Miami Heat/Miami Herald youth honorees


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About this feature

Sports Scene is a Miami Herald feature that spotlights news and notes from all youth sports activities in your neighborhood. The aim of the section is to feature game notes from any sport and the accomplishments of athletes from Miami-Dade County.

We rely on the directors and coaches of each league to send information for Sports Scene. We also accept photos, but we ask that everyone pictured be identified with a first and last name and the name of the team or park they represent.

The section is free and open to anyone. Email or send a fax to 305-376-5287.

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Miami Heat/Miami Herald honorees

Olivia Duff, KJ Farfan, Noah Nesenman and Alejandro Quevedo are the first honorees of the 2012-13 academic and sportsmanship program, conducted by the The Miami Herald and two-time NBA champion Miami Heat in conjunction with Gatorade.

These standout student athletes were honored on the AmericanAirlines Arena court before the Heat/Toronto Raptors game. Each received two game tickets, a Heat goody bag and a certificate. They were congratulated by Miami Heat players Shane Battier and Rashard Lewis and Heat player development coach/advanced scout Octavio De La Grana.

The honorees compete in youth basketball for their school and/or league and/or travel team.

• Olivia Duff (7th grade, Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School).

Moving from Colorado to South Florida in the summer, Olivia is already a credit to her new school. She not only plays basketball for her school but also volleyball.

Off the court, Olivia is in the Accelerated Reader Program, and she is the top reader in her school, already reading 2-million words through January in the 2012-13 school term. An Honor Roll student, she is a member of the Junior Honor Society, Chess Club and Glee Club.

• KJ Farfan (2nd grade, Calusa Prep School/Florida Lions).

KJ began playing ball when he was 3. He’s excelled at each level, even competing against older kids. He is one of the top players in the country for his age (7), earning national notariety. Off the court, he consistently gets Straight A’s, making the Principal’s List and Honor Roll each semister.

KJ knows school comes first, playing basketball is a privilege and respecting others is important. People enjoy being around him, marveling at his skills and his demeanor.

• Noah Nesenman (7th grade, Vineland K-8 Center/Dave & Mary Alper JCC/Kendall Boys & Girls Club/Temple Beth Am of Kendall/Suniland Park/South Miami Basketball League).

In just his third year of basketball, Noah’s been very active, playing in several leagues and for his school. He is very dedicated to the sport, praciticing a lot and and gearing for travel basketball. He loves the game, playing and watching. Off the court, he is quite successful in advanced classes as reflected by his grades.

• Alejandro Quevedo (5th grade, Epiphany Catholic School/Kendall Boys & Girls Club).

Another standout student athlete, Alejandro plays basketball at the Kendall Boys & Girls Club in the winter and spring leagues. He also plays flag football at Suniland Park.

Off the court, he made Straight A’s, earning First Honors, a solid accomplishment at his school. A good, respectful kid, he has fun playing basketball.

• Video highlights of the ceremony via the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel) on YouTube:.

Barry basketball

The Barry University men’s basketball program hosts its annual alumni game on Feb. 15 at the Health & Sports Center on campus in Miami Shores.

The Buccaneers alum will compete in the Red and Black game of former players and are invited to attend Barry’s game against Eckerd College 7:30 p.m. the next day. More than 75 former players have been invited to men’s basketball alumni weekend.

“We had a huge turnout last year, and I would like to repeat that,” said Barry assistant coach Ryan Saunders, also an alum. “It is definitely nice when the alumni support us, and it helps us out tremendously.”

The Buccaneers will also host Palm Beach Atlantic at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 and Nova Southeastern in the regular season finale at 5:30 p.m. March 2. Barry, an NCAA Division II program, competes in the Sunshine State Conference.

USA U18 football

Christopher Columbus football players Jose Alvarado, Tucker Beirne, Joey Gonzalez and Nick McBeath of Christopher Columbus High School and Toro Nelson of Dr. Micheal Krop were five of 43 players from 13 states and Washington, D.C. to represent the United States on Feb. 6 – National Signing Day – in Austin, Texas as the U.S. under-18 national team participated in the fourth annual International Bowl festivities.

Team USA’s players and coaches are selected by USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States. The International Bowl is an annual competition that unites 64 countries spanning six continents that are part of the International Federation of American Football.

