Five Questions for Irene Korge & Bronwyn Miller
Duo to co-chair 2014 Miracle Makers luncheon
Judge Bronwyn Miller, Senator Gwen Margolis and Irene Korge at the Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon
SocialMiami sat down with Korge and Miller to learn a little bit more about these dynamic co-chairs.
Why is Big Brothers Big Sisters important to you both?
Big Brothers Big Sisters supports one-on-one mentoring relationships for at-risk children in our community. These relationships are proven to prevent juvenile delinquency, gang affiliation, and teenage pregnancy. Children enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters are much more likely to graduate from high school and grow into healthy, productive adults. The costs associated with mentoring a child is just a tiny fraction of the cost associated with incarcerating a child.
Irene, you have a home that is perfect for entertaining. What are some of the most memorable events you have had there?
Over the years I have been called upon to host innumerable political and social events, and I make every effort to ensure that each event is truly special. I have been extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to host many high profile individuals in my home, including two presidents, our current president Barack Obama, and former president William Jefferson Clinton. I have also enjoyed a variety of other guests, including spiritual leader Joel Osteen, and multiple designers who have made significant contributions to the fashion landscape.
Bronwyn, you are a judge in the criminal court system. We would assume that you sometimes have to deal with some rough individuals, yet in the social scene you display no signs of the seriousness of your job. How do you compartmentalize these two worlds?
In many ways, these two roles overlap. I feel absolutely privileged to have the opportunity to serve the community each day as a judge, but I strongly believe philanthropic involvement is essential to defining our future. My involvement in different causes enhances my perspective as a jurist and allows me to assist the parties in tailoring better resolutions to cases. For example, whenever I see homeless defendants, witnesses, and victims involved in court cases in my division, I am keenly aware of the holistic services available at Chapman Partnership. Whenever I see juvenile defendants sorely lacking in positive role models and a sense of community, I know that Big Brothers Big Sisters is there to fill that void. The work of Voices for Children is woven into the very tapestry of our criminal justice system. So, although I may display greater levity at philanthropic functions, I am always mindful of opportunities I may utilize to improve the lives of others through my professional role as a judge.
The two of you have been friends for many years and chair multiple events together. Tell us how you met and some of the more exciting things you have done together.
We met many years ago through our work in Big Brothers Big Sisters. Years ago, Irene was nominated as a Miracle Maker for her many outstanding philanthropic accomplishments in the community. Bronwyn served as a committed member of the board of the Women’s Committee at that time. We are both equally passionate about children’s issues and immediately became the best of friends, united in our cause to better the community.
In addition to BBBS, what are some of the other non-profits you support?
Irene serves on the board of the Humane Society and has been heavily involved in Chapman Partnership and Special Olympics. Bronwyn serves on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters and Chapman Partnership, and is on the gala committee for Voices for Children, and Fairchild Tropical Garden. Both Irene and Bronwyn serve on the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science gala committee, the Humane Society Pet Brunch host committee, and the Miami Children’s Hospital “Wine, Women, and Shoes” host committee. Each year, Irene and Bronwyn chair the Big Brother Big Sisters “Miracle Makers Luncheon and Fashion Show” and Chapman Partnership’s “Womenade Take a Walk in Her Shoes Vintage Fashion Show.”