It’s Gala Season in the Magic City

Stephanie Trump posing at I Have a Dream Gala in Miami, Florida

In the city where summer never ends, one of Miami’s most anticipated seasons is quickly heating up.

Over the next three months, the Magic City will play host to an array of luxury events benefitting worthy local causes — from education to preserving historic landmarks in the area. The unofficial, yet traditional, gala season welcomes the who’s who of the city’s most elite residents and visitors for a series of glamorous philanthropic endeavors, including the 23rd Annual I Have a Dream Foundation Gala put on by Acqualina Resort & Spa.

Since its inception in New York in 1981, the I Have a Dream Foundation (IHAD) has created educational opportunities and support systems to improve the lives of students from underprivileged communities nationwide. Today, the organization operates out of 200 affiliates across 30 cities in the United States, providing more than 18,000 at-risk kids (otherwise known as Dreamers) with the skills, knowledge, and habits to succeed in school.

I Have a Dream Miami Dreamers sit in a classroom in Miami, Florida

Started in 1995 by Acqualina’s own Stephanie Trump and the Trump family, the Miami-Dade chapter of IHAD focuses on empowering youth who reside in local low-income neighborhoods. In its first operating year, the chapter adopted an entire second-grade class of 97 Dreamers from Charles R. Drew School, providing them with continual support and resources to pursue their ambitions. With the help of the IHAD Foundation of Miami, 83 of these students completed high school in 2005, and 54 of them later earned a college degree.

In an area where less than 25 percent of initial enrollees typically graduate high school, the results have been wildly encouraging for Trump and her team. In 2007, they adopted a new class of 97 Dreamers from Hibiscus Elementary, the majority of whom are slated to graduate high school as the class of 2020.

Because part of IHAD Miami’s program guarantees their sponsored high school graduates with paid academic tuition for a two- or four-year degree at a Florida university or accredited trade school, it provides a worthy and attainable path for Dreamers to transcend a cycle in which the average community member’s income hovers around $14,000 per year. On average, college graduates earn an additional $1 million during their lifetimes compared to those without a degree.

I Have A Dream Miami Dreamers singing at gala in Miami, Florida

As the organization’s largest philanthropic event of the year, the IHAD Gala raises funds for their current sponsored class’s private tutoring and summer schooling, as well as for coordinating college campus visits in order to create all the necessary bridges for a bright future. For participating students, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a life of success. For charitable contributors, it’s a worthy way to give back to the community in which they live, work, and play.

Held every November, the fundraiser has become so popular that it has outgrown Acqualina’s event space and is now hosted at Turnberry Isle Resort in Aventura — just two-and-a-half miles from Sunny Isles Beach. Last year, its 700 guests raised more than $650,000 for the Dreamers, many of whom were in attendance as the evening’s guests of honor.

The 23rd Annual IHAD Gala will be held Thursday, November 15 at 6:30 pm, commencing with a cocktail reception and silent auction. The evening will continue with dinner, music, and a live auction featuring a New York vacation complete with US Open tickets, as well as a nine-night trip to France, with all raised funds benefitting the I Have a Dream Foundation Miami Dreamers.


For sponsorship package information or to become a supporter of the IHAD Gala, call 305-937-7834, contact Stephanie Trump, or click here.