Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Ten women to receive In the Company of Women awards

Bea Hines
Bea Hines

It gives me great pleasure to present to you the 10 women who are the winners of the 27th annual In the Company of Women Awards.

The awards ceremony, presented by Macy’s, will highlight some of the most influential women in South Florida. They were selected within 10 categories and range from an editorial cartoonist whose illustrations challenged a corrupt government, to a prestigious doctor who for the past year has braved the Ebola front lines to treat those infected.

Hosted by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, Miami-Dade Commission for Women, and Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, the awards ceremony will be from 6 to 9 p.m. March 5 at Coral Gables Country Club, 990 Alhambra Circle. It is a great way to kick off Women’s History Month and to introduce you to some fabulous women.

And the winners are:

▪ Mayor’s Pioneer Award: Sheila Duffy-Lehrman of Tropic Survival Advertising & Marketing.

▪ Arts and Entertainment: Kalyn Chapman James, Art Loft and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

▪ Business and Economics: Antoinette Patterson, One World Learning Center.

▪ Education and Research: Malou C. Harrison, Miami Dade College, North Campus.

▪ Government & Law (Elected): Honorable Bertila Soto, chief judge, 11th Judicial Circuit Court.

▪ Government & Law (Non-elected): Iraida R. Mendez-Cartaya, Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

▪ Health & Human Services: Aileen M. Marty, M.D., FACP, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University.

▪ Sports & Athletics: Dr. Janice Bell, St. Thomas University.

▪ Posthumous Award: Anne Mergen, Editorial Cartoonist.

▪ Community Spirit: Cassandra Theramene, Scholars Today, Leaders of Tomorrow.

Tickets are $60 in advance and $65 at the door, including a pre-event reception with drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction, followed by the awards ceremony. WPLG-Channel 10 meteorologist Betty Davis will be master of ceremonies.

Contributions of $250 and above afford young women an opportunity to attend the event. For tickets and more information, visit: Event proceeds will support parks and parks programming, including the Women’s Park at 10251 W. Flagler St. and the Girls Empowerment and Mentoring (G.E.M.) Summer Arts Camp.

Women’s History Month

The official kickoff of Women’s History Month will be at 2 p.m. March 1 at the Miami City Cemetery, 1800 NE Second Ave. in downtown Miami.

Presented by the Women’s History Coalition of Miami-Dade County, the annual observance will be at the gravesite of Julia Tuttle, founder of the city of Miami, who is also considered the “Mother of Miami.” This tribute to Tuttle is held every March.

Penny Lambeth, who is known for her portrayal of Tuttle, will be featured speaker. The ceremony will be followed by a tailgate picnic.

For those of you who don’t know Tuttle’s history, she was born Julia DeForest on Jan. 22, 1849, in Cleveland. She was an entrepreneur and businesswoman and is credited with being the founder of Miami — the only female to found a major U.S. city. She and Mary Brickell owned land upon which the city was built.

The Women’s History Coalition was founded in 1983 and incorporated in 1986 by a group of women in Miami-Dade County. The primary purpose is to coordinate and promote Women’s History Month, which is nationally celebrated each March. The coalition has a multi-ethnic board of directors elected by its membership each year. All programs are presented by volunteers who have an interest in preserving the history and contributions of women in South Florida.

For more information, call Dolly MacIntyre at 305-460-0157 or email her at

Hadassah donor celebration

Hadassah of Greater Miami will hold its Major Donor Celebration — The Power of Women Who Do annual luncheon at 11 a.m. March 1 at the DoubleTree Ocean Point Resort and Spa in Sunny Isles Beach.

The event will feature Marcie Naton, the organization’s national president, who has visited Israel more than 70 times. It will be the first time she speaks to the Greater Miami Hadassah.

The program will also include entertainment by Aelita, a renowned singer who has performed in four continents, raising $7 million for the state of Israel.

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, was founded in 1912 by Henrietta Szold. It is the largest women’s Zionist volunteer organization in the U.S. with more than 300,000 members, associates and supporters. It is represented with members in every congressional district in every state, Puerto Rico, and in more than 30 countries.

