Miami Charity Blog: Charity Chat

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Connecting in Style
Connecting in Style
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.


YPO Wraps Up the Year
YPO Wraps Up the Year
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 and Friends Raise Funds for Here's Help
Footy and Friends Raise Funds for Here's Help
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.


Chai Lifeline's Little Princesses
Chai Lifeline's Little Princesses
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.


Thelma Gibson Honored at Dade Days
Thelma Gibson Honored at Dade Days
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.


Car Wash for Kids at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Car Wash for Kids at Homestead-Miami Speedway
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.


Serving the Arts Luncheon
Serving the Arts Luncheon
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.


Tom Cruise Receives Humanitarian Award
Tom Cruise Receives Humanitarian Award
Actor/producer Tom Cruise received the Simon Wiesenthal Center's highest honor, its Humanitarian Award, in recognition of Cruise's longtime support of the Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance. J.J. Abrams emceed the event, attended by nearly 900, and Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures Brad Grey presented the award. Dinner chairs for the event were: Brad Grey, Kevin Huvane, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Barry Meyer, Ron Meyer and Tom Rothman.


YMCA's New South Dade YMCA Family Center
YMCA's New South Dade YMCA Family Center
The YMCA of Greater Miami held a groundbreaking for the expansion of its South Dade YMCA Family Center attended by local dignitaries, business leaders and community members. The expanded Family Center will house the Mason & Jean Shehan Wellness Center, a fitness facility; the Art & Betty Hegen Big Kid’s Adventure Zone and the Dunspaugh Dalton Little Tots' Adventure Zone with a play yard and supervised child watch center; the Assurant Children's Playground, an outdoor play area; and the Bank of America Family Pool Pavilion that will offer a wide range of aquatic activities. Pictured: Miami-Dade County Manager Alina Hudak; YMCA of Greater Miami President and CEO Alfred Sanchez; Village of Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner; and the Y's Chairman of the Board Brian Mormile.


NWSA Pianist Wins Ella Fitzgerald Award
NWSA Pianist Wins Ella Fitzgerald Award
The New World School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble received top honors among 110 competing bands in the prestigious 2011 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Numerous NWSA jazz students have been recognized for their musicianship on a national scale. Of the 57 solo awards offered during the 2011 competition, six were awarded to New World School of the Arts students: Thomas Dover, Trombone; Rane Roatta, Tenor Saxophone; David Leon, Alto Saxophone; Tony Madruga (Pictured), Piano; Harley Basadre, Guitar; and Jorge Roldan (Honorable Mention), Alto Saxophone. In addition, Tony Madruga received the Ella Fitzgerald Award - given to the outstanding soloist of the entire competition.

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