Over 700 of South Florida’s hottest social notables, philanthropists and professionals showed off their dazzling denim while dancing the night away at the 5th Annual Fancy Jeans Party Sponsored by The Wasie Foundation and Presented by Premier Beverage on Saturday, February 23rd at Passion Nightclub at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Chaired by Jen Klaassens of The Wasie Foundation and produced by Events by Vento Designs, the fabulous sold-out Fancy Jeans Party raised $167,000 for the Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation (JJCCF). Karen Wichman was the most outstanding raffle volunteer– raising $8000 of the total. Proceeds from the event will benefit children fighting cancer in the South Florida tri-county area.
“A huge team effort orchestrated the outstanding Fancy Jeans Party results! Guests were wowed by the many unexpected surprises. South Florida families in crisis enduring pediatric cancer are the ultimate winners who will benefit from 100% of the proceeds. Relieving these families during their darkest moments provides all of us with priceless satisfaction and inner enrichment. Thank you to all of the volunteers, committee members, sponsors, guests, staff, and contributors; WE DID IT!!!” said Sandra Muvdi, Founder and President of the Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation.
The spectacular evening featured a surprise performance by 70’s and 80’s rap sensations, the Sugar Hill Gang. The group rocked the house as guests danced the night away while enjoying an open bar, courtesy of Premier Beverage, and tasty delights from Grille 401, Hard Rock Café, Rice & Dough, Roho Kitchen, LIME, Hooters and Wanda’s Sweet Breads. Party goers also shared in the joy as Grammy-winning Latin Pop Star Shakira appeared on the giant screens with a special dedication video to Melissa Gomez, the 2013 Fancy Jeans Child Honoree. Melissa is a 4 year old who is currently fighting leukemia. Her dream was to meet Shakira. Since Shakira could not appear live, the pop icon paid tribute to Melissa via a video from Barcelona. Melissa was also surprised with the granting of a second wish – a Disney Family Vacation Package.
The Florida Panthers Dancers greeted guests as they arrived and Stanley the Mascot caught everyone’s attention as one of the best dancers on the floor. Other highlights of the evening included a raffle of a brand new 2013 FIAT® won by Jack Chomey; a “Best Dressed” contest with ten creative finalists and winners Angela Salter and Terrance Smalley; and a fabulous silent auction which featured over 125 items including a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana Vacation Package; an Atlantis, Bahamas Vacation Package; Holland America Line and MSC Cruises; NYC Weekend Escape; Casa de Campo 3-Night Getaway; Hilton Hotel Cartagena Weekend Escape and a once-in-a-lifetime ride on the world famous Goodyear Blimp. The spectacular entertainment also included Hora Loca which brought together people from all walks of life dancing and singing with international carnival performers; and dazzling live silhouette dancing, stilt walkers and hanging aerial silk performers who kept guests in awe.
Although 2013 Fancy Jeans Child Honoree Melissa has struggled with leukemia since February 2012, she maintains a fun and positive attitude. Due to Melissa’s fragile medical circumstances and frequent hospitalizations, her mother had no choice but to give up working in order to become her fulltime caregiver. Her father works as a self-employed taxi driver who has earned very little income over the past year in an unstable market. During this dreadful time, JJCCF has provided emergency financial assistance to cover the family’s basic needs so they can focus on Melissa’s survival. JJCCF’s Financial Assistance and Advocacy Programs have been providing funding to cover payments for electricity, water, phone, car, groceries and gas gift cards.
The Fancy Jeans Party has been a major source of fundraising for the Emergency Financial Assistance Program, which directly assists children fighting cancer and their families with much needed financial support. Since inception, the Fancy Jeans Parties have raised over $552,000 to help these families meet their everyday basic human necessities, like food, shelter and medical treatments.
The event sponsors included The Wasie Foundation, Premier Beverage, Bacardi, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Passion Nightclub, Broward Health-Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Daoud’s Fine Jewelry, American Airlines, Florida Panthers Foundation, AutoNation, SIDES, BB&T, Ed Morse Bayview Cadillac & Ed Morse Sawgrass Cadillac, Miami Children’s Hospital, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Nature’s Products, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Dacha Storani, Ruben & Diana Minski, Broward Bank of Commerce, GMAIR, Tecnoglass, Alan G. Kipnis from Arnstein & Lehr LLP, Bloom, Gettis & Habib, P.A., Publix Super Markets, Inc, Lauderdale Marine Center, Eye on South Florida, Events by Vento Designs, KP Design & Photography. Food sponsors included Grille 401, Rice & Dough, Hard Rock Café, Roho Kitchen, LIME, Hooters and Wanda’s Sweet Breads.