The Children’s Trust Champions for Children


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James R. Haj, Com. Daniella Levine Cava, Marissa Joy Leichter, Manoucheka Thermitus, Lily de Moya, Laurie Weiss Nuell, and Rodester Brandon James R. Haj, Com. Daniella Levine Cava, Marissa Joy Leichter, Manoucheka Thermitus, Lily de Moya, Laurie Weiss Nuell, and Rodester Brandon

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For immeasurably improving quality of life for thousands of children around the world, Michael Duchowny, M.D., of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, a global leader in the fight against childhood epilepsy, received The Children’s Trust David Lawrence Jr. Champion for Children Award at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Much like Hollywood’s star-studded Oscars, The Children’s Trust Champions for Children is a highly anticipated annual event for Miami-Dade’s growing community of child and family advocates. Individuals and programs that have reached the highest levels of excellence and achievement are honored as community partners and the families they’ve helped celebrate their collective triumphs, and inspire others to follow in their paths.

This year’s event was held for the first time in the Arsht’s Knight Concert Hall and featured docu-style videos about each award recipient. Also included were spectacular performances from participants in the Actors’ Playhouse Young Talent Big Dreams Talent Search. The audience was amazed by the young vocalists, like Carolina Rivero, and dancer Dymon Smith, among the other entertainers. Spoken word artist Tatyana Penn’s powerful piece entitled “The Truth About Our Youth,” and 10-year old Brandon Goldberg’s gifted piano skills, preceded standing ovations. A live, multimedia tribute to the dozens of Miami-Dade youth lost to gun violence, marked by a raise-the-roof rendition of “Seasons of Love” from the Tony award-winning musical Rent by Area Stage Company and the appearance of some of the victims’ mothers, was a moving highlight of the evening.

Also for the first time since its inception, the event offered free general admission seating, thanks to the generous sponsorship of businesses including City National Bank, TD Bank, Baptist Health South Florida, Citrus Health Network, Florida Blue, JP Morgan Chase, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, Publix Charities and United Way of Miami-Dade, among others.

Photos by Gregory Reed


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