Shelly Northern and Kelly Charles of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty want homeowners on Miami Beach’s Pinetree Drive to remember them. So the two (aka “The English Girls”) spent a day and a half blowing up, tying and delivering 300 balloons to 150 homes in the area for Valentine’s Day.
“We like to do fun, creative things to show people we’re willing to go above and beyond,” explains Northern. We want to distinguish ourselves and get to know people in the neighborhood.”
Both single and from England, Northern, 37, and Charles, 35, met in April 2011 at an early morning Royal Wedding viewing party at the National Hotel. The two became fast friends — and started working together last fall.
They began “creative gifting” on Pinetree Drive in October, delivering pumpkins for Halloween, followed by scarecrows for Thanksgiving, and snowman heads for Christmas. For New Year’s, they mailed calendars.
“They are outgoing, personable and smart,” said long-time Pinetree Drive resident Rose Gurfinkel. “If the opportunity arises, I would consider using their services and referring them.”
The gals’ plan for Easter/Passover: “Maybe daffodils,” says Charles.
The duo can be reached via phone/text at 786-525-1721 (Northern) or 786-469-9594 (Charles).
Olympic gold-medal rower Esther Lofgren inspired a group of 80 students, parents and master rowers at the Shane Rowing Center on Feb. 11. Lofgren, 27, discussed her successes (selection to the under-23 and senior national teams) and struggles (eating disorders, broken ribs and failure to make the 2008 Olympic team).
Following a Q&A, attendees feasted on a four-by-four-foot Olympic-themed cake by FiGi’s Custom Sweets. The company was founded last summer by Miami Beach resident Jillian Nestor, a junior at Ransom Everglades High School, and Fiona Coupe, 16, a junior at the Academy of Arts and Minds in Coconut Grove. Nestor, who has rowed at the Shane Center for the past three years, took this season off to focus on her growing business.
FiGi’s Custom Sweets creates custom-made cakes for all occasions. Prices range from $50 to $500, depending on size and design. To learn more (or order), email email@example.com.
The Shane Center is at 6500 Indian Creek Dr. in Miami Beach. For information on rowing programs, visit www.rowmiamibeach.com.
TEENS TO HOST FASHION SHOW
The National Council of Jewish Women’s (NCJW) Teens group will host their eighth annual Fashion Show on Sunday, March 3, 3-6 p.m. at Story, 136 Collins Ave. in South Beach. This year’s event, “NCJW Teens Walk the Red Carpet,” will feature clothing by Alexis and art by MAC students.
The teens hope to raise $50,000 through sponsorships, donations, ticket sales and a silent auction. Proceeds will benefit Casa Valentina and Lotus House in Miami-Dade County; Eden Organization, a hostel/learning center for at-risk teens in Israel; and Girl Up, a branch of the United Nations Foundation that raises funds/awareness for adolescent girls in developing countries.
Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 at the door. Sponsorships range from $250 to $5,000. To attend or sponsor, call 305-336-8397 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUNNING FOR A CURE
Miami Beach firefighter Claudio Navas ran in the recent Miami ING Marathon (1/27) as a member of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s Team Challenge Program. The team raises funds to support research for Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and other digestive diseases.
Now Navas, 32, is stepping it up a notch: He has volunteered to serve as head coach for the South Florida Team Challenge. Recruitment — open to area residents of all ages — is currently under way for upcoming half-marathons in Chicago (June 8) and Napa-to-Sonoma (July 21).
“I will train them and make sure we cross the finish line together,” promises Navas, who began running in 2009 after having seizures due to a tapeworm in his brain (cysticercosis).
Depressed and unable to drive at the time, Navas decided to start running. It became a passion: He completed his first half-marathon in 2012 and today is a triathlete.
South Florida Team Challenge training takes place Saturday mornings on Miami Beach. To participate, call 561-218-2929 or visit www.ccteamchallenge.org.