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Locust Projects has selected 26 South Florida high school students to participate in its 2014 LAB (Locust Arts Builders) Program. It's the 5th year of LAB, and the students selected from an open call will have the opportunity to create a collaborative exhibition at Locust Projects’ gallery in the Miami Design District. Under the direction of contemporary visual artists Monica Lopez de Victoria of the TM Sisters and Loriel Beltran, students manage all aspects of the project's production during a three week summer intensive. Students also visit art institutions on guided field trips and interact with members of the local art community during visits to the Locust Projects gallery. The exhibition project culminates with an opening reception where the students’ family and friends are invited to celebrate and mingle with Miami’s art community on Second Saturday Art Walk in July.
The all new Lotus House Thrift Chic Boutique & Job Training Center opened in the Wynwood Art District at 2040 N.W. 7th Avenue. The new location will also serve as the donations center for Lotus House, a unique center that serves disadvantaged and homeless women and children. The center provides support as it empowers women and youth to achieve self-sufficiency. The Boutique specializes in like new and gently used clothing, furnishings and collectibles. Open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 305-576-4112 to learn more. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law.
South Floridians in support of ending hunger celebrated together at Feeding South Florida™’s first Ultimate Hunger Champion Awards Gala held at Conrad Miami. In addition to bringing awareness to local hunger issues, the gala honored participants of the Hunger Games, FSF’s series of competitive events between corporations, which launched in January. Sport celebrities, MMA star Will Brooks and WNBA’s Ruth Riley spoke at the gala, bringing guests to tears with heartfelt stories of their youth. Ascendo Resources won the Hunger Games competition and became this year’s Ultimate Hunger Champion.
Yet another new zoo baby born at Zoo Miami was a male Somali wild ass, representing the world’s most critically endangered asses with less than 1,000 believed to still exist in the wild. It is the last remaining ancestor of the modern donkey. They are the smallest of the wild equids and are found in rocky deserts in very isolated areas of Eastern Africa.
Zoo Miami also welcomed the birth of a male white-faced saki monkey. This is the first birth of this species of Tropical American monkey for Zoo Miami. Found in the rainforest trees of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela, these fruit eating monkeys rarely come to the ground and are considered vulnerable due to habitat destruction and hunting for food and the pet trade. Unfortunately, the first-time mother rejected the offspring so it is now being hand raised by zoo staff.
Zoo Miami celebrated its 13th successful birth for the highly endangered black rhinoceros. Weighing 122 pounds, the female calf was born after a 15-month gestation period. The 14 year old mother, named Circe, was born at the Riverbanks Zoo, and the father, named Eddie, is also 14 years old and was born at the Cincinnati Zoo. Black rhinos are highly endangered as they continue to be killed foe their horns in Eastern and Southern Africa. Whereas there used to be over 100,000 running wild in Africa within the past century, those numbers are now down to an estimated 5,000.
United HomeCare® (UHC), South Florida’s leading non-profit home and community-based care organization honored Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq. (pictured) with the 2014 Claude Pepper Memorial Community Advocacy Award. The award recognizes exceptional contributions to the welfare of elderly and disabled adults in the community and was presented at their annual dinner, at Jungle Island. The theme of this year’s event – 40 Years and Beyond – commemorated United HomeCare’s 40-year history of improving the lives of thousands of Miami-Dade County elderly and disabled residents.
The Miami Children's Health Foundation hosted its first prom, providing an amazing gala evening for approximately 75 teen patients and their guests. Supported by a generous donation from the Carlin family and a host of volunteers, hospitalized teens celebrated this rite of passage like teenagers, not patients. Pampering and makeovers provided by Paul Mitchell and Mary Kay stylists helped the teens get ready for their big night. The Mad Hatter-themed prom delivered a true prom experience for the young patients as their parents enjoyed a dinner where they were be able to watch exciting prom arrivals via live stream. Pictured: Diana J. Franco and best friend Cassie Ramirez.
The Southern Florida and Puerto Rico Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) announced the winners of its 2014 Fort Lauderdale Man and Woman of the Year at a gala event held recently at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. The 10-week fundraising campaign, which culminates each year in the crowning of the Man and Woman of the Year, raised a total of $660,509. Tony Sanchez, President of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, was crowned the Fort Lauderdale Man of the Year, and Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners, was crowned the Fort Lauderdale Woman of the Year. Each of the candidates raised funds in honor of the 2014 Fort Lauderdale Boy and Girl of the Year – Josh Pita and Alexandra Orzech. Pictured: Josh Pita, Michelle Fee and Alexandra Orzech holding a photo of Tony Sanchez.
More than 150 teachers, parents and students attended the 12th Annual Fairchild Challenge Awards Ceremony for high school students. Currently, 273 schools and about 125,000 students in South Florida from K through 12th grade participate in the Fairchild Challenge, the award-winning multidisciplinary educational program and competition created by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. At the event two high school students each received a $5,000 college scholarship from the Lewis Vaughn Memorial Scholarship. The criteria includes majoring in either biology, environmental science or ecology and being accepted at either F.I.U. or UM. The winners were 12th graders Catalina Avila (Miami Northwestern High) and Nicolas Rivers (Hialeah Miami Lakes High), pictured.
A total of 9 students were awarded 6-week paid summer internships at Fairchild Garden from Miami Palmetto, Mater Academy, Mast Academy, Booker T. Washington, Terra, Miami Northwestern, Miami Killian, andCoral Reef Senior High School.