Point of View

February 18, 2010, 3:59 pm
Filed under: Adrienne Arsht

What do Queen Elizabeth II, Martha Stewart, Michelle Obama and Adrienne Arsht have in common? As of Jan. 25, when the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation and Board of Trustees surprised its visionary benefactor with a unique thank you gift, all four powerful women have orchids named for them.

(L-R) President John Richard, Adrienne Arsht with her named orchid, Board Chairman Ricky Arriola

At the 7 p.m. cocktail reception at Prelude by Barton G, Adrienne Arsht Center CEO John Richard presented Ms. Arsht with a new orchid hybrid, which will be registered with the Royal Horticultural Society in England. The occasion marked Arsht’s final $10 million payment on her historic $30 million gift to the Center. Once confirmed by the Society, the orchid will be named the “BC Adrienne Arsht.”

With the extraordinary moment also happening close to Ms. Arsht’s birthday, the philanthropist was also surprised with a giant birthday cake decorated with orchids.

More than 100 close friends and colleagues came to the gathering, including Armando and Margarita Codina, Judy and Woody Weiser, Miami Herald publisher David Landsberg, Miami-Dade Commissioners Rebecca Sosa and Katy Sorenson, Adrienne Arsht Center CEO John Richard, Adrienne Arsht Center Trust Chairman Ricky Arriola and Trust Board Member Sergio Gonzalez of the University of Miami.

(L-R) John Richard, Jorge Plasencia, Commisioner Sosa, Adrienne Arsht, Commisioner Sorenson, Ricky Arriola

Adrienne Arsht’s $30 million donation in January 2008 altered the course of Miami’s cultural landscape, securing the Center’s financial footing and ensuring the quality of cultural programming now and for future generations.  With the completion of her gift, she hopes that others will be inspired to pick up the mantle of giving and volunteering.

In a special recognition declaration from the Performing Arts Center Trust’s Board of Directors, Ms. Arsht was commended for her extraordinary leadership and unstoppable passion. “It is not only the Adrienne Arsht Center which celebrates her, but all Miamians whose reality she has helped transform for the better,” said Arriola.

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