Q: You’re in your third term as chairman of the board of the Humane Society of Greater Miami. How did you get involved?
A: My husband, Milton, and I have been involved in cat and dog rescues for many years. Our home has always been filled with a wonderful menagerie, including the five dogs and three cats we have today. The rewards of caring for and providing loving homes to abandoned animals are innumerable, and the love received in return is truly unconditional. There are countless abandoned and homeless animals that need to find loving forever homes. They can’t speak for themselves, so we are committed to being their voice.
Q: You also serve as chair of Pawpurrazzi. Tell us about it.
A: You are guaranteed to leave Pawpurrazzi with a huge smile on your face! More than 500 luminaries and their four-legged friends come together for an evening of great entertainment, great food and fun activities for both dogs and their owners. The highlight is “Great Pets Who Walk in Front of Great People” — an amazing runway show of pet-loving philanthropists from our community.
Q: What inspired you to create the donor recognition club Golden Angels of Jackson Memorial Foundation?
A: We can’t be a world-class city without a world-class hospital. I was determined to raise money so that Jackson Memorial Medical Center could keep giving the best possible care to people in need. So the Golden Angels was founded in my living room. The organization has raised an incredible amount of money. I am a member of the board of directors of the Jackson Memorial Foundation, and was chairman for two years. I created the Rainmaker Award, which is presented to people who have made an enormous impact at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center. UM means a lot to me since I graduated from there, as did my father, my husband, my sister and my son.
Q: What other charities have you supported?
A: Among others, my love for art and culture is reflected in my commitment to Wolfsonian-FIU as a member of the board of directors. I am a member of the Tiffany Circle of the Red Cross and have received the American Red Cross Spectrum’s Philanthropy Award, among other philanthropic awards. I was honored as one of The Buoniconti Fund’s “Women of Substance and Style” for Destination Fashion 2012 and received the St. Jude’s Honors Women Award.
Q: Why is giving back important to you?
A: When you are fortunate in life, giving back is the right thing to do. This was instilled in me by my mother and father, who were generous philanthropists..
Q: What would people be surprised to know about you?
A: After traveling the world, Miami is the place I love the most. I love being part of such a wonderful community and am thrilled to be able to make a difference here.
1. Place to visit? I love all of Miami – the culture, the arts, great restaurants. In the end, my very favorite place is my home: the view, the tranquility and the peace.
2. Place to take your dogs? I love to take them to outdoor restaurants where they each sit in their own chair at the table, behaving like perfect angels.
3. Restaurant? I have several; among them are Swine, Abbracci, Joe’s Stone Crab, Il Gabianna.
EVENT INFO: Pawpurrazzi 2014, presented by South Motors, will benefit the Humane Society of Greater Miami. This annual fundraiser supports the care, medical treatment and shelter of more than 300 animals on a daily basis. The event will be held Friday, Jan. 24, at Jungle Island in Miami. For more information, contact Laurie Hoffman at 305.749.1815 or firstname.lastname@example.org.