Michael Capponi, Michael Gongora & Haitian student Kesney Philippe at Island Gardens, Super Yacht Marina, Miami, Florida
It’s a refreshing change to see nightlife impresario, Michael Capponi (founder of GEM) and his multitude of followers come together for a good cause. Not only did the scenesters and society folks show up in droves for a beautiful night under the stars, but many have contributed time and resources to help those in need over the past several years through the united effort of Global Empowerment Mission.
The gala was an opportunity to publicly thank all of these “Do Gooders”. Awards were presented and speeches were heartfelt. Yes, there was the requisite, DJ, live entertainment, good food and drink generously donated by sponsors plus auction items on display to raise funds for GEM. Plus, Mother Nature cooperated with a gorgeous evening under the Miami moon.
Soon after the GEM Gala, Mother Nature was not so kind. Ironically the hurricane-force storm hitting the Florida Panhandle later in the week was named after GEM founder, Michael. Once again, Michael Capponi is ramping up his resources to help those in need in this area hit by hurricane Michael.
The past efforts of GEM are impressive. They have been there for victims of Hurricane Irma, Maria & Florence, Haiti Earthquake, Guatemala & Hawaii Volcano among others. In 2017 and 2018 alone, Global Empowerment Mission sent 55 planes and 106 containers of Aid to victims in Caribbean countries. Since 2010 they have done 83 missions to Haiti. The list goes and on and is never-ending.
The best part is that the monetary donations to Global Empowerment Mission really go to the causes.
GEM has almost no overhead and puts the money where it’s needed directly supporting the victims.
GEM founder, Michael Capponi believes in recognition:
“It was incredibly important to the GEM board to recognize the individuals who put their hearts, blood, and sweat into serving humanity in these latest tragedies. Our planet is going through massive changes. Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Volcano Eruptions, Earthquakes, and Wildfires are rapidly increasing in frequency. Our main objective with this event was to honor these people’s efforts. GEM and Third Wave Volunteers need to be fully prepared with an army of resources, supporters, funding, and volunteers. Bethenny Frankel and these honorees have been instrumental in all of this. Our main objective is to create a movement where giving and serving those in need becomes the new norm. This is what it’s really all about, helping to raise the level of consciousness and empathy towards other beings.”
None of this would have been possible without the people and companies who have helped Global Empowerment Mission since its inception and thus, GEM decided to honor them at their annual gala fundraiser. Honorees included: Reality TV show personality and Skinny Girl founder, Bethenny Frankel; Puerto Rican Actor, Carlos Ponce; American Singer/Songwriter, Jencarlos Canela; Miami Dolphins Linebacker, Kiko Alonso; Carlos and Maria Lopez-Lay Yonomequito; Dr. Allison Thompson with Third Wave Volunteers.
Other honorees of the night included: United Badges of honor, Lourdes Sanchez-Breton and her fire and rescue teams; Kabballah Center, Chabad Puerto Rico, Captain Timothy Forderer of YachtAid Global; Resolve Marine Group; Lorin Jacobson from F3 International; Ingrid Hoffman, Menudo Band, Mangos owner, David Wallack; Moishe Mana founder of Mana Wynwood; Tony Cho and Bob Zangrillo of Magic City.
Individual honorees were: Kesny Philippe, Student of the year; Osaldo Rios-Alonso, Luis Velasquez, Randy Ross, Gabriel Rosario, Al Magdaleno, Albert Gomez, Eve Limo Green, Violet Camacho, Omar Rosario, Kimberly Bentley, Sandra Kasraie Glasgow, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Kristy Picornell, Danoushka Capponi, Christopher Comins, Miss Florida, Genesis Davila; Daniella Salazar, Laura Allen, Antonio Misuraca, Masonic Lodge, Aurora Lodge #7, Ponce Puerto Rico, Phi Sigma Alpha, The Alejandro Rene Perez Family, Maryset Muniz, Juan Padro, Stephanie Zehno, Sue Cushman, Jeremiah Regan, Sam Van Leer, Andrew Aponick, Anita MonCrief, Jody Olson, Crystal Lee, Yamy Soroa, Allison McCoin, Albert Zoila, Silvio Frank Pupo, Perfect Heart, President of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, Luis De La Rosa and Karla Dascal from Sacred Space in Miami.
The event also benefited Third Wave Volunteers, GEM’s main partner, founder Dr. Allison Thompson.
Finally, after culminating a nineteen (19) year relationship with City of Miami Beach, founder of Global Empowerment Mission, Michael Capponi, was awarded the highest honor – a Key to the City from City Commissioner, Michael C. Gongora and Mayor Gelber.
This event was produced by: Platinum Citizen Group and made possible by the following sponsors: Haute Living, Staff Squad, Limitless Productions, AFR Furniture, Radiance Productions, Inlist, CH Creations, Staff Squad, AFR Rentals, The Lounge Design, Alacran, Flamingo Vodka, Aaron’s Catering, Mr. Trophy, Impress Media DC, Ron Abuelo, The Chic Selection, The Mondrian South Beach, SOBELIFT, Sweat 440, Markowicz Gallery, Romero Britto Gallery and Island Gardens Yacht Resort.
About Global Empowerment Mission: Is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Michael Capponi in 2011. GEM was created in order to empower people struck with tragedy by providing emergency aid, food, housing, quality education, job creation in developing countries in order to have a self-sufficient and sustainable economy, ultimately eliminating their dependency on foreign aid.
Photos: https://lw17x.zenfolio.com/gem-gala-2018 (Photos compliments of Tomas Loewy)