Friends and Neighbors

During this season, remember hope comes from faith


Today (Palm Sunday), as Christians everywhere commemorate what is known as Passion or Holy Week, we do so knowing that all is not right with our world.

Palm Sunday precedes Easter Sunday, when although the previous week brought pain, humiliation and suffering through crucifixion to our Lord, we believe He arose triumphantly, with love and forgiveness and hope of a new beginning to believers.

As a believer, this hope is important to me. Especially in the wake of what is going on throughout the world and even in our own country and communities.

Just last week, there was another shooting at Fort Hood, leaving four soldiers, including the shooter, dead and scores of grieving family and friends to mourn.

On Wednesday, we learned of another violent day, at yet another high school, where several students were stabbed by one of their classmates.

On Thursday, we learned of the hit-and-run driver whose actions left one child dead and others, including several teachers, suffering from injuries they got when he rear-ended another car causing the driver to crash through a wall of the day care center.

I can’t leave out my own neighborhood, where only two weeks ago, there was another drive-by shooting that left a young, pregnant mother dead. And while doctors tried to save her baby, the baby died the next day.

So, you ask, where is the hope?

I say the hope is in the Lord. I know that seems so cut and dry, but it’s true. I have lived long enough to know that when I put my trust and faith in the Lord, all is right in my world. That doesn’t mean there won’t be wars and natural disasters and loss of loved ones from time to time.

It means that in spite of what things seem; that no matter how hard the storms of life blow, we yet have a hope and it is in the comfort of knowing the Lord cares and that He will see us through.

So during this Holy Season when our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate deliverance from bondage and we celebrate the Resurrection, that tells me there is hope. And there will be peace in the midst of whatever storm comes our way.

Miracle Makers

to be honored

Congratulations to the 2014 Big Brothers Big Sisters Miracle Makers, who happen to be some of Miami’s top philanthropists.

They will be honored at 11:30 a.m. April 24 at the 2014 Miracle Makers Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, 455 Grand Bay Dr. It will be hosted by the Women’s Committee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami, and Emmy Award-winning television journalist Jennifer Valoppi will be the mistress of ceremonies.

The honorees are Criselda Breene, Betty Brandt, Jennifer Stearns Buttrick, Lizette Martino Diaz, Stella Holmes, DJ Kerr, Maria Cristina Miranda, Jeffrey Sloman, Rebecca Radin Spinale and the 2014 Power Couple Dan and Trish Bell.

The event will include a cocktail reception, silent auction and luncheon, followed by the fashion show presented by Neiman Marcus. Individual tickets start at $175. Guests are encouraged to purchase raffle tickets in advance for the opportunity to win valuable gifts including an amethyst and baroque pearl necklace with a gold-dipped Bali head; a St. John VIP Shopping experience including a $500 gift card; a private champagne reception; brunch for four at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne; and a gold ring with yellow, green and blue sapphires by Concita Lach.

To reserve your space, contact Shaunte Young at, call Laura Siegel at 305-644-7077 or email lsiegel@bbbsmiami.prg.

Happy feet

project helps kids

Belated kudos to the students at Miami Dade College’s Medical Campus and its community partners for making some children in the Overtown area very happy through the the Medical Center’s Happy Feet project.

Recently the medical students took 50 children by bus to Rack Room Shoes at the Mall of the Americas, where they each picked out a new pair of shoes. The children are pupils at Paul Laurence Dunbar K-8 Center near the Medical Center’s campus in Overtown.

The Happy Feet project began this year and is administered by the Miami Airport Rotary Club, where Dr. Kim McGinnis, student dean at the medical campus, serves as president.

Said McGinnis: “Students from the school may not have known that they have an opportunity to go to college regardless of the price. I told them that I expect to see them at MDC and they should follow their dreams.”

For more information about the Healthy Feet project, contact McGinnis at or call her at 305-237-4212.

Chamber to hear

about economy

Eric Silagy will speak on “Energizing Florida’s Economy” at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday at the lunchtime meeting of the Greater Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce, which is open to the public. The meeting will be at the Woman’s Club of Homestead clubhouse at 1790 SW 292nd St. in Homestead.

Silagy is the chairman of the board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Lunch costs $25 and you may reserve your spot by calling 305-247-2332 or visiting

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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