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The Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida recently re-elected Irela Bagué as Chair of the Board of Directors for a second three year term. She previously served three years as Chair and four years as a member-at-large on the Board of Directors and was Chair of the Governmental Relations Task Group.
“It is a thrill to be at the forefront of an organization that builds girls of courage, confidence and character that make the world a better place. As we begin to celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouting it is an honor to continue the Girl Scout tradition into the next Century. We will continue to serve our community with critical services and education for girls and their families on issues such as; diversity, self esteem, health & fitness, science & engineering, violence prevention, sex education as well as our popular cookie sale which teaches entrepreneurial skills to girls at a young age”, said Irela Bagué.
Playwright and educator Nilo Cruz delivered an inspirational talk to New World School of the Arts students as part of NWSA's Make Art Work lecture series. He spoke of compensation that he described as of greater and longer lasting value – the power to connect with the audience and “help them see the world in a different light.” Cruz then performed a scene from his Pulitzer award-winning play Anna and the Tropics, allowing the students the experience of entering that world. A question and answer session concluded the lecture, but Cruz continued through the afternoon speaking individually with students, providing guidance and encouragement.
Amigos For Kids hosted its 18th Annual Holiday Toy Drive presented by Ford Motor Company Fund with an all-day caravan featuring Santa Claus and community volunteers distributing toys to hundreds of disadvantaged children in South Florida. The caravan, consisting of four busloads of volunteers and toyfilled El Dorado trucks, was escorted by the Miami-Dade County Police as it made its way through the city. First stop was Florida City where hundreds of bags of toys were unloaded and distributed to children of migrant workers. The caravan then made its way in to the heart of Little Havana to deliver more toys to disadvantaged inner-city children. Joining the caravan were television personalities Barbara Bermudo, Elvis Crespo, Ariel Lopez Padilla, Monica Noguera, Judge Cristina Pereira, Pamela Silva, Amelia Vega, Felipe Viel and more than 250 Amigos. This is the second year Amigos for Kids it has collaborated with Ford Motor Company Fund, which donated $50,000 to the toy drive as part of the automaker’s community relations program, Operation Goodwill.
University of Miami School of Business Administration's Dean Barbara Kahn hosted a holiday party at her home with several community leaders as guests. The Dean celebrated the outstanding year experienced at the School of Business, beginning with an MBA program launched in Puerto Rico and the Global Business Forum that the Dean presided over with over 700 business leaders and entrepreneurs in attendance, including Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, and Jim Skinner, CEO of McDonald’s. Pictured: Jeanette Slesnick, Coral Gables Mayor Donald Slesnick and Dean Kahn.
Voices United (VU), a Miami-based non-profit organization devoted to promoting cultural diversity through the arts, was recently featured on a segment of NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. The feature, “Making a Difference,” showed VU kids in the process of writing their own songs and developing original choreography, as filmed by NBC at a rehearsal. Comprised of actors, singers, dancers and visual artists, the VU kids create their own musical theater productions; expressing concern over issues such as racism, drug abuse and the war in Iraq. Check out the new website for Voices United or call 305-726-4822 for more information. Pictured: VU kids rehearsing for their original song Lost & Found. Photos by: Loni Johnson, Voices United Alumnus.
More than 300 FIU students and their families enjoyed a complimentary Thanksgiving dinner at the Biscayne Bay Campus. Underwritten by caterer Bill Hansen (pictured) for the fourth year, this dinner is given by the Impact Movement, part of the Campus Crusade for Christ. There was a traditional holiday meal with all the fixings and throughout the evening people sang, danced and recited poetry.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and the Carmen Rebozo Foundation hosted the 12th Annual Bebe Rebozo Memorial Golf Classic at LaGorce Country Club in Miami Beach. Players got underway at noon with a shotgun start and finished on the 19th hole for a gourmet banquet and awards ceremony. Finishing in first place (gross score) were Ben Walker, Peter Tsotsos, Kevin Maggira and Jim Beauchamp. In first for net score were Richard Buster, Beck Buster and Roy Poole. Pictured: Nick Molina, Mike Baberari, Willie Gomez and Juan Lopez.
Udonis Haslem and Burnie from the Miami Heat stopped by FPL’s general office in Miami to pay tribute to a great local hero. Debbie Riley, a financial analyst for Florida Power & Light in Miami, has been volunteering for as long as she can remember. Inspired by the military service of her family, she began spending her time as a young girl working on community projects sponsored by her school, church and through the Girls Scouts of America. Debbie continues her volunteer efforts and became co-chair of Florida Power & Light's Community Volunteer Corps. Because of Debbie's commitment to the community and her efforts to make a difference in the lives of many she has been named FPL’s 2009 “Volunteer of the Year”.
Katherine Ordoñez, a recent graduate from the high school program of New World School of the Arts (NWSA), was selected from over 1,000 art entries as the winner of the 2009 Latino Art Beat National Hispanic Heritage art competition. Her artwork entry called “Todo para ti. Maria Sofia” (pictured) won Katherine a $1,000 cash scholarship award from national retailer Nordstrom and a $20,000 scholarship award allocated over four years to the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
More than two thousand book bags filled with school supplies and six hundred pairs of Nike sneakers were distributed by Amigos For Kids, an organization that focuses on child abuse prevention and helping underprivileged children and families. The generosity and support of corporate sponsors, such as Nike, Office Depot and Burger King, helped Amigos meet the ever increasing needs of the children they serve.