Miami-Dade County

UM Sports Hall of Famers hold golf benefit for Hurricane Club Victory Fund

Raising funds through golf at the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Tournament are first-place team members from left, Interim Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak, Roger Bassett, Dr. Marco Leyte-Vidal and Dr. Scott Ross.
Raising funds through golf at the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Tournament are first-place team members from left, Interim Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak, Roger Bassett, Dr. Marco Leyte-Vidal and Dr. Scott Ross.

More than 30 sports celebrities, including 20 University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame members, and 120 golfers participated in the recent 22nd annual Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Tournament to benefit the Hurricane Club Victory Fund.

The winning team included interim Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak, Dr. Scott Ross, Dr. Marco Leyte-Vidal, and Roger Bassett. The golfing event was held at the Biltmore Hotel and raised funds to benefit future Hall of Famers.

Brett Romberg, a member of the 2001 National Championship team and the 2002 Dave Rimington Trophy winner as the nation’s best center, served as host. He was inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 after spending nine seasons in the NFL.

“It’s an honor to serve as the host for this great UM event and to know that the funds raised will help our current athletes makes it that much more special,” Romberg said before the event. “I just hope my golf game is up to the task. I don’t want to embarrass myself.”

The UM Sports Hall of Fame celebrated 25 years in August at a reception held at the Tom Kearns Sports Hall of Fame Building. Attending were UM President Donna Shalala, Athletic Director Blake James, Sebastian the Ibis, more than two dozen Hall of Fame members, 12 UM head coaches, and nearly 200 guests.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to “usher in the next 25 years for the UM Sports Hall of Fame” Hall of Fame Executive Director John Routh said.

The event featured check presentations from Hall of Fame President K.C. Jones to Jack Niedbalski of Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys, and to Marc Buoniconti of the Buoniconti Fund. The donations were raised from the annual Hall of Fame Celebrity Dolphin Tournament.

In addition, Hall of Fame President-Elect and Bowling Chairman Gerard Loisel presented a check to Buoniconti from proceeds of the annual Hall of Fame Celebrity Bowling Tournament.

The next big fundraiser will be Feb. 23, when the organization will host its Celebrity Bowling Tournament. For information on sponsorships and team entry, call 305-284-2775.

Be sure to plan a visit to the UM Sports Hall of Fame next to the Hecht Athletic Center on the Coral Gables campus. It houses thousands of artifacts and memorabilia from more than 85 years of Hurricanes athletics. It is free and open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. every weekday, with special hours during holidays. Check out for more.


Be sure to check out the latest production of Fiddler on the Roof presented by the popular local theater group Miami Acting Company at 8 p.m. Nov. 13-16 at the Banyan Bowl at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57th Ave. The Sunday show starts at 7:30 p.m.

This is the first of two productions for the company’s “Season of the Roofs.” Next up will be Tennessee Williams’ Cat on A Hot Tin Roof scheduled for March 19-22.

MAC shows are the collaborations of many volunteers from all walks of life who share a passion to present live theater to our community. Fiddler on the Roof is directed by Kenneth Kurtz, a retired theater professor from the UM Drama Department. He is the MAC artistic director.

Christopher Chisholm, a professional actor who has starred in numerous theatrical productions in Miami, California and New York, is playing the role of Tevya. Golde is played by Francine Silver Birns, an accomplished actor and vocalist who has appeared in other MAC shows. Miami-Dade County Judge Bill Altfield is playing The Rabbi. Antoine Khouri, a music professor at Miami Dade College is the show’s conductor.

Tickets range from $20 for students under 25 to $30 for adults. For more visit


The Dade County Federal Credit Union recently awarded two $1,075 scholarships to local high school students Moesha Naissance and Anais Iglesi who won the credit union’s 75th anniversary essay contest. Their essays depicted the differences between the life of a teen in 1939, when the credit union was founded, and today. The awarding of the scholarships marks the end of a yearlong 75th anniversary celebration.

Students learned about the essay competition through the credit union and Miami-Dade Public Libraries. Credit union membership was not required to enter. There were 92 essays submitted and a panel of five judges selected the final two. For more visit


Learn more about space exploration at two upcoming discussions hosted by the Southern Cross Astronomical Society. Both events are free and will be held at Florida International University, Modesto Maidique campus.

Popular speaker and retired NASA engineer Russell Romanella will discuss future space missions at 8 p.m., Nov. 21. Romanella is the former payload director of the NASA shuttles from Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station. His 30-year tenure with NASA has provided a treasure of scientific knowledge and vision for the SCAS group and space students of all ages.

Next will be Dr. Scott Bolton, director of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, at 8 p.m., Nov. 24. Bolton is the principal investigator for the Juno project within NASA’s New Frontiers Program and previously supervised missions Cassini, Galileo, New Horizons and IBEX. He leads a program that provides training for science teachers, with access to NASA research facilities, to hundreds of schools in the U.S.

Events will be in the FIU Stocker AstroScience Center, behind the FIU Physics Building. SCAS programs include prizes, free refreshments and time to visit with distinguished speakers. For more visit


The Miami chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is part of a national organization that promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) persons, their families and friends through support, education and advocacy.

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami will host the free “Current Understanding of Human Sexuality” at 1 p.m., Nov. 23, at 7701 SW 76 Ave., Miami.

Workshop leader Dr. Marilyn Volker will speak about sexual orientation, gender identity, and the emotions that GLBTQ persons and their families experience. Volker has been involved in LGBTQ support for many years.

Before the workshop, the 11 a.m. service of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami will include an observation of Trans Day of Remembrance, a day set aside each year to honor the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. This will be followed by lunch at noon and then the workshop at 1 p.m. All are welcome and there will be free childcare for ages up to 12. Call 305-989-1623 to register for childcare.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at at least three weeks in advance.