Miami-Dade County

Friends and Neighbors: For Bar Mitzvahs, boys hold charitable Fam Slam Fishing Project

The first Fam Slam Fishing Classic raised funds to help abused, neglected and disabled children. From left: organizer Scott Hellinger, winners Ari Alcalay and Ilan Alcalay, and organizer Koby Krinsky.
The first Fam Slam Fishing Classic raised funds to help abused, neglected and disabled children. From left: organizer Scott Hellinger, winners Ari Alcalay and Ilan Alcalay, and organizer Koby Krinsky.

Thirteen-year-olds Scott Hellinger and Koby Krinsky recently held their first Fam Slam Fishing Classic. They organized the tournament as a charity project commemorating their Bar Mitzvahs.

“Proceeds were donated to JAFCO, an agency which cares for abused and neglected children and those with disabilities in our community. The tournament was a huge success as over $3,000 was raised to help JAFCO continue providing their continuum of high quality programs for these children in need,” said Scott’s mom, Nanci Hellinger

Scott and Koby, eighth graders at Gulliver Schools and Ransom Everglades School, worked diligently at getting sponsorship and publicity for their event. They also recruited participants for the Fam Slam Fishing Classic.

The first year winners were brothers Ari, 15, and Ilan Alcalay, 11.

The support and enthusiasm were so great that the boys plan to continue this tournament as an annual event.

“We had eight boats participate this year, which surpassed our goal for our first year out,” Nanci Hellinger said.

The boys raised a lot of sponsorship and awareness by conducting a guess how many Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers are in a fishbowl game, she said.

“It was a clever idea by the boys that helped promote the event over a two-day period. The winner won a donated dive/snorkel trip in the Keys to keep with the theme of the event,” she said.

The fishing took place off shore and some of the fish were released. The winners filleted their fish and sold them.

Scott said “they would like to grow this into a larger family friendly fishing tournament that has its focus on raising funds and awareness for foster care, adoption, mentoring and developmental disabilities.”

For more information to participate next year, contact


The Franklin C. Bush Chapter of the Woman’s Cancer Association of the University of Miami will hold its fundraiser fashion show “Second Time Around” on Nov 19 at the Courtyard Marriott, 2051 Le Jeune Rd., in Coral Gables. The Boutique opens 10 a.m. followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the fashion show at 12:30 p.m.

This marks the 25th year of this fun community event. Tickets are $50 and proceeds from the boutique sales and the event go toward the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The first chapter started in the 1950s with 28 women. Since then the group has raised more than $12 million and has “provided funds for the Pediatric Palliative Care Program, established the Bereavement Room for families of pediatric cancer patients, and supplied educational materials for the library at the Batchelor Children’s Cancer Institute.”

For fashion show tickets, contact JoAnn Cappelletti at 305-235-6453.

To learn how to get involved, visit

The organization’s famous Bargain Box Thrift Store is located at 1350 W. Flagler St., Miami. You can help by donating items for sale and shopping in the store. Call 305-643-2945.


The Homestead-Miami Speedway and the Mahogany Youth Corporation teamed to give a group of young children a fun-filled day of fishing.

About 20 children spent time on the Speedway property where they participated in a small fishing tournament at the largest of the three lakes.

The mission of Mahogany Youth Corporation is to offer children the opportunity to learn how to fish, and to use fishing as a means to stay away from potentially destructive and criminal behaviors.

“We’ve worked with a lot of kids and we teach them more than fishing,” said Kathleen Elliott-O’Bryant, the group’s vice president of marketing. “We teach them to stay in school, how to stay away from drugs, how to stay out of gangs, and we do life skills with them.”

The children, along with some of their parents and supervisors, spent time reeling in various species of fish and weighing them in hopes of catching the day’s biggest fish.

“This is exciting and this is some place they would never be able to come on their own,” Elliott-O’Bryant said. “As we were driving along and they saw the Speedway they were just like, ‘Wow!’”

Since 1994, the Mahogany Youth Corporation has offered a program titled “Teach a Child to Fish” to teach youth sport fishing and safe boating. Included are programs for youth during afterschool hours, out of school time, and on Saturdays. The group also recently started snorkeling and scuba programs. Check out

For the 13th consecutive year, NASCAR will crown champions in all of its premier series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend, Nov. 14-16.

Kids 12 and under who attend the Ford EcoBoost 400 can find out just what it takes to be a champion. Jimmie Johnson, who has won six of the last eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles, including last year, will hold a Q&A for kids before his race. Space is limited. Visit or call 305-230-5255.


The South Miami/Coral Gables Elks Lodge 1676 is promoting the 2014-15 Most Valuable Student Scholarships sponsored by the Elks National Foundation. The scholarships are open to high school seniors nationwide who are pursuing a four-year degree on a full time basis.

A total of 500 four-year Most Valuable Student Scholarships will be awarded in amounts ranging from $4,000 to $50,000. Applicants will be judged based on scholarship, leadership and financial need.

The top 20 finalists will attend the Leadership Weekend in Chicago in April 2015. Completed applications must be submitted to the Elks lodge nearest to the applicant's home. Applications are available online at on or before Dec. 5.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at