Friends and Neighbors

MDC students raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation


Special to the Miami Herald

A group of busy college students recently found a way to have fun and raise funds for a good cause.

As finals approached, the students in Miami Dade College’s Diverse Student Organization took a break to give back. They gathered at Arcade Odyssey in Kendall for gaming and to help support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Organizer Jordan Dieppa said the event was an incredible success and she plans to repeat it next year.

“We made 10 times as much as last year’s $26. DSO, and especially Arcade Odyssey, did a great job in supporting my vision and goal, and I hope for an even bigger success next year when I plan on organizing it for a third year, and A.O. will have hosted for its fourth year,” Dieppa said.

The students raised $282.48, which they sent in a check to the national Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. According to the foundation’s website, CF is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of more than 30,000 children and adults in the United States. There are 1,000 new cases diagnosed in nationally each year. About 70,000 have CF worldwide.

While some progress has been made, there is still no cure for CF. Patients must spend each day in efforts to loosen and clear their airways of the thick mucus that forms. They take inhaled medicines and antibiotics to aid this as well as pancreatic enzyme supplements to improve vital nutrient absorption.

“Currently, there is not a widespread cure for CF, only treatments that were designed to target specific areas of the body to maintain the symptoms,” Dieppa said. “Recently, we have begun to hope as the FDA approved the drug Kalydeco for use in people ages 6 and older who have nine of the 1,800 mutations. The drug treats the underlying causes of the disease.”

Members of the Diverse Student Organization club enjoy volunteering and have donated and raised funds for various organizations including the Chapman Partnership, Dieppa said.

She said Arcade Odyssey, at 12045 SW 117th Ave., has held multiple fundraisers to support CF and other causes over the last two years. The gaming center is a retro-style arcade with classics such as Pac-Man and Galaga, pinball machines, and Japanese games. For the recent CF fundraiser the arcade donated almost $180 dollars to the cause.

If you would like to know how to get involved with helping the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation call 1-800-FIGHT CF, or email To learn about symptoms and treatments visit


Get out your bowler hats and flapper dresses to join in the celebration of Bloomsday on June 16. The date is marked for partying by millions around the world to commemorate James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses.

And of course, Miami is always ready to party.

Our Joyce-loving community will commemorate the 110th anniversary of the novel’s epic journey by the two residents of Dublin, Ireland, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, for whom the day is named.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave. with singer/songwriter Paddy Kelleghan telling stories and singing songs of his native Dublin. Then University of Miami Ph.D. candidate Briana Calasi will read her favorite passage from Ulysses.

After the reading there will be a short journey with flags led by a kilted bagpiper around the block to John Martin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant for the Bloomsday Feast.

Everyone is encouraged to wear costumes from the early 1900s. Bowler hats, waistcoats, stiff collared shirts, dressy hats, flapper dresses and frocks are all welcome.

And the best part is that admission to the Bloomsday 110th Anniversary Celebration is free and open to all thanks to The South Florida Emerald Society and the St. Patrick’s Day Committee, the sponsors of Bloomsday. For more information call John Kane at 305-271-2696.


Surround yourself in beauty and butterflies as a volunteer at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The free Volunteer Information Days will be from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., June 12 and June 14 in the Garden’s Visitor Center Ballroom, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables.

The sessions will present the many opportunities available in education, horticulture, conservation and more. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. To RSVP, call 305-667-1651, ext. 3360.


Congratulations to all involved with the third annual Wash ‘N Ride for a Cause charity car wash hosted by Homestead-Miami Speedway. The event raised nearly $10,000 for Driving for a Cause, the group’s charity, and the Miami Children’s Health Foundation.

More than 200 cars were washed and dried at the track as they followed the official Homestead-Miami Speedway Ford Shelby Mustang GT 500 around the speedway. 

“The event was a lot of fun for all that came to the Speedway, from the participants to the volunteers, as well as Miami Children’s Health Foundation,” Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer said in a release.

“We are very thankful to have been selected as the charity of choice by Homestead-Miami Speedway,” said Lucy Morillo, president and CEO of Miami Children’s Health Foundation. “With the generous donations received through this event, Miami Children’s Health Foundation can continue supporting and raising awareness for some of the key initiatives at Miami Children’s Hospital, and continue ensuring the health and happiness of children everywhere.”

To get involved with community outreach at the speedway call 305-230-5243 or email To learn more about the MCH Foundation, visit or call 305-666-2889.


Calling all young gamers, filmmakers and photographers. Students ages 8-13 can learn more through computers at free YouthSpark Summer Camps, part of a Microsoft global initiative to educate future leaders about science, technology and engineering.

South Florida Microsoft stores, including the new one in Aventura Mall, are hosting the designer camps. Each session is four days and camps are available until Aug. 29. To learn more and enroll, visit

Hernán Rincón, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Latin America, led the recent ribbon cutting of the new Aventura Mall store. At the event, Rincón presented more than $1 million in software grants to local community organizations including United Way of Miami-Dade, The Arc of South Florida, Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center and Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida.

Send news and photos to . Please email items at least three weeks in advance of an event.

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