Friends and Neighbors

Tween photographers can hone skills through Zoo Miami contest

Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill with students at the Mercantil Commercebank's 2012 Zoolens month-long photo contest for middle school students of Miami-Dade County as they participate in the Zoolens Kick-Off Celebration at Zoo Miami Oct. 6th, 2012. The program is sponsored by Mercantil Commercebank, in partnership with Zoo Miami, the Zoological Society of Florida, and the North American Nature Photography Association.
Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill with students at the Mercantil Commercebank's 2012 Zoolens month-long photo contest for middle school students of Miami-Dade County as they participate in the Zoolens Kick-Off Celebration at Zoo Miami Oct. 6th, 2012. The program is sponsored by Mercantil Commercebank, in partnership with Zoo Miami, the Zoological Society of Florida, and the North American Nature Photography Association.
Mitchell Zachs / Mitchell Zachs Photography /

Special to The Miami Herald

To help foster wildlife appreciation and education, Miami-Dade middle school students are invited to photograph their favorite Zoo Miami animal for the Zoolens Photography Project. The young photographers will have a chance to win the top prize of $2,000.

The month-long competition encourages middle school students of public and private schools to visit Zoo Miami from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 to creatively photograph their favorite animals.

Midway through the project, on Oct. 12, there will be a free event for students at Zoo Miami, where attendees can learn photography tips from Zoo Miami’s spokesman and Nikon “ambassador” Ron Magill, a noted photographer and wildlife expert.

“It truly is inspiring for me to see students develop connections to the animals and be encouraged by wildlife education,” said Magill in a news release. “The images they submit display both the beauty of wildlife and the extraordinary talent of Miami-Dade’s young photographers.”

The contest, sponsored by Venezuelan-owned Mercantil Commercebank, is now in its fourth year. It was developed in partnership with Zoo Miami and the Zoological Society of Florida.

Students interested in participating are asked to submit an original, artistic photograph of a Zoo Miami animal, before Nov. 1, through their schools or by bringing their entry to any Mercantil Commercebank branch. A panel of judges will choose three grand prize winners and 10 honorable mention winners. The first-place winner will receive a $2,000 savings account, second place will receive a $1,500 savings account, and third place, a $1,000 savings account.

The top three winners will also receive a professional camera and student membership to the North American Nature Photography Association and their respective schools will receive a donation from Mercantil Commercebank. The 10 honorable mentions will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card.

The 2013 ZoolensSM Photography Project judges include Zoological Society of Florida board member Grizzel Gonzalez; Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Patrick Farrell; internationally acclaimed photo-artist María Martínez-Cañas; New World School of the Arts visual arts professor and curator Rosario Martínez-Cañas; and Zoo Miami’s Magill.

To learn more, visit www., or


Remember to buy your tickets early for the fifth annual Coral Gables Community Foundation’s Tour of Kitchens planned for Jan. 25, 2014. This fun foodie fundraiser supports the hometown foundation and Coral Gables Senior High Culinary Arts Program. Last year, the student chef program was supported with $10,000 raised through the event.

Tickets make great gifts but they are selling fast. They are on sale now for $60 per person through Dec. 31. The ticket price will increase on Jan. 1, 2014, to $75 per person. Visit for more details.


Breast cancer survivors are invited to join others at the Your Bosom Buddies Breast Cancer Survivors Celebration from 6-9 p.m., Oct. 3 at South Miami Hospital’s Clarke Education Center, U.S. 1 and Southwest 62nd Avenue. The featured speaker is health educator Scott Irwin. Heroines Choir, a singing group of local breast cancer survivors and their supporters, will open the program.

The free event is for breast cancer survivors, their families and friends. The focus of this year’s event is “Not for Women Only: Understanding Male Breast Cancer.” The American Cancer Society estimates that this year there will be 2,240 new cases of male breast cancer in the United States.

“My grandfather was treated for breast cancer and I had my own scare with a breast lump that thankfully was not cancer,” said Irwin. “I want to use my experience to raise awareness of this disease. Men, and the women who care about them, need to know about its risk factors, signs and symptoms.”

Other speakers at the celebration include Baptist Health breast surgeons Robert Derhagopian, M.D., Gladys Giron, M.D., Cristina Lopez-Penalver, M.D., cancer specialist Grace Wang, M.D. and plastic surgeon Brad Herman, M.D. Miss Miami Outstanding Teen, Katelynn Burke, will also speak.

More than 20 community organizations will have exhibits of interest to breast cancer survivors and there will be music and a light dinner. While the event is free, space is limited. Reservations are required. Call 786-596-3812 or write to

The Your Bosom Buddies Breast Cancer Support Group meets the third Thursday of every month at South Miami Hospital.

“We began in 1997 as a small event just for our group, but because it was so well received, we expanded it into a much larger community event,” said Linda Burrowes, founder of Your Bosom Buddies. For more on this group visit


All are welcome to meet and hear author Steve Liebowitz when he discusses Devorah, his novel inspired by a Biblical heroine, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Oct. 5 at the Pinecrest Library, 5835 SW 111 St. The program is hosted by the South Florida Writers Association.

The event includes brunch and there is a charge of $10 for SFWA members and $12 for guests. RSVP by Oct. 3 to For more information visit


Enjoy the natural beauty of South Florida’s Biscayne Bay at free yoga classes in Peacock Park, 2820 McFarlance Rd., hosted by the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District and Dharma Studio.

Starting Oct. 1, every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m., residents are invited to open-level weekly yoga classes for all ages. A certified yoga instructor from Dharma Studio will lead each class. All participants must sign a waiver and should bring their own yoga mat, water, and towel. Classes will be Vinyasa-based. These feature a flowing energetic style and include breath-work, meditation and relaxation.

Classes will be held through April 2014 and are subject to cancellation due to rain. For more check out or call 305-461-1777.


More than 1,000 South Florida residents are expected at the second annual National Parkinson Foundation Moving Day Walk set for 8:30 a.m., Oct. 6 in Bayfront Park.

Moving Day Miami aims to raise awareness and funds for those suffering with Parkinson’s disease. Janet Reno is the Honorary Chairperson this year. The event highlights the crucial importance of exercise for those with Parkinson’s. It is sponsored by the National Parkinson Foundation and organized by the NPF South Florida Chapter.

Estimates show about one million people in the United States live with Parkinson’s, with about 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Parkinson’s is a chronic progressive movement disorder. The cause is unknown, and there is no cure. Treatment options include medication and surgery to manage symptoms, and movement classes such as dance and yoga to help improve mobility, balance and daily activities.

For more on PD visit or call NPF’s Helpline, 1-800-4PD-INFO. There is no registration fee for the Oct. 6 Moving Day event. To get involved, visit

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at

Read more Miami-Dade stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category