Friends and Neighbors

Help kids through ‘An Evening of Love’


There are a lot of great events going on in our community. This one, to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Lori Brener Scholarship Fund, is one that you may want to put on your must-attend list.

Many boys and girls have benefited from this program, which pairs members of the organization with children in the community who are in need of a mentor, or just someone to buddy around with. If you haven’t been able to help out by being a Big Brother or Big Sister, there are other ways you can help.

One way is to support the organization by attending its celebration of “An Evening of Love,” presented by the Women's Committee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami.

The event will start at 7 p.m. Feb. 7, and will be at the Sonesta Bayfront Hotel, 2889 McFarlane Rd. in Coconut Grove. The event will also benefit the Women’s Committee Lori Brener Scholarship Fund. The evening will include supper-by-the-bite, cocktails, music by guest artist Jorge Gomez (a.k.a. Koke Montes), and a silent auction hosted by Maria Goodno and Sonia Gibson and featuring luxury items such as jewelry and travel packages.

Lori Brener was born in Miami in 1966 and was a graduate of Coral Park High School. She earned a degree in fine arts with a minor in drama from the University of Florida. Brener started her career as an actress, but her passion was to work behind the camera. She moved to Los Angeles and became a successful commercial video and film producer. She became involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters and volunteered at many events alongside her mother, Miriam Salazar, a longtime Women's Committee member. The scholarship was named for Lori when she died in 2009 at age 42.

In a press release, Lydia Muniz, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters said: “We are so happy that our Women’s Committee chose to honor Lori’s memory by enabling future generations of our young people to have the opportunity to go to college or vocational school and succeed in life.”

Tickets to “An Evening of Love” are $125 per person. For more information, contact Deborah Perez at 305-644-0066, ext. 935, or email her at:

Lecture on Isabelle Krome

The Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture Series has presented some interesting speakers in the past. Nearly all of them have told the history of South Dade.

At noon Feb. 3, the lecture will be about “The Indomitable Isabelle Krome,” the world renowned horticulturist and wife of Florida East Coast Railway construction engineer William J. Krome.

As the story goes, while her husband was busy completing the construction of the Florida East Coast Railway to Key West, Mrs. Krome took time away from her schedule as a wife and mother to take over management of the family groves.

To hear the rest of the story you will have to attend to lecture at the Woman’s Club of Homestead, 17905 SW 292nd St. That’s when Katherine L. Fleming, who gained great insight into the later life of Mrs. Krome while working as a volunteer at the Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum cataloging articles that Mrs. Krome had found interesting. Fleming has worked as an archivist at universities, museums and historical societies for more than 20 years and is a director of the Society of Florida Archivists and a member of the Society of American Archivists.

With the help of her collection of Mrs. Krome’s clippings, Fleming will give insight into the life of Krome, an unforgettable Homestead pioneer woman.

The lecture is free and open to the community. An optional simple lunch is available for $10 by calling Barbara at 305-230-9185 before 2 p.m. on Jan 31. You may also bring your won brown bag lunch.

Black history

The 21st Annual Commemorative Service and Youth Talent on Parade will be at 3 p.m. Feb. 9, in the Miami City Cemetery, 1800 NE Second Ave. and Biscayne Park (next to the cemetery). The program will honor the late William D. Bascomb, an African American who helped incorporate the city of Miami.

The program is presented by the African American Committee of Dade Heritage Trust and the Lemon City Cemetery Community Corporation. In addition to Youth Talent on Parade, the program will also honor several essay winners. Music will be provided by Richard J. Strachan.

Admission is free and there will be free refreshments.

5K to help Episcopal school

A great way to get some exercise and support a couple of good organizations is to join the Third Annual Run/Walk 5K to benefit St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School Alumni and Breakthrough Miami.

The event will start at 8 a.m. Saturday and will start at the school, 5692 N. Kendall Dr. in Coral Gables. The entry fee is $25 for early registration, if you participate, and $30 if you skip the race and sleep in.

Race day registration fee is $30. To register by mail send checks to St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School at the above address, or go online: and click on St. Thomas 5K.

‘Judges and Lawyers Event’

The Honorable Judge Steven Leifman will be the guest speaker at the 12th Annual Judges and Lawyers Event at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, 301 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach.

Leifman will speak on the topic, “The Criminalization of Mental Illness.” Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU membership suggested or $30 admission for nonmembers. A light buffet will be served.

Miami Jewish Film Festival

The 17th Annual Miami Jewish Film Festival is being held through Feb. 3. Presented by the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education, the film festival showcases the best international Jewish-interest films and offers the South Florida community opportunities to explore and enjoy Jewish culture.

This year’s festival includes over 30 dramas, documentaries and shorts that feature such legendary stars as Woody Allen, Isabella Rossellini and Sir Patrick Stewart. Igor Shteyrenberg is the festival’s new director.

On Monday the dramatic Israeli film “Bureau 06” will be shown in observance of the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The documentary tells the true story of a team of police investigators formed for the purpose of preparing the charges brought by the Jewish people against Adolf Eichmann, for his trial in Jerusalem in 1961.

For a complete film schedule, tickets and locations throughout Miami-Dade County visit:

‘Food Truck Frenzy’

Beth David Congregation at 2625 SW Third Ave., will have its second annual outdoor “Food Truck Frenzy” from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday on the grounds of the synagogue.

The event is free and will feature 35 outdoor cafe tables, six food specialty trucks, a beer garden, music and a kids zone, and is being held to raise awareness and funds for Beth David’s “One Room at a Time” project and to update the facilities of the congregation’s Gordon Schools and synagogue.

Deborah Waas, who co-chaired the event with Benay Oikes, said, “Last year’s Food Truck Frenzy” drew 500 singles, couples and dogs and was the largest community wide effort ever undertaken by a South Florida synagogue.”

The event will be outside on 27th Road, which will be closed to traffic. The international food vendors will include: Moty's Grill featuring Mediterranean cuisine; MexiZan Gourmet, Veggie Express, Hip Pops handcrafted desserts and Top Fries gourmet fries.

Free parking is available at the synagogue’s parking lot on Southwest Second Avenue. For more information, call 305-854-3911 or go to

Learn about genetically modified organisms

The Miami Lakes Garden Club will present a lecture by Jacqueline Velken entitled “A Look at GMOs“ at 7:30 p.m. Monday, at the Miami Lakes Community Center-West, 15151 Montrose Rd.

The topic of the presentation is centered around the history of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and the recent studies of the impact it has on our health. In her talk, Velken will give a quick history of GMOS and she will discuss recent health dilemmas that have arisen in conjunction with GMOs.

Velken is a member of the Miami Lakes Garden Club and art history student. She volunteers at Fairchild Elementary School, where she is currently working on planting seven vegetable gardens for the students there.

The lecture is free and open to the community. For more information about the garden club, email:

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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