United Way of Miami-Dade will honor two of its most dedicated philanthropists with its highest award.
Margarita and Armando Codina will be recognized for their generosity with the Tocqueville Award for Outstanding Philanthropy at a reception at the Star Island home of Trudy and Paul L. Cejas, chairman and CEO of PLC Investments.
The evening will bring together donors who contribute at least $10,000 to Miami-Dade's United Way each year. High-end jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels and Ed Ansin, co-founder of local broadcast company Sunbeam Television, will underwrite the event.
The Codinas, who began donating to United Way of Miami-Dade in 1992, joined the Million Dollar Roundtable, for donors of over $1 million, in 2008.
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“Armando and Margarita are proof that determination, strong family values and a true belief in paying it forward helps families achieve the American Dream,” said Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO of United Way of Miami-Dade.
“To be getting an award for having taken everything I’ve gotten from this community and putting just a little bit back is surreal,” said Armando Codina. “I’m not too big on awards, and neither is my wife. Whatever I do, I’d rather do it quietly than with a lot of fanfare.”
Codina, executive chairman of Coral Gables real estate investment and development firm Codina Partners, was first exposed to the importance of philanthropy and community involvement through the late Knight Ridder chairman, Alvah Chapman Jr., who was his mentor and friend.
Margarita Codina, known as Maggie to friends, has chaired galas with her husband, including benefits for YoungArts and the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center, and serves as a trustee of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart.
Tocqueville Society donors like the Codinas donated almost $15 million to United Way of Miami-Dade between June 2014 and June 2015, making up 40 percent of the organization’s total yearly donations.
The award is named after Alexis de Tocqueville, the 19th-century French political thinker and author who famously recognized Americans’ commitment to civil society in the pages of Democracy in America.