Helping others is what many of us try to do every day. When residents of the Lower Keys needed extra care recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Irma, employees of The Palace Gardens in Homestead stepped up.
On Tuesday, they traveled by bus with a truck loaded with food and supplies in a caravan escorted by Homestead police to mile marker 15 — the site of Baby’s Coffee — to serve hot meals and give out donated items.
The Palace Gardens’ executive director Zack Shaham participated in the relief mission.
“It’s important for us to help others in this time of need,” Shaham said in a release. “Some of our employees are working on their first day off since Hurricane Irma but wanted to be part of this effort. We’ve experienced the devastation from a hurricane when Hurricane Andrew hit both The Palace Gardens in Homestead and The Palace Kendall. We know how important it is to lend whatever support we can.”
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About 25 employees were joined by The Palace Gardens residents Nancy and Charles “Cap” Pender, and their daughter and son-in-law Kim and Ray Harr.
Elizabeth Martinez, director of sales, put the wheels in motion for the community relief mission. The Palace Coral Gables’ executive chef Ken Eubanks joined with Palace Gardens sous chef Orlando Casanova in planning the menu. They served barbecue ribs, roasted chicken, yellow rice, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, potato salad and corn on the cob. The food was prepared ahead of time and packed for serving.
The group also brought nonperishable food to give to local chefs cooking in the Keys and 1,000 cases of water donated from the 10 Palace communities.
Dining room manager Carmen Ojeda, who has worked for The Palace for 29 years, said being part of the relief team was especially meaningful.
“This is the time to help others,” she said. “Hurricane Irma left them like it left us after Andrew.”
Ojeda remembers working at The Palace and staying at the community with her children, then ages 2 and 5, during Hurricane Andrew. When she returned to her home, she found she had lost her house and her car. She and her family had to live in a FEMA trailer for three years.
Shaham said the team was glad to assist those in the Keys.
“We strive to be good neighbors and it was heartwarming to be able to be of help,” he said. “Many people we served were Keys residents, workers and first responders. We’re happy to do our part in helping hurricane recovery efforts.”
Patently Impossible Project
Save the date and get set to build an invention or watch the builders as part of the eighth annual Patently Impossible Project to benefit Dade Legal Aid, the oldest civil legal services provider to indigent children, women and families in Miami-Dade County.
“It gets bigger and better every year,” Jaime Rich Vining, committee chair and an Intellectual Property attorney with Friedland Vining, said in a release. “The event will feature 20 teams of attorney inventors competing against one another in this charity race to assemble a patented invention.”
Hosted by the Intellectual Property Committee of the Dade County Bar Association, the event will be 6-8 p.m. Nov. 2 at The Vizcaya Village Garage, 3250 S. Miami Ave. It is open to all in the South Florida legal and business community.
Guests will “bet” on their favorite contestant by purchasing raffle tickets for door prizes that include Miami Heat tickets, Miami Marlins memorabilia and hotel stays donated by local sponsors.
In addition to watching contestants compete to assemble their inventions, guests will enjoy a silent auction and cocktail receptionalongside more than 300 attendees. Guests represent a “who’s who” of local celebrities, judges, engineers, brand owners, startups and corporate counsel.
Corporate sponsors have helped raise more than $150,000 for the cause and to make the event possible through the years.
In practice for more than 65 years, Dade Legal Aid provides free civil legal services to thousands of qualifying low-income residents in Miami-Dade County. In 2016, it helped 5,000 clients through staff attorneys who specialize in family law, domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, child and teen advocacy, guardianship, housing, bankruptcy, benefits and foreclosure.
Help is needed more than ever as funding cuts have reduced the organization’s staff and ability to serve the ever-growing legal needs of the indigent population.
RSVP for the eighth annual Patently Impossible Project to Vining at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-777-1720.
And visit http://www.dadelegalaid.org/save-the-date-november-2-the-eight-annual-patently-impossible-project-is-coming/ for details and a list of sponsors and silent auction donors.
Free orchestra concert
The Alhambra Orchestra, directed by Daniel Andai, invites the public to its first concert of the season, “Force and Fire,” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at Ransom Everglades School, 3575 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. Admission and parking are free.
The event will feature Verdi’s dramatic overture from “La Forza del Destino,’’ followed by three of Dvorak’s lively Symphonic Dances. The monumental Seventh Symphony of Beethoven is the featured piece.
Bring friends and family to enjoy these orchestral masterworks presented by Miami’s community orchestra, with its mission of supporting classical music and music education.
No tickets or reservations are needed. To learn more, visit http://www.alhambramusic.org/ or call 305-668-9260.
If you have news for this column, send it to Christina Mayo at email@example.com.