Alvarado is a 6-2, 210-pound tight end from Miami. Beirne is a 6-2, 218-pound quarterback from Coral Gables. Gonzalez is a 6-0, 205-pound linebacker from Coral Gables. McBeath is a 6-2, 210-pound defensive end from Miami. Nelson is a 6-0, 180-pound receiver from Miami.

International Bowl games are recognized as a U.S. national team competition by the NCAA and state high school associations. They are not all-star games. International Bowl participation does not count toward a high school senior football player’s limit of two postseason events.

“The U.S. national team program is dedicated to assembling the ‘top-right’ coaches and players from across the United States to represent our country in international play,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “Chris has shown that he is a great football coach and a terrific example for young men. We are proud to have him lead our inaugural Under-18 team.”

USA U19 football

Norland defensive lineman Paul James was one of 45 of the top U.S. high school football players who travled to Austin, Texas for the fourth International Bowl. The U.S. under-19 national team, comprised of the top high school players spanning 21 states and Washington, D.C., competed Feb. 5 – the night before National Signing Day – live on CBS Sports Network from Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Austin. The Americans faced an IFAF World Team of top players age 19 and younger from outside the United States.

Jones, a 6-4, 245-pound defensive lineman, verbally committed to Illinois.

The International Bowl is sanctioned by International Federation of American Football, which is composed of 64 nations spanning six continents that possess a national federation dedicated solely to American football.

More information can be found at

Highland Oaks track

The Highland Oaks Middle School girls’ track team was second of 16 teams at the Larry Wooten Invitational at Ferguson High School in Miami.

Vantae Williams won the shot put and discus throws for the second straight meet. The 400 relay (Saharee Davey, Maryann Jadotte, Coreena Saintilmond, Tianna Jackson) was second. The 1,600 relay (Tramese Pierre, Anicia Collins, Samantha Castano, Brittany Malone) claimed third.

Jackson placed third in the long jump and fourth in the 100-meter dash. Jadotte was fourth in the discus, and Empress Dixon placed sixth. Saintilmond was fifth in the high jump. The 3,200 relay (Pierre, Collins, Katherine Elizabeth, Caroline Williams) rounded out the scoring by finishing sixth.

• The Highland Oaks boys were fourth of 17 teams. For the third consecutive meet, Jamir Ferguson won the 1600 and 800-meter runs. The 3,200 relay (Ferguson, Timothy Williams, Malik Watson, Derrick Spicer) also won.

Watson and Spicer finished second and fourth, respectively, in the 1600, and was third and fourth in the 800. Neil Fagan was fourth in the long jump. The 400 relay (Fagan, Jordan Anderson, Anthony Flores, Michael Williams) placed fourth, and the 1,600 relay (Timothy Williams, Gregory Hutnik, Wilfrid Coleau, Sony Guirand) finished sixth.

Miami Country Day cross-country

The Miami Country Day School girls’ varsity cross-country team qualified for regionals for the fourth consecutive season after a district runner-up finish.

The Spartans were a young squad with promise. Junior Mallory Brown and freshman Taylor Sennett led the team, and up-n-comers Elizabeth Stone, Alexandra Piussan and Kayla Rosen stepped up. The team also received solid efforts from Giulia Bronzi and Alicia Cherem.

USA Duathlon

With the aim of introducing more athletes to the exciting multisport discipline of duathlon, USA Triathlon unveiled the 10 events that will comprise the 2013 USA Triathlon Duathlon Race Series including one in Florida.

Ten races comprise USA Triathlon’s 2013 Duathlon Race Series. (David Sanders/USA Triathlon)

With one event in each of USA Triathlon’s 10 regions, athletes across the country will have the opportunity to compete in a top run-bike-run event. Each event is sanctioned by USA Triathlon and will count toward the popular end-of-year Duathlon National Rankings for USA Triathlon annual members.

Awards will be presented to the top finishers in each series event.

The first event of the series - the Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon - is Feb. 18 in Fort Worth, Texas, and series races will continue through the Oct. 20 Longboat Key Duathlon in Longboat Key, Fla. USA Triathlon’s Duathlon National Championships is Oct. 26 in Tucson/Oro Valley, Ariz. Visit for information on Duathlon Nationals.

USA Triathlon sanctioned nearly 600 duathlon races in 2012, more than doubling the number of sanctioned races from 2006.

Florida Race: Oct. 20: Longboat Key Duathlon : Longboat Key, Fla. Distances: 2-mile run, 20-mile bike, 5-mile run. Website: Contact: or 813-966-7844.

USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon aims to return multisport to its roots with the inaugural USA Triathlon Retro Tri Series, which debuts this spring with 10 beginner-friendly events -- one in each USA Triathlon region including Miami.

The focus of the Retro Tri Series is participation, rather than competition. The aim of the events is to introduce the sport of triathlon and educate race participants about the healthy and active multisport lifestyle. The events are open to first-timers, seasoned veterans and those looking to stay active -- swimming, biking and running in a safe atmosphere. Each event is sanctioned by USA Triathlon.

“Our new Retro Tri Series events offer something for anyone interested in participating in the sport of triathlon,” USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach said. “These races can be for athletes who want a good, safe workout, or for someone who may feel intimidated by going to a larger race. We’re looking forward to this year’s events and can’t wait to introduce more and more newcomers to the multisport lifestyle.”

The Retro Tri Series events are geared toward adult and youth competitors age 13 and older. Each race will feature a 300-400-yard swim, 5-10-mile bike and 2-5-kilometer run.

2013 USA Triathlon Retro Series Schedule

April 27: Rio Grande Triathlon-Reverse Sprint, Albuquerque, N.M.

May 4: E-Bomb Triathlon, Biloxi, Miss.

June 8: Moses Lake Triathlon, Moses Lake, Wash.

June 23: Blue Ash Community Triathlon, Cincinnati.

July 20: Big Spring Super Sprint & Kids Tri, Big Spring, Texas.

July 20: Runner’s Roost Retro Triathlon (R3 Tri), Buffalo.

July 28: Gaucho Super Sprint Triathlon, Goleta, Calif.

Aug. 4: Omaha Retro Family Triathlon, Omaha, Neb.

Sept. 8: FIU Triathlon, North Miami.

Nov. 3: Old Dominion University (ODU) Triathlon, Norfolk, Va.

For more on the USA Triathlon Retro Tri Series, visit

USTA tennis

Alfredo Perez, 15, of Coral Gables was one of eight junior boys from across the country selected to play in the USTA Player Development Davis Cup Camp in Jacksonville.

The USTA Player Development Davis Cup camp is an opportunity for some of the nation’s top 14- and 15-year olds juniors to train with one another, as well as watch and interact with the U.S. Davis Cup team of captain Jim Courier, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Bob and Mike Bryan. Bob Bryan lives in Miami.

The Davis Cup camp will be coached by USTA National Coaches Diego Moyano and Eric Nunez.

Archbishop Curley top athletes

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep School Athletic Director Greg Magner announced the school’s Players of the Week.

Female Athlete of the Week: Senior captain Shatorreia Edgecombe had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Knights over University School in Fort Lauderdale. The team finished the regular season 9-5.

Male Athlete of the Week: Senior Philip Cheron had 29 points and six rebounds against Mater Lakes as the Knights closed the regular season at 19-7.

Miami Country Day top athletes

Miami Country Day School: Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Onika Swaby (basketball) combined for 19 points and 21 rebounds in games against Coral Springs Charter and American Heritage.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Brandon Parizo (basketball) combined for 73 points, 15 assists and 20 rebounds in wins against Marathon, Calvary Christian and Doctors Charter.

Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Nyasia John (basketball), who was named to the South Florida Middle School Conference All-Tournament Team, had seven points, seven rebounds and three steals against Palmer-Trinity.

Middle School Make Athlete of the Week: Nicholas Choi (basketball) scored 36 points in a victory against Cushman.

Spartan Super Fan: Lucas Hansen (Second Grade).

Hurricane Challenge

The University of Miami Department of Physical Therapy will host the 26th annual Hurricane Challenge, run by Dr. Robert Gailey, on March 1.

The event is open to Miami-Dade public schools, where children with disabilities can participate in an assortment of activities. The goals are to raise awareness about children with diabilities and gives these kids a chance to interact with each other while enjoying a fun day.

Brittany Oliver, Co-Chair, DPT ’14, said: “The Hurricane Challenge is a special day for children with disabilities to play games, interact with others and learn the importance of physical activity. Many of these children look forward to this event all year. Here at UM, we’re just excited that we can make a difference in their lives.”

Joanne Ishikawa, Co-Chair, DPT ’14, added: “You should see the expressions on these kids’ faces when they’re here; it’s easy to see that this is the most fun some of them have had. It’s a day created with them in mind, and they can tell. Nothing warms your heart more than the smiles you see at the Hurricane Challenge.”

