Friends and Neighbors

Groups provide many opportunities for volunteering


Special to the Miami Herald

It is almost officially Spring and that can mean a renewal of community spirit. These groups all help in their own ways through fundraising for good causes and volunteering toward bettering the lives of others. Get involved. You can make a difference.


Amigos For Kids is an organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect in South Florida. The group will hold its fourth annual Celebration of Friendship Awards Luncheon and Children’s Fashion Show at noon March 16 at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami.

At the event, organizers will recognize the JP Morgan Chase Foundation with the Amigos For Kids Celebration of Friendship Award, and Miami Dade County School Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman with the Amigos For Kids Lollipop Award.

“The JP Morgan Chase Foundation and Perla Tabares Hantman are the personification of seeing ‘The World Through The Eyes of a Child’ with their unyielding support of the Amigos For Kids mission and their instrumental dedication to strengthening families and educating our community. Organizations and individuals like them help us make a difference in the lives of children,” said Rosa Maria Plasencia, Amigos For Kids president & CEO in a news release.

By launching the 2014 Blue Ribbon Awareness Campaign the group also recognizes its donors, sponsors and collaborators who have supported efforts such as the Amigos For Kids After-School Program and the There’s NO Excuse For Child Abuse! Campaign.

For more information about tickets, contact Amigos For Kids at 305-279-1155, or visit


The winners of the essay contest on the topic “Why I Am Proud of My Heritage” were announced at the recent 21st Annual Commemorative Service and Youth Talent on Parade of the African American Committee of Dade Heritage Trust.

Also highlighted at the ceremony in the Miami City Cemetery was the unveiling of the headstone of William D. Bascomb, an African American incorporator of the City of Miami, and the recognition of late members Georgia Alexis, Gwendolyn H. Welters, Mona Ball and Juanita Jackson.

Congratulations to the winners of the essay contest. According to a release the elementary school recipients are: 1st place, Riciyah Smith; 2nd place, Herleyd Remy; and 3rd place, Christian Powell. All go to Parkview Elementary School.

The middle school recipients are: 1st place, Jeremiah Harris; 2nd place, Durwina Ofield; 3rd place, Tupac Kersainville; and Honorable Mention, Brianna Parris. All students attend Dr. Charles R. Drew Middle School.

The senior high school recipients are: 1st place, Leesa Annette Newbon; 2nd place, Rickenson Charles; 3rd place, Jayla Ware; and Honorable Mention, Jasmine Corea.

The Youth Talent on Parade participants were Keya Curtis, Kaysia Curtis Brittane Rolle, Breanna Rolle, Jaquan Jordon Cannon, Chryatian Rembert, Twyon Bowe Jones, Kaysia Curtis, Adonas Jones, Jarron-Charles McKinney and Dance Group. The program celebrated history, heritage and culture of the Miami Community.


The annual Coco Plum Woman’s Club Card Party will be a fundraiser to benefit Feeding South Florida. The event will be from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 19 at 1375 Sunset Drive, Coral Gables. Cost is $20 that includes the lunch at noon.

To learn more and to reserve a spot by Friday, call Nadine LaGuette, 305-856-1816 or write to


The Children’s Voice of Miami will host a benefit concert and silent auction to help with expenses for their upcoming trip to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

This group is comprised of boys and girls ages 10 to 16 years old.

The concert called “I Heart NY” will be at 3 p.m. March 16 at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church, 14401 Old Cutler Rd., Palmetto Bay. Voice of Miami, the chorus’ top tiered ensemble has been invited to perform in New York on June 16.

“The children are working very hard to fundraise and prepare the high level music literature that they will be performing in June,” said Jamie Perez Sutta, founder and artistic director of The Children’s Voice.

The concert will be a cabaret-style performance with songs from Broadway musicals such as Jersey Boys, Wicked, Jekyll & Hyde, and Newsies. All proceeds will benefit the 2014 NYC tour and Carnegie Hall debut. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and can be purchased at the door.

For more visit, or write to, or call 786-216-7003. There is also at fundraiser at


Every March the members of the Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland Pinecrest celebrate National March Into Literacy Month by hearing talks from noted authors.

The next breakfast meeting speaker will be Stephanie Bull, who wrote “Gourmet Travels, A Culinary Tour of International Specialties” at 7:30 a.m. at the Dadeland Marriott Hotel, 9090 S. Dadeland Blvd.

Future speakers include, on March 18, former club president Thomas Boswell, University of Miami geography professor and author of a half dozen books, who will talk about “Immigration & the Changing Ethnicity of Metropolitan Miami.” On March 25, club members and guests will hear a talk by Florida International University Professor Lynne Barrett, Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning author, best known for her short stories.

Upcoming speakers include Wifredo Ferrer, United States District Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, who will talk about health care fraud; Philip Wang, of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Affairs Office; and Marisol McManus, a certified acupuncture physician who will talk about Chinese medicine.

This group raises funds for college scholarships. To learn more visit


A new community chorus for older adults has started at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 7410 Sunset Dr., South Miami. The group meets for practice on Thursdays for one hour at 11:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall.

If you love to sing, visit for a free rehearsal. The monthly membership fee is $20. There are no auditions involved. The goal is to provide an environment where everyone is welcome no matter his or her musical ability. In rehearsals participants will learn proper techniques and sing classics and new songs, too.

Contact Claire Gentry for more details at You can also like the group at


Be inspired about French flowering landscape design at the next meeting of the Tropical Flowering Tree Society, 7:30 p.m., Monday at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables in the Corbin Building, next to the Garden House. Debra DeMarco, owner of D.D.M. Horticulture Services, will make the presentation.

Visitors are welcome at no cost. You can become a member for only $30 a year. For more, call TFTS at 305-389-5404, or check out

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