We will soon celebrate the birthday of our wonderful nation. I am so thankful to be an American, even with all the pain African Americans have had to endure throughout our history. Still, I have lived long enough to see some wonderful changes and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
But as we celebrate our freedoms, I look around this beautiful city of ours, and find that it isn’t hard to find a homeless person, and often even homeless families, who don’t know where their next meal will come from.
On July 4, as we celebrate our nation’s birthday, Gulfstream Park has taken this time to do its part to fight against hunger by holding a food drive to benefit Feeding South Florida.
The family celebration event will begin at 4 p.m. and participants can donate non-perishable foods such as peanut butter, cereal, tuna, rice, macaroni and cheese at either the south or north valet areas. Please do not donate any products in glass containers.
If you make a donation, you will be eligible to win a $500 drawing, which will take place right after the 9 p.m. fireworks.
In addition to the fireworks, the celebration will include a Kidz Zone, live music, food and fun.
In a press release Paco Velez, CEO of Feeding South Florida said, "We’re very thankful that Gulfstream Park is holding its July 4 Food Drive to benefit Feeding South Florida." He said such food drives allow the organization to continue serving the nearly 600 partner agencies like The Pantry of Broward Inc.
According to Feeding South Florida, approximately 938,110 individuals (340,740 of whom are children) in South Florida experience food insecurity. And due to the current economic climate, Feeding South Florida’s agencies are reporting a 39 percent increase in the demand for food service.
We can help. If you go, Gulfstream is at 901 S. Federal Highway in Hallandale Beach.
For more information on Feeding South Florida, call 954-518-1818 or go to www.feedingsouthflorida.org.
Arts at St. Johns
It’s too late for the last Saturday in June, but local artists in all media are welcome to Arts at St. Johns at 1:30 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month, where Rianne Mitchell Thomas will lead an Artist Critique group.
Arts at St. Johns is at St. John’s on the Lake United Methodist Church, 4760 Pine Tree Dr. in Miami Beach. For more information on this event call 305-613-2325 or visit www.ArtsatStJohns.com
Congratulations to the 21 young women who recently were inducted into the Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
They are: Tawanna M. Parker, Amira B. Paschal, Ciana Ulysee, DeAndra E. Washington, Deborah K. Cooper, Priscilla R. Dobbs, Tykecia P. Hayes, Gabrielle E. Carey, Tiffany Starke, Jenai H. Williams, La-Toya S. Facey, Janelle Wallace, and Nicolette R. Oliver.
Also, Brittany Robinson, Amy Dawkins, Regina Bruton, Shebreeceay D. Lenoir, Janice Spann-Givens, Syrita L. Murray, Michelle Dismuke, Saderia N. Hooks and Sheila Cohen.
Directed by chapter President Sandra L. Jackson, and Membership Chair Janice Spann-Givens, the inductees underwent a process of learning about the organization and providing community service at a Miami women’s shelter. The process culminated with the induction luncheon on June 10, at the Double Tree Hotel.
The group’s community service project was at the Lotus House in Overtown, which houses women affected by drug abuse and domestic violence and their children, ages 7 and under. The inductees donated a vanload of clothing to the thrift store. And later, dressed as popular story book characters such as Dr. Seuss, Princess Jasmine, Dorothy and Pocahontas, they read stories to the children in the shelter. They also passed out hygiene kits and books to the women and children.
Said Jackson: "The incoming members will enhance the chapter’s mission of providing service throughout the Greater Miami area."
A Friends and Neighbors salute to the entire chapter for its focus on the education of children and adults, preventative health care and wellness, voter empowerment, poverty, economic security and other critical areas the Greater Miami community faces each day.
This is a good thing: The Miami Choral Academy will host a free summer music camp for its students from Monday through July 13 on the campus of the New World School of the Arts. Participating in the summer camp will be the 50 members of the Miami Choral Academy’s Honors Chamber Choir — a collection of students that have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and a commitment to the program.
The selected students, who come from elementary school in Miami-Dade’s low-income areas, will spend two weeks at the region’s art magnet high school working on high-level music and performance skills with a staff of professional musicians, free to the participants and their families. The students will learn singing skills, sight reading, music history, performance comportment and life lessons.
The Miami Choral Academy is an initiative of South Florida’s Grammy-nominated chamber choir, Seraphic Fire.
The camp will culminate at 1 p.m. on July 13, with a free, public concert at the Prometeo Theatre on Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. Tickets are free and will be available at the door.
For more information call Mike Burgess at 305-285-9060 or send an email to email@example.com
The New Neighbors Club of South Dade will welcome Donna Shalala, president to the University of Miami, as the guest speaker at its luncheon meeting at 11 a.m. on July 11, at the Coral Gables Country Club, 997 N. Greenway Dr. in the Gables. She will speak on the topic: "Things My Mother Taught Me".
Shalala, who received her bachelor’s degree in history from Western College for Women and her master’s and doctoral degrees from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, has served as president of Hunter College (1980-1987) and as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1987-1993).
She served in the Carter Administration from 1977-1980 as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1993, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton as secretary of Health and Human Services, where for eight years she directed Welfare, FDA, and Medicare reform initiatives and expanded children’s health insurance coverage and immunization rates.
She continues to play a prominent role in efforts to improve health care on the national and international level. In 2007, she was appointed by President George W. Bush to co-chair with Senator Bob Dole, the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors.
Shalala received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, in 2008.
The luncheon and program are open to the public but reservations are required. The cost is $25 per person. The deadline to make your reservation is Thursday. Call Barbara Tracy at 305-275-4641 to make yours.