Founder, Baller Dream Foundation
When Frank DeBlasi was diagnosed with cancer at 29, he promised himself that if he made it through his battle, he would pay forward the support he received by lifting the spirits of kids and young adults facing a cancer diagnosis. Luckily, he survived to do just that—and the Baller Dream Foundation (BDF), based out of Scottsdale, was born.
BDF supports pediatric and young adult cancer warriors, ages 0 to 29, through treatment, remission, and beyond. Operating in six states, the nonprofit is home to four main programs—major gifting, in-hospital programming, community/peer-to-peer events, and financial support—that create custom support that benefits each individual when and where it is most needed.
“I’m a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch during the day and a philanthropist by night,” DeBlasi shares about his work. “I have a never-ending passion for making a difference.
“We refer to our cancer-fighting warriors as ‘ballers’ instead of ‘patients.' Our ballers are strong, resilient, and courageous individuals. They are at the heart of everything we do.”
To raise funds for BDF, the nonprofit is hosting its annual Dinner of Dreams fundraiser gala on Nov. 3.
Magical entertainment provider
As a child, Michael Paul was fascinated by magician David Copperfield—he recorded his show and watched it every day after school.
“David Copperfield said to go to the local library to learn more about magic, which I did, and I got really hooked,” he says. “You know how kids often get a magic set as a gift, then the fascination passes? Mine stuck with me.”
Fast-forward to today, and his career has now spanned more than two decades. His act has been featured off-Broadway in New York City and at the world-famous Magic Castle in Los Angeles. More than just a magic show, Paul describes what he does as a blend of high-quality, interactive magic, fire eating, event hosting, mind reading, and more.
“I love what I do because it’s the most genuine person-to-person interaction you can have in live entertainment,” he shares. “I got my nickname Mike the Trickster while on tour in Jamaica, and it fits perfectly because my show is so much more than what people think of as magic.”
A Scottsdale resident, he’s available for everything from private events to public performances and can be found on Sundays at The Hot Chick in Scottsdale from 3-5 p.m.
A natural-born entrepreneur, Allen Goldman founded Skindinavia in 2005 after being inspired to assist women with a common but vulnerable dilemma—helping them to keep their makeup from fading and cracking in extreme temperatures.
“We [Skindinavia] are best known for our makeup finishing sprays,” Goldman explains. “These are lightweight mists that hold makeup in place for up to 16 hours. It’s helpful in the Arizona heat. We are the global leader in the category, with a bottle selling once every 10 seconds.”
What makes Skindinavia stand out? Goldman says it’s their patented cooling technology that dramatically slows down makeup from degrading.
“That’s the secret sauce,” he adds.
An industry leader, Goldman shares that major brands like L’Oréal and Urban Decay license their technology for their products.
“We have partnered with Urban Decay since 2010, and the relationship has been amazing,” he says. “You can still see the products in Sephora and Ulta today.”
And while his company’s reach is global, Goldman says he loves having Arizona be his home base. “I relocated here from Boston in 2014, and I love it.”