April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month. Hundreds in South Florida stepped up to the challenge at the recent Purple Stride Walk/Run held at Doral Central Park, when over 600 participants raised more than $115,000.
The 5K event presented by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center strives to bring awareness about pancreatic cancer to the community.
The keynote speaker was Robert Glazier, a pancreatic cancer survivor, who writes a Caring Bridge blog about the challenges of battling the disease. He was the top individual fundraiser and collected more than $7,700. His team was second in fundraising for the cause with over $9,000 raised.
The top team, Team Alan, raised more than $12,000 and had 48 members. Emcee for the event was Vickie Frazier-Williams, formerly of WPLG Local 10. The founder of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Pamela Acosta Marquardt, also attended.
Miami resident Andres Tejidor lost his mother to pancreatic cancer in October 2007, just 20 months after being diagnosed.
“Thousands of people across the country have joined us in our fight to end pancreatic cancer through their participation in over 50 PurpleStride events held this year by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network,” Tejidor said in a release.
“I stride, not only as a tribute to my mom, but also to help change the course of this deadly disease by improving patient survival and giving survivors more time to spend with their friends and family. My mother passed away on the day she would have celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary with my father, only three days after her 49th birthday.”
To get involved locally visit https://www.facebook.com/PancanMiami.
You also can watch patient testimonials at https://www.youtube.com/user/StopPancreaticCancer and to read about Glazier’s journey go to https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/robertglazier/journal.
BIG AWARD FOR DIRECTOR
Ricky J. Martinez, artistic director for the New Theatre, will be honored with the 2016 Margo Jones Award at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts on April 30 at a ceremony featuring renowned theater educators and performers who will talk about Martinez’s significant impact.
Ohio State University Libraries and OSU Arts and Humanities give the award to honor persons in theater who have demonstrated an “understanding and affirmation of the craft of playwriting, and who have encouraged living theatre everywhere.”
As a forward thinking, risk-taking, award-winning director and performer, Martinez has been the “theatre-maker” behind projects too numerous to list here. He has collaborated with playwrights on more than 50 world premieres.
His latest play is the world premiere of “Roof!” showing April 9 through May 1, for the 30th anniversary of New Theatre at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St., Cutler Bay.
The work focuses on two Cuban American roommates who host a rooftop barbecue for their Bohemian friends which suddenly leads to a life-shattering experience and a test of friendship. Tickets are $41. For tickets and more visit http://www.new-theatre.org/
South Florida lobbyist Michael Kesti recently received recognition for his work as an FBI Confidential Informant in sting operations conducted in South Florida starting in 2011.
The Village of Palmetto Bay Proclamation and Certificate of Recognition states he “went above and beyond” in his anti-corruption efforts when he volunteered to assist in numerous government operations. The Proclamation continues, “his service included wearing a ‘wire’ and other secretive undercover activities.” Eugene Flinn, Mayor of The Village of Palmetto Bay, made the presentation at the March Palmetto Bay Council meeting.
“I am honored and humbled by this recognition,” Kesti said in email. “Obviously, as a Confidential Informant, I did not expect to be recognized for these actions, or at least (not) until some time in the distant future, but I am grateful that the town that I live in publicly thanked me.”
“I am now speaking to groups about my experiences to educate them on the extreme level of public corruption and the significantly detrimental impact it has on our community,” he said. “And more importantly, that we all need to stand-up and take action when we know of corruption or any illegal activities — it's a responsibility we all share!”
Actor and historian Robert Dawson will be Shakespeare for a day at this live rendition of the Bard of Avon’s life. This is a free family fun event at 11 a.m., April 23 at the Brockway Memorial Library, 10021 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores.
Reserve a seat to attend the performance and learn all about the details of history’s literary genius. Call 305-758-8107.
Be sure not to miss this afternoon of chamber music and solo performances showcasing the talents of local musicians. The Greater Miami Symphonic Band will present its next free concert for the public at 4 p.m. April 24 at Kendall United Methodist Church Sanctuary, 7600 SW 104th St., Pinecrest.
Highlights include a variety of musical selections featuring a whimsical woodwind quintet, a charming clarinet ensemble, a flute choir, a saxophone ensemble, and the spectacular GMSB Big Swing Band. Call the hotline at 305-273-7687 or visit http://www.gmsb.org/.
Young talented musicians have a few days left to enter the Homestead Community Concerts Music Scholarship Competition.
Applications will be accepted until April 22 and the competition is open to all students 18 years of age and younger who reside in Miami-Dade County who have not yet graduated high school.
Auditions will be 4-9 p.m., April 29 at City Church 47 NW 16th St., Homestead. Get the application and other details at http://notegarden.com/competitions/30.
Kids and their families can meet favorite superheroes, participate in arts and crafts, take Yoga by the Sea, hear music by the students from the Academy of Arts & Minds, and see planting demonstrations and a ladybug release by Slow Food Miami at this year’s Earth Day Celebration at The Barnacle.
The fun is April 17, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Barnacle Historic State Park, 3485 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. Admission is $5 for guests ages 6 and up and $3 for children ages 2 to 5. Kids under 2 are admitted free.
Bring your bike for even more green-themed fun. Bike Coconut Grove will provide a bicycle valet. Kids can decorate their bikes and show off their finished creations in a bicycle parade. Picnics and well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome.
House Tour tickets will be available for $1-$3. Free for kids under six. For more, call 305-442-6866 or visit http://www.thebarnacle.org/
If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at email@example.com.