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Beach Buzz: Wendy Walk comes to Miami Beach


Special to The Miami Herald

The fifth annual Wendy Walk Miami (5K) for liposarcoma cancer research takes place at 10:30 a.m. April 13 at Palm Island Park in Miami Beach.

Family members of L.A. resident Wendy Landes, who died in 2013 at age 58 after fighting the disease for four and a half years, created the event.

Co-chairs for the Miami Walk include: Michael and Stephanie Rosen of Miami Beach (Wendy’s brother and sister-in-law); niece Jackie Landes (Wendy’s daughter); and University of Miami students Emily Carter and Beba Rodriguez.

This year’s walk is dedicated to Michael and Wendy’s parents, Phil and Rita Rosen who both passed away earlier this year. It will also mark the one-year anniversary of Wendy’s passing.

The event will feature participants from across the country, students from University of Miami Greek organizations plus music, food, raffles and an auction.

Wendy Walks in California and New York have received support from celebrities, including Matthew Perry, Sugar Ray Leonard, Katie Couric and Maria Shriver.

“The Wendy Walk continues to expand nationally in participants and fundraising. Last year, we were able to raise over $750,000 to fight liposarcoma through the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative,” said Stephanie Rosen.

The not-for-profit Wendy Walk strives to raise funds and awareness for liposarcoma, a rare form of soft tissue cancer that is currently incurable.

Registration is $60 (adults); $40 (students); $25 (children under 12). To participate or donate, visit


The time is drawing near. The third annual O, Miami Poetry Festival, April 1-30 is almost here.

The goal: To have as many people in Miami as possible to experience poetry in as many unexpected ways and places as possible.

“We’re thrilled to once again surprise Miamians,’’ says O, Miami co-founder and Executive Director P. Scott Cunningham.

O, Miami is funded with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“Poetry is a living, breathing force that can light up the city. O, Miami is its platform. The written word leaves the printed page for a parade on South Beach, morphs into interpretive dance in Hialeah, and along the way helps art become part of people’s everyday lives,” says Alberto Ibargüen, president of the Knight Foundation.

The first big community event, Poetry in the Park, takes placeat 5 p.m. April 5 at Soundscape Park in MiamiBeach. Free and open to the community, it will feature musical performances by New World Symphony Fellows, food, games, Bookleggers Mobile Library book exchange, and poets writing to-order poems via manual typewriters.

At 8 p.m., there will be readings by master poets Robert Hass and Nikky Finney broadcast on the New World Center’s gigantic projection wall. Afterward, the official O, Miami tote bag (designed by Flying Pyramid) will be revealed for the first time.

For a complete list of O, Miami events, projects and happenings throughout April, visit


The Commonwealth Institute (TCI) of South Florida will host its ninth annual awards ceremony and luncheon honoring top women-led Florida businesses on April 3 at the Hilton Miami Downtown, 1601 Biscayne Blvd.

The event begins with a silent auction at 11:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The program will feature a panel of four honorees: Donna E. Shalala, president, University of Miami; Mary Jo Eaton, executive managing director, CBRA, Anne Deli, president, American Road Group and Judy Leibovit, president, Sweet Endings. Moderating the discussion will be Colleen Moore Mezler of Moore Research Services.

There will also be a raffle drawing held for a seven-night European Celebrity Cruise for two (value $5,000). Raffle tickets are $50 each; $100 for 3. Luncheon tickets are $125 each (TCI members); $150 (non-members).

The non-profit TCI helps women CEOs, entrepreneurs and senior executives grow their businesses through peer mentoring, education, development and networking. The group is celebrating its 10th year in South Florida. Executive Director is Miami Beach resident Laurie Kay Davis. President is Diane Davis of Miami.

For tickets or details, call (305)799-6547 or visit


The second annual Espirito Santo Bank Donation Program is underway. Its mission: to split $41,000 equally among four deserving Miami-area charities.

“We inaugurated this program in 2013 in celebration of our 40thanniversary and based on the outstanding work and need among charities in our community have decided to make it an annual event,” said Frederick Reinhardt, Espirito Santo’s chairman and CEO.

This year, two of the organizations will be nominated by bank employees, two others can be nominated by the community. To qualify, organizations must be a non-profit or appropriate (i.e. school) agency, serve residents of Miami-Dade County and be non-discriminatory in hiring policies and services provided.

Nominations may be made online at Deadline to apply is June 11, with recipients announced June 25 via the same website.

Beach Buzz appears every other Sunday, and focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.

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