Coral Gables Community Foundation Announces Gala Honorees For ‘The Road to Rio: A Gala from Ipanema’

Ibarguen, Berg, Schulte, Eroncig, Arriola, Pernetti, Mourning and Plaza to be honored

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (September 15, 2022) – On Friday evening, October 21st, Coral Gables will once again host the Coral Gables Biltmore Ball benefiting the Coral Gables Community Foundation and honoring individuals, families and organizations from Coral Gables, with a tropical toast celebrating their Amazonian deeds.

‘The Road to Rio: A Gala from Ipanema,’ is the Foundation’s most important annual fundraiser, supported this year by Presenting Sponsors Trish and Dan Bell. The Foundation’s time-honored gala has been transformed into a Brazilian themed entertainment and fine dining experience in support of the Coral Gables Community Foundation.

This year, the Foundation pays tribute to deserving pillars of the Coral Gables community: Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen for the Legacy Award, the Foundation’s highest accolade; Katie & Eddy Arriola will be recognized with the Community Award; UM Frost Music School Dean Shelly Berg will take home the Education Award presented by Trish and Dan Bell; Alonzo Mourning will be honored with the Sports & Wellness Award presented by Doctors Hospital and Baptist Health Orthopedic Care; Joanne Schulte will receive the Arts & Culture Award presented by Knight Foundation; Bobi & Jim Eroncig will receive this year’s Philanthropy Award; the  Community Award will be presented to Katie & Eddy Arriola; the beloved Nino Pernetti, is the recipient of the Gables Beautiful Award presented by Ray Corral and Mosaicist, and The Plaza will receive the Landmark Award.

Proven event co-chairs:  Coral Gables Community Foundation board member Sissy DeMaria Koehne, who has chaired the annual fundraiser for the past eight years, once again partners with Lauren Harrison Brown to present an unprecedented evening from the rainforests to the beaches of Brazil.

“Last year’s at-home dining experience, ‘Opa! A Gables Odyssey’ rallied all of Coral Gables and set the precedent for how non-profits can successfully pivot during a pandemic. We safely and successfully raised nearly $500,000,” said Co-Chair Sissy DeMaria-Koehne. “This year we once again honor Coral Gables’ finest and look forward to inspiring our guests to costume up for an epic and intimate culinary journey to the land of Brazil.”

“This is our most important fundraiser of the year. We are ecstatic to be returning to an in-person celebration after two years of at-home festivities,” said Mary Snow, President & CEO of the Coral Gables Community Foundation. “We’re excited to share the beautiful culture of Brazil with our community, and as always, it is a privilege to honor those leaders who every day carry the torch for Coral Gables.”

This year’s sponsors to date include: Trish and Dan Bell, Baptist Health Orthopedic Care/Doctors Hospital, Knight Foundation, Bacardi, Bobi and Jim Eroncig, The Mneimneh Family Foundation, Apollo Bank, Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables,  Miguel “Mike” and Constance Fernandez, 719 Biltmore Residences and JQ Group, Cultivate PR, Coral Gables Magazine, WLRN, Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald, The Biltmore Hotel , University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Amerant Bank, the Consulate of Brazil, and the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce.

‘A Road to Rio’ will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 21st at The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables. Attire is tropical formal chic. Individual tickets are $750 and tables start at $7,000. For more information on sponsoring the event or becoming a host, please contact President & CEO Mary Snow at 305.446.9670 or email


Led by community leaders, the Coral Gables Community Foundation works to improve the quality of life for those who live, work, learn and play in The City Beautiful. For over 30 years, the Foundation has been at the forefront of the evolving needs of Coral Gables by effectively bringing together beneficiaries and benefactors to fund programs with the greatest impact and benefit to “The City Beautiful.”

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For more information or for media resources and interviews, please contact Marketing and Program Manager Robertson Adams, via or 305-446-9670.