Name: Lora Drasner
Residence: Four Seasons Hotel, Miami
Nominated for: Miami City Ballet; MiamiCityBallet.org

How can we help? The Miami City Ballet is approaching its 25th Anniversary; Edward Villella is such a visionary and inspiration and now the Miami City Ballet is one of the top dance companies in the country and strives to be the best. I would like everyone to see the Miami City Ballet perform!

Other causes: The Motivational Edge; The Buoniconti Fund; Women of Tomorrow; Literacy Partners. Criteria for selecting causes: I look for charities where I feel I can contribute something intellectually as well as financially.

Why is giving back so important to you? My mother was always involved with charities while I was growing up so it was instilled in me at a young age to help others.

What’s the hardest part of philanthropy? There are so many worthwhile organizations, the hardest part is deciding which charities to become involved with and making sure your time and effort make the most impact.

The most rewarding? Seeing a smile on someone’s face and knowing that you’ve made a difference in their life. Most moving experience helping others: Last year my husband and I sponsored Miami City Ballet to dance at City Center in New York City. The reviews were incredible and this really put Miami City Ballet on the map. They are now being asked to perform all over the country and the world. Next year they’ll be performing in France, Italy and throughout the U.S.

How has philanthropy changed you? Philanthropy is a way to give something back, to quote the Dali Lama: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion; if you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Philanthropic goal for 2010: To enable the Motivational Edge to help more children. This is a young charity that enables under-privileged children to have music lessons. This can literally change a child’s life and future. There’s so much talent out there and sometimes a child just needs to be given a chance.

Personal goal for 2010: This summer, I’m performing at Carnegie Hall. I’ll be playing the piano. This is my first concert so my goal is to play Rachmaninoff and Debussy “note-perfect”— and have fun doing it!