The charity arm of the Miami Heat basketball organization raised more than a million dollars recently for charity. The team’s Charitable Fund took in $1,262,500 from its benefit event, “An Intimate Encore Evening with your Miami HEAT,” presented by Hublot Watches, held on Jan. 20.
Some 200 guests paid $20,000 per couple to attend the fundraiser held at the Gables Estate home of Heat President Pat Riley and his wife Chris that featured a performance by Grammy Award-winner Michael McDonald.
Team owner Micky Arison, his wife, Madeleine, Heat players and coaches and New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez were among the attendees.
“I just think it’s a wonderful opportunity to get closer to our partners and season ticket holders and to show them just how much we care about the charities that we support,” Riley said in a statement released by the Heat. “We had great feedback from them the last time we hosted an event here. it sold out and we had a lot of fun.”
McDonald, a longtime friend of the Rileys, sang a variety of Motown classics and Heat player Juwan Howard’s wife, Jenine, joined him on stage to sing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.
Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot Watches, presented Riley with a one-of-a-kind time piece worth more than $50,000, according to a team statement.
“The work of the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund is extremely important to the South Florida community and we are glad that Hublot can contribute to their tireless efforts,” Biver said in the statement.
The fund was started in 1997 and comprises players, coaches, wives and staff. The Main beneficiaries are the Jackson Memorial Foundation’s Guardian Angels organization which supports the Holtz Center for seriously ill children; SafeSpace, a domestic violence shelter for women and their children; the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community, a broadly based community organization committed to reducing the problems of drug abuse and addiction; and Home Strong, which provides aid, supports, and honors members of the U.S. military.