Tennis Campus Kids’ Day

St. Thomas University hosts a USTA Campus Kids’ Day on Feb. 15 in Miami Gardens.

Free and open to the public, USTA Campus Kids Days are designed to expose current and aspiring junior players (and their parents and coaches) to college tennis. Food and refreshments are provided, and fans are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities such as raffles, contests, racquet stenciling, autograph signings, clinics, etc., as well as watching a college tennis match.

On Feb. 15, St. Thomas University hosts Ave Maria University at 2 p.m. on its campus in Miami Gardens. Contact Bruce Carrington at

Campus Kids’ Day is an opportunity for the relationship between junior tennis and college tennis to grow, and for players to experience college tennis. The program occurs around the United States throughout the tennis season, from top Division I programs to Division II and III programs, bringing the community together and raising excitement for the game of tennis.

Campus Kids’ Days and all promotions are open to all attending, and do not conflict with NCAA compliance issues for junior players.

For information on USTA Campus Kids’ Days go to

Tennis classes, programs

Tennis classes and programs for all ages are at the Penny Sugarman Tennis Center at Sans Souci, 1795 Sans Souci Blvd., North Miami. Call for information on group lessons, annual passes, court rates and private lessons. Tennis pro is Ross Dubins. Call 305-893-7130.

JCC Maccabi Games

The Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center seeks participants for the JCC Maccabi Games.

JCC Maccabi Games: Athletes age 13-16 (as of July 31, 2013) can represent the Boca Raton Mitchell Dobbin Maccabi Team in boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ baseball, swimming, tennis, boys’ and girls’ soccer, girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse (depending on interest) and girls’ softball in Austin, Texas from July 28-Aug. 2 and Orange County, Calif. from Aug. 4-9.

Participants will display their skills as well as be inspired by the values of community involvement, teamwork, creativity, integrity and pride. Visit for details.

Athletes interested in competing in individual sports must contact Lesley Surfer, the Levis JCC Maccabi Games Delegation Head, at 561-852-3212 or

YouTube youth and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

Miami Herald youth sports online

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More events, leagues, programs

Sailfish tournament

The Leon Shell Memorial Sailfish Tournament returns for its 15th year with a cash purse up to $25,000. The event is March 1-3 at Key Colony Beach.

The late Captain Leon Shell, whom the event honors, was best known as the inventor of the artificial Leon Lure.

The winning boat team with the largest number of sailfish releases is to receive a grand prize of $20,000 cash. First and second runner-up teams also take home cash prizes.

Trophies and cash prizes also await the top individual sailfish anglers and contestants who catch the biggest wahoo, dolphin, kingfish and tuna.

Tournament action kicks off with a 7 p.m. captains meeting on March 1 at the fuel dock of Key Colony Beach Marina on Sadowski Causeway near mile marker 53.5 oceanside.

Fishing runs from lines-in at 8 a.m. to lines-out at 3:30 p.m. on March 2, with weigh-in until 6 p.m. Fishing on March 3 runs from lines-in at 7 a.m. to lines-out at 2:30 p.m. Weigh-in goes until 5 p.m., with an awards banquet to follow at Sparky’s Landing.

A raffle and silent auction are to round out the popular family-friendly angling weekend.

Entry fees for the boat tournament are $500 for the first angler and boat captain and $150 for each additional angler. Each boat is allowed unlimited anglers, but only four lines can be fished at a time. Registrations can be received no later than 4 p.m. on March 1.

Proceeds benefit Hospice and the Visiting Nurse Association of the Florida Keys, which provide home health and hospice services to the Keys community. Since the event’s inception, more than $165,000 has been donated to Hospice/VNA.

Event information

NFL/Wharton Leadership Program

NFL Player Engagement and the Wharton Sports Business Initiative will host the second annual NFL-Wharton Prep Leadership Program for student-athletes entering their senior year of high school.

The program, which runs from June 24-26 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia, offers leadership training and development programming with instruction from Wharton professors and NFL executives. Last year’s 36 participants are now in the college application process.

“We are excited to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of these extraordinary high school student-athletes as leaders both academically and athletically,” said former Miami Dolphins defensive back Troy Vincent, who is the NFL Vice President of Player Engagement. “NFL Player Engagement looks forward to assisting them even more through our PREP 100 series in further developing essential life skills that result from leadership in academic performance, athletic experience and community service.”