Recently, Hadassah was named No. 3 on the Charity navigator’s list of “Ten of the Best Charities Everyone’s Heard of.”

Tickets are $100 each and kashruth will be observed. Hadassah supporters, men and women, who give or have given $5,000 or more, qualify as major donors.

For tickets and more information contact Lori Heiken at 305-576-4447 or email

Religion and Ecology

You are invited to hear Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University scholar and lecturer, at 7 p.m. Thursday at Florida International University. Tucker is a longtime advocate of religion’s role to bring healing to our planet.

Her topic will be “The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology,” and she will speak in Room 221 of Wolfe University Center on the campus of FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus, 3000 NE 151st St. in North Miami.

Tucker will highlight some of the noteworthy work being done within religious communities around the world that draw attention to the moral and spiritual implications of diminishing rsources and the restoration they’re spearheading.

The event is free and open to the public.

‘Celebrating Immigrants’ Contributions’

March truly is the month for and about women. And you should know that FANM AYISYEN NAN MIYAMI/Haitian Women of Miami, requests the honor of our presence at its 22nd annual gala, “Celebrating Immigrants’ Contributions.”

The black-tie event will be 7 p.m. March 7 at the Caribbean Marketplace, 5925 NE Second Ave. in Miami, with entertainment provided by Nicky Mix.

The 2015 Distinguished Honorees will be presented at the gala. They are: State Rep. Daphne D. Campbell; Father Reginald Jean-Mary; Tony Jeantheno, MSW; Odiane Medacier, ARNP, MSN, FNP-C; Francesca Menes, MPA; Rudolph Moise, MD; Romane Petit Joseph, MS; Maria Rodriguez, and Marie Paule Woodson, MS

Tickets are $100 per person or $1,000 per table of 10.

For sponsorship or tickets, call the organization at 305-756-8050, or go to

Sephardic Jews in the Caribbean

You are invited to hear a lecture by Dr. Marcos Antonio Ramos, senior research associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday at The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr. in Miami Beach. His topic will be “Sephardic Jews in the Caribbean Islands.”

Long before the Jewish settlements in North America, Sephardic Jews came to the Caribbean as crew members on Columbus’ ships, according to Arts at St. Johns, presenter of the lecture.

The program is free. To reserve a place, email

Free Gospel Sundays concert

There is still time to attend the Free Gospel Sundays Concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in downtown Miami.

The featured guest artist will be internationally known The Rance Allen Group.

The gospel group has recorded 21 albums and is known for such songs as Ain’t No Need of Crying, I Belong to You and Hear My Voice. Its 1991 CD Phenomenon reached the top of Bilboard’s Gospel Chart and earned nominations for Grammy, Stellar and Soul Train Music awards.

The Rance Allen Group has been named Quartet of the Year by Stellar Gospel Music Awards, and received a Dove award nomination.

If you have ever heard this group, you know what’s in store. Those of you who have never heard of the group, you will be happy you attended the concert. If it’s your first time hearing the group, you will want to hear more.

It’s free, but if you go, please be at the Knight Concert Hall by 3:15 p.m. to pick up your tickets.

Holocaust Education Week

Holocaust Education Week, Feb. 23-27, continues with the screening of The Gerda Weissman Klein Story, a film that chronicles the courageous story of the survival of Klein. It will be shown at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach at 1933-1945 Meridian Ave. in Miami Beach.

Klein lived through six years of Nazi rule, including a 350-mile death march. A panel discussion, featuring Holocaust survivors Joe Sachs and Fred Mulbauer, will follow the screening. Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, chairwoman of the Holocaust Education Committee, will be the moderator.

Also Wednesday, author Carla McCafferty will speak about Varian Fry, an American journalist who was sent to Vichy, France, in 1940 by the Emergency Rescue Committee. During the 13 months he was there, he ran a clandestine escape network that succeeded in rescuing 4,000 people, including Jewish artists and scholars such as Marc Chagall and Hannah Arendt. The event will be at 7 p.m. at the Holocaust Memorial.

At 9:50 a.m. Thursday, McCafferty will give her presentation at Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus, in Building 6, Room 6120. The college is at 11011 SW 104th St.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.