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South Florida’s women make a difference through philanthropy


Today we pause to show our appreciation for the mothers in our lives — all of the women who have taken care of us, encouraged us to be better human beings, and driven us to succeed in our personal and professional lives. Many of us can add to that list the work they have done for the greater community because for women in South Florida and across the country, philanthropy is an important part of life. In fact, according to a study by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, women are 50 percent more likely than males to support both global and local needs.

Here in Miami, we are seeing the strong giving spirit of women throughout the community. From Adrienne Arsht’s generous $30 million donation to the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts to Lin Arison’s founding of the National YoungArts Foundation, to the many women leading charitable efforts across causes and institutions, women have become an important part of the philanthropic landscape of the city.

One initiative of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, called Venus Orbit, is working to further engage women. The mission is to bring 1,000 women together, each pledging $1,000 or above in support of the new museum’s planetarium. Those donations will be matched by a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 1:2 Challenge Grant.

The support for Venus Orbit has been so robust among Miami’s female business and community leaders that we have already reached over $250,000 in funds raised through the program.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, we should also pause to recognize the philanthropic work of women across the community. The success of Venus Orbit and numerous other programs and institutions, such as the Junior League and the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle, are a reminder of the power of female philanthropists locally. Guided by our innate sense of service and strong connection to the causes we stand behind, women are making a difference and changing the future of Miami for the better.

Julia Rea Bianchi, Venus Orbit chair, Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science Board of Trustees, Miami

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