Kenneth Shropshire, Wharton Professor and Faculty Director at the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, added: “For Wharton, this is the perfect blend of sports, academics and social impact. We are excited about playing a role in developing future leaders impacted by sport, blending sports and academics at the highest levels.”

Male and female student-athletes who will be high school seniors in the 2013-14 school year can apply for the program at the Wharton Sports Business Initiative website from now through March 15.

Thirty six tudent-athletes will be selected to participate based upon academic transcript, athletic experience, leadership activities, coach and teacher recommendations, and personal essays. All costs other than travel to and from the program will be covered by Wharton.

Among the topics covered in the full group sessions, breakout groups and panel discussions: Basics of Leadership – assessments, styles, motivating others; Professional Development – life skills, social media; Career Development – preparing for the future (resume, mock-interview, public speaking, networking); Financial Education – introduction to financial terms, tools, and the role of financial advisors; Basics of Management; Total Wellness – empowering student-athletes to make positive health decisions.

NFL Player Engagement assists players in reaching their highest potential on and off-the-field with guidance, support and resources provided before, during and after their NFL experiences. NFL Player Engagement works with three core audiences: Prep, Life, Next. NFL Prep provides high school and college student athletes of all sports with tools to help them succeed in life, focused on awareness, prevention, and education.

The Wharton Sports Business Initiative is a research, executive education and consulting focused think tank dedicated to provide practical and tangible solutions positively impacting a variety of clients and areas within the sports business globally.


Jai-alai is open to anyone, age 10 to 80.

With a rubber ball and cestas, the amateur jai-alai facility is at 1935 NE 150th St. in North Miami, near FIU’s north campus.

It is indoors, air-conditioned and open to all. Contact Luis at 305-389-2313 or Bob at 786-556-3574.

More Jai-Alai

Who said you have to be a male to play Jai Alai? Just as many females play the sport in Spain, France and Mexico, and gals can play it in South Florida at an amateur indoor air-conditioned fronton.

There are also leagues for males and children. Rubber or plastic balls used with free lessons by former pros. Cestas and balls also provided free with a nominal court fee. Open everyday. Email or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

Tamiami basketball

Tamiami youth basketball registration is open for girls and boys, age 5-16. Email or call 305 -273-1145.

Miami Lady Express basketball

The Miami Lady Express girls’ basketball team needs funding to continue competing in tournaments throughout the United States. The coaches volunteered to train the girls, giving them something positive to do, and the parents have been fundraising.

Travel costs, food, tournament fees and lodging are very expensive for these girls. They practice at the Keys Gate Gym in Florida City and South Dade High School where their coaches teach. Contact Coach Larry Hicks at 786-301-2577.

Howard Palmetto baseball, softball

Registration for the 2013 Howard Palmetto Baseball & Softball winter season has started. Go to to sign up.

The season starts in January and continues through April/May. Registration fees are $219 for baseball, $195 for softball and $185 for T-ball. Registration includes T-ball Titans for boys and girls age 4-6; baseball for boys age 6-15; high school boys’ baseball for grades 10-12; fast-pitch softball for girls age 6-17.

Games are at Evelyn Greer Park, Suniland Park, Palmetto Bay, Coral Reef and Chapman Field. Register online or for information, visit

Marlins Tours

The Miami Marlins offer behind the scenes tours of Marlins Park. The tours are open to the public on non-event days for $10 a person.

The tour includes visits to the field (behind home plate), home clubhouse, home batting cage area and Diamond Club, Promenade Level featuring the art in the facility, the bobblehead museum and the premium areas including the Suites.

Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except when the Marlins play at home or when other major events are scheduled at Marlins Park. Group tours, accommodating between 10 and 25 people, are available by appointment.

For information, fans can call 1-877-MARLINS or e-mail Tickets can be purchased at the ticket windows on Felo Ramirez Drive (NW 6 Street between NW 14 Avenue and NW 15 Avenue) and are for the time and date specified.

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

HOF baseball

Hall Of Fame Baseball is sponsoring travel baseball teams for 11-12, 13-14, 15-18 (high school) for the fall season.

Hall Of Fame Coach Rich Hofman and his staff will coach the teams which will practice and play in tournaments and leagues. Register for a tryout at or call David Hofman at 954-804-5600 or Ed Tisdale at 803-463-2591.

