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This year Alonzo Mourning Charities (AMC) celebrated the high school graduation of 11 Overtown Youth Center1 (OYC) seniors at Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse in Miami Beach. Surrounded by OYC and AMC staff, family, and supporters, these students are poised to become contributing citizens and follow a constructive life path. They overcame insurmountable obstacles (economics, violence, and low high school graduation rates) and defied the odds by graduating and continuing their educational journeys in college, Job Corps or the U.S. Air Force. Each graduate received a trunk filled with school supplies and necessities, as well as a laptop and a $5000 scholarship from Alonzo and Tracy Mourning (pictured with the new graduates).
Visitors to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden will tour the gardens in style aboard Fairchild’s new trams. Thanks to a very successful fundraising campaign, the garden’s new transportation is eco-friendly and beautiful too. Visit soon and experience the ride for yourself.
Maria R. Millares, president of Feeding South Florida’s Board of Directors, was recognized by AARP and Telemundo with the Lideres de Esperanza (Leaders of Hope) Award, a community initiative that recognizes the dedication of Hispanic community leaders who are involved with fighting hunger. The Leaders of Hope Award was given to one leader in each of four cities – L.A., New York, Miami and San Antonio. Winners received $2,500 to donate to the organization of their choice and a trip to Los Angeles for the awards luncheon. Ms. Millares donated her prize to Feeding South Florida.
Connect in Style Event Ambassadors John Benz, Kip Hunter, Joey Epstein and Jen Klaassens (pictured) hosted a Club 211 event at Neiman Marcus Fort Lauderdale sponsored by Corporate Insurance Advisors (CIA) and its CEO Mark Schwartz. A notable group of community leaders and professionals connected in style while enjoying delectable tastings from East City Grill, Tokyo Blue, Truluck’s and The Capital Grille, with Castillo de Molina Wine courtesy of Southern Wine & Spirits. Club 211 supports 2-1-1 Broward, a 24-hour comprehensive helpline for individuals seeking crisis intervention, emotional support and referrals to health and human services.
Members of the Young Patronesses of the Opera (YPO) celebrated a year of achievement and toasted new beginnings at a luncheon held at the Riviera Country Club. Founded in 1956, YPO supports the Florida Grand Opera and brings opera education and professional children’s opera performances to more than 35,000 elementary school students annually. The new officers were introduced (pictured): Financial Secretary Deborah Marks; Treasurer Patricia Mederos; Corresponding Secretary Maria Nicklaus; Recording Secretary Debbie Hasty; Vice President Kristin Podack and President Rebecca Spinale. Outgoing President Lee Ann Schaffhausen presented FGO’s CEO Bob Heuer with a check for $60,000 to support education and Young Artists programs.
Footy’s 12th Annual Wing Ding Golf Classic, sponsored by Badia Spices and presented by the Weston Dining Group, raised over $75,000 for Here’s Help, Inc. The annual charity event, hosted by renowned South Florida radio personality John “Footy” Kross, was held at the newly renovated Pembroke Pines Golf & Racquet Club. Local celebrities and business executives joined Footy in teeing off for the day and supporting a great cause. Pictured: Jamie McDonnell, CEO of Weston Dining Group; Jarett Levan, CEO of BankAtlantic; Dan Marino; Footy; and Tony Segreto.
The side effects of serious pediatric illness can demoralize even the most optimistic youngster. Le Petite Youth Spa joined forces with Chai Lifeline Southeast to pamper the organization's young clients. The children’s spa opened its doors to Chai Lifeline’s young patients and their sisters with the mission to make each child feel like a princess. Owner Adriana Cohen and her staff, decked out in whimsical pink bobbed wigs and special tutus, treated the girls to manicures, pedicures, facials and hair styling. And after the primping the girls were whisked away in a stretch limousine to a special dinner at Jerusalem Pizza.
Native Miamian and longtime community activist Thelma Gibson was presented with the Helen Miller “I Am Blessed” Award at the Dade Days celebration in Tallahassee. The award recognizes individuals for their exemplary public and community service and bears the name of Helen Miller, the first African-American female mayor in Florida. For more than fifty years, Ms. Gibson has been a trailblazer in education, mental and physical health, community and professional leadership, volunteerism and service to her church, community and family. She is President Emeritus of the Theodore Roosevelt Gibson Memorial Fund Inc.; Founder of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Dade County; and serves as a board member for many community groups, including the Coconut Grove Arts Festival.
Visitors to Homestead-Miami Speedway celebrated NASCAR Day’s 8th anniversary by taking a lap around the track where NASCAR will crown Champions during Ford Championship Week in November. Then for a $10 they had their cars washed by YMCA of Greater Miami volunteers and Speedway staff. Car Wash for Kids is a NASCAR Unites national fundraiser which has raised nearly $8 million for charitable initiatives. Pictured: Homestead-Miami Speedway A/P and A/R Clerk Sandy Arroyave waits to rinse off a car with HMS Promotions Manager Randall Hoppe and Assistant to the Track President Juanita Lopez hard at work.
More than 500 attended the Serving the Arts Luncheon hosted by the Arts & Business Council to honor Shining Stars in the community. The event was emceed by GMC&VB’s George Neary and Classical South Florida’s Julie Amacher. Miami Herald Business Editor Jan Wooldridge spoke about why the arts matter to business and how it energizes our local economy. Winners were: Comcast, Funding Arts Network, First National Bank of South Miami, Deborah Margol, Publix Super Market, Neisen Kasdin and Louis Wolfson, III. Adolfo Henriques received the Dean Lott Spirit Leadership Award; Jorge Luis Lopez the Arts Advocate of the Year Award; and Dennis Scholl the Serving the Arts Award.