Friends and Neighbors

Luncheons to benefit cancer society

Kudos to well-known local fashion designer Rene Ruiz, who will host an invitation-only luncheon at noon on Sept. 10 at his atelier in Coral Gables in advance of the 2013 Inner Circle of Twelve Luncheon which will follow at noon on Oct. 28, at the Intercontinental Miami Hotel in downtown Miami.

The events support the American Cancer Society.

The 2013 Inner circle of Twelve Honorees are: Ana Milton, Barbara Hevia, Christina Getty-Maercks, Criselda Breene, DJ Kerr, Jeanne Shinefield, Kathy Simkins, Kimberly Shenker-Bacardi, Madeleine Munilla, Marile Lopez, Martha Mishcon, and Tina Carlo.

Ruiz, whose designs have been worn by some of the nation’s best-dressed for nearly 20 years, went international with the opening of his New York City showroom last year. His collection of exquisite evening wear was shown at markets during Fashion Week in New York as well as in Paris and can be found in high end retail stores around the world.

He will produce and present a fashion show at the Oct. 28, luncheon, which will feature some of fashion’s latest trends.

Chairs for this year’s luncheon are: Remedios Diaz-Oliver, Brenda Nestor Castellano, Sonia Gibson, Lillian S. Machado, James "Jim" Murphy, and Dorothy St. Jean.

Tickets for the Oct. 28 luncheon are $150 and $200 each and can be purchased by calling Carmen Piles, Director of Leadership Giving at 305-779-2861 or email her at

Panel to discuss judicial diversity

The community is invited to a program titled "Diversity and the Federal Bench:A Crisis in Florida" to be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 27 at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Room 3208-09, 300 NE Second Ave. in downtown Miami.

The discussion will be on why the federal courts are important. Panelists will include Joseph W. Hatchett, former chief judge of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Nancy Abudu of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida; John Arrastia, president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Florida; and Nancy Ratzan, former president of the National Council of Jewish women. The program will be moderated by Andrew Blotky, director of Legal Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress. A light dinner will be served.

If you go, you must make reservations by emailing or

Booker T. alumni night

Calling all Washingtonians (graduates and former students at Booker T. Washington High School): The annual BTW Alumni Night will be at 7 p.m. on Aug 30 at The Shantel Supper Club and Lounge, 5422 NW Seventh Ave.

Admission is $5 per person and the event is designed to get together with old classmates and friends to celebrate the start of a new school year and the forthcoming BTW Alumni Association’s 2013-2014 activities.

Everyone is invited.

Learn about the real Ponce de Leon

Do you think you know the real story of Ponce de Leon? And was there really a Fountain of Youth?

You can find out the answers to these and other questions by attending the Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture at noon on Sept. 9, in the third floor Pioneer room at the First National Bank of South Miami, 1550 N. Krome Ave. in Homestead.

The featured speaker will be Bob Carr of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy Inc., and a highly respected former chief archaeologist for Miami Dade County. He his best known for his work on the Miami Circle and at the Deering Estate.

According to Bob Jenson, spokesman for the lunchtime series, Carr will speak on the topic, "Finding Florida: Ponce de Leon’s true quest for Bimini and the Fountain of Youth," and will base his presentation on new information gleaned from examination of archival material on the discovery of Florida by Ponce de Leon.

"He will present the true story on how Ponce discovered Florida and how the Columbus family was cut out of the Florida charter," Jensen said.

The lecture is open and free to the public. An optional simple lunch is available for $10 by calling Barbara at 305-230-9185 before noon on Sept. 6. Lunch is at 11:30, followed by the lecture at noon.

For more information call Jensen at 305-281-0803.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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