Hernan Valverde,
Brown-Foreman regional
director said " We are proud to
be donating all the liquor for
tonights event.  Yes Institute is
a great organization and
Johnathan Lewis is extremely
generous in underwriting all
other expenses.  

20 VIP guests dined on
lobster and other
delicacies at a table
adorned with live
tropical fish & rare
flowers, designed by
Miami's Flower Bar,  set
in a private room just
before the main event,
paying $10,000 per
plate.  Total benefit for
YES for the evenings
event were estimated to
be over
$ 200,000.
www.ambiente.us  DECEMBER | DICIEMBRE 2009

Magical evening under the Stars | Carlos Vives performs
private concert for Yes Institute fund raiser event
by Herb Sosa

n a setting nothing short of a magical, local entrepreneur & longtime sponsor of
Miami's YES Institute, Jonathan Lewis opened his home & compound for a very special
private performance by three time Grammy winner Carlos Vives.

Located just south of downtown Coconut Grove, down a long and private tree-lined
street - past the guardhouse, dozens of staff & valet - you enter a collection of homes
that Lewis and his family have transformed into an adult bay front oasis anchored by a
massive & impeccably maintained 100 year old banyan tree.  Guests wandered
through the perfectly landscaped grounds, down winding paths of coral stone slabs,
past pool after pool, waterfalls, rolling hills and private settings intended to offer peace,
beauty and an appreciation for South Florida living.

A $500 donation allowed a select & private group of guests to eat, drink and dance the
night away and enjoy a two hour concert by Colombian superstar, Carlos Vives.  Yes
Institutes new executive director Rachel Sottile
was joined on stage by Eva Leivas-Andino Director -Finance & Development and gave
a moving speech on the work of YES Institute and why this generous donation by lewis
and all who attended will help to extend the mission and work of YES.
When asked why the work
of YES Institute is so
important, Alex Rodriguez, a
longtime supporter of YES
said "Luckily I had a strong
support system  in my
friends, family & Yes
Institute when I was
growing up.    Many kids
don't have that support,
which is why this cause is
so important to me,
because for every
Alex that
made it, there are countless
other ones  in our own
community that did not."

Jonathan Lewis,
entrepreneur,political activist
& scion of the
Cleveland-based Progressive
Insurance fortune,  pledged  
$500,000 in 2008 to defeat
Proposition 8 if the
entertainment industry did the
same.   Lewis is the son of
Peter Lewis, one of the
founders of Progressive Auto


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Conceived in 1996, the YES  Institute  has grown from a
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in the country but in the world  that addresses suicide
prevention and harassment for gay and lesbian youth ,  
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