Youth Rugby South Miami

The Miami Rugby Youth Division, boys age 6-18, practices 6-8 p.m. Mondays at Murray Park and Wednesdays at Palmer Park, 6120 SW 67th Ave., South Miami. Call 305-400-0134, ext. 101. Visiti

Rebelle volleyball

Rebelle Athletics Club offers girls’ volleyball tryouts at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School, 4949 NE 2nd Ave.

The volleyball club, a member of the United States Volleyball Association, is under the direction of Mandi Tate, Dee Rey and former Barry University player Kelly Dantas. They are former coaches with South Florida Volleyball Club and currently coach at Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senior High School in Biscayne Bay.

Rebelle Athletics is dedicated to providing developmental and participatory athletic sports programs beginning at the youth development level. It offers a progression of sports activities for persons of all ages, races and creeds. It strives to enhance the physical, mental and moral development of amateur athletes at all levels, promoting sportsmanship and active citizenship.



South Kendall Sun Blazers ( at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79 St. (305-630-3314).

Miami Dade Soccer League ( at Three Lakes Park, 13375 SW 136 St. (786-488-5216).

Soccer 5 ( at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127 Ave. (1-888-575-2976).

Club Atletico De Miami ( at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127 Ave. (305-764-5783).

Soccer Academy of the Americas ( at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24 St. (786-486-3804)

Pinecrest Premier Soccer ( at Deerwood Bonita Lakes, 11511 S. Dixie Hwy. (305-255-3422).

Optimist Club of Westchester ( at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40 St. (786-370-4222).

Coral Estates Soccer Club ( at Coral Estates Park, 1411 SW 97 Ave. (305-279-2328)

South Kendall Soccer Club ( at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79 St. (305-630-3314).

Southern Soccer Coalition-AYSO ( at Millers Pond Park, 13350 SW 47 St. and Westwind Lakes Park, 6805 SW 152 Ave. (305-965-0083).

Got Milk

The National Milk Mustache “got milk?” campaign launched the call for entries for the 15th annual Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Awards.

The SAMMY scholarship recognizes 25 student-athletes who excel in academics, athletics, community service, leadership and who fuel their daily success with milk.

Milk Mustache celebrity judges will help select 25 winners from across the country who will receive a $7,500 college scholarship, an awards ceremony at Walt Disney World and an opportunity to appear in their own special Milk Mustache ad.

For complete contest rules and applications log onto where visitors can also learn more about the exclusive SAMMY awards weekend and view behind the scenes footage.

Health program

Stand Up! For Those Who Can’t, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering children, families and communities through (w)holistic programs in education, culture and the arts, and as fiscal agent for the Sunshine Child Wellness Collaborative, has received a $50,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation to implement “Sunshine Fit for Tots,” an obesity-prevention program developed by SCWC for 3-year-old children.

“One in five preschool-age children in the United States are overweight or obese. We recognize the need to start prevention at the earliest age possible to promote lifelong habits of health and wellness,” said Mary Rae Smith, president and founder of SCWC. “We want to bend the curve on childhood obesity and are grateful to the Aetna Foundation for this opportunity to enhance obesity prevention through exercise and nutrition programming.”

Through March 2013, 60 children from four early childhood centers in Miami-Dade will receive nutritional education and obesity-prevention activities through art classes and dance lessons. The centers selected to receive the program are Fantasyland Learning Center in Westchester; Happy Kids in Miami Beach; Happy Children of Overtown; and Alberto’s Dream Childcare in North Miami.

“We thank the Aetna Foundation for awarding us this grant,” said Jeannette Egozi, president of SUFTWC. “In the United States, low-income families are the most affected by the alarming obesity trend. With these funds we can teach children how to eat healthfully and be physically active throughout their lives.”

For information about “Sunshine Fit for Tots” call the Sunshine Child Wellness Collaborative at 305-807-5229 or Stand Up! at 305-864-5237, e-mail

CB Sports Leagues

CB Sports Club offers Youth Basketball, Flag Football, Youth Soccer, Adult Soccer and Adult Basketball. Visit Call 786-273-5639.

Physically Challenged

Miami-Dade Parks welcomes children with disabilities in its youth leagues. If you need accommodations to participate, call 305-735-7847 (V/TDD).

Read more Miami-Dade Youth Sports stories from the Miami Herald

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