prince and Michael Jackson impersonators and a Guns ‘n Roses cover band, followed by a 3 course sit down dinner and the headliner show with KESHA.

The guest list included notable Miami residents and international celebrities including Kate Flannery, Nolan Gould, Crystle Stewart, Verne Troyer, Sean Marquette and Best Buddies global ambassador, Romero Britto. Miss USA 2016, Miss Teen USA 2016 and Miss Florida USA 2017 were also in attendance.

Silent and live auctions raised over $1 million. Exclusive items for auction included, amongst other things, a custom made EVO Bicycle, a limited edition Hublot watch, a custom portrait by Pop-Artist, Romero Britto, surf lessons with actor and Best Buddies ambassador, Rob Lowe, a luxurious Aspen getaway and a meet and greet with Elton John.

Live performance by pop-star, Kesha.