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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.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Miami Chapter honored longtime healthcare and public-relations professional Karen Buchsbaum, APR, Fellow PRSA(pictured) with the 2009 Bill Adams PRSA Lifetime Achievement Award and David Lawrence Jr., University of Florida’s President of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and University Scholar for Early Childhood Development, with the Royal Palm Award for making significant contributions to Miami-Dade County. These awards are presented annually to individuals who exemplify exceptional leadership and contributions to the public relations profession, the community, and education.
Images from With You I Want to Live, the critically-acclaimed exhibition currently on view at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University, were projected on screens for a late night party at Gryphon in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. MOA's guests at the club celebrated the artists and collectors featured in the exhibit of over 100 selected paintings, sculptures and photographs from the collections of Francie Bishop Good + David Horvitz. Pictured: Jorge Penia, Betty Rosado, Hector Vega, Joana Vega, and Manuel Vareza.
Go Red for Women Celebration Chair for 2009 Bev Capasso, CAO of Cleveland Clinic Florida; Lorraine Thomas, the 2009 Queen of Hearts; Go Red Chair for 2008 Mary Lynn Swartz, CEO of Westside Regional Medical Center; and 2009 Heart Circle Chair Maria Soldani of The Soldani Group attended a reception at the home of Lorraine Thomas on behalf of the American Heart Association of Broward County's Heart Circle. With the mission to help raise awareness about heart disease prevention, the Heart Circle is a group of women and men who take their commitment one step further by donating a personal gift to fund the American Heart Association.
Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson (pictured), former Dean of Music of New World School of the Arts, has been named the new Interim Provost and CEO of NWSA. As Interim Provost and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Hodgson will be responsible for all fiscal and operational aspects of the school including administration and artistic leadership of the college and high school programs in dance, music, theater and visual arts. NWSA also announced Jim Gasior as Dean of the Music Division and former NWSA Provost Mercedes A. Quiroga Ph.D. as the President of Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus.
Former New World School of the Arts Provost Mercedes A. Quiroga Ph.D. has accepted the role of President for Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus. In that capacity, and through the educational partnership that is NWSA, Quiroga will continue to be involved in the operations of NWSA. Having played an integral role in the success enjoyed by NWSA in the past five years, Dr. Quiroga affirms, “I am proud to have been a contributor to the rich history that surrounds NWSA. This school is a truly magical place filled with inspired artists, dedicated professionals and creative students. It is a blueprint for success.”