Community Voices

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network PurpleStride Miami fundraiser Feb. 11 at Tropical Park

PurpleStride Miami 2017 volunteers Andres Tejidor and Anita Marks participate in memory of loved ones who died of pancreatic cancer. The 5K run/walk is Feb. 11 at Tropical Park.
PurpleStride Miami 2017 volunteers Andres Tejidor and Anita Marks participate in memory of loved ones who died of pancreatic cancer. The 5K run/walk is Feb. 11 at Tropical Park. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

Gather your family members and friends for a good walk or run to support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network PurpleStride Miami fundraiser.

The family-friendly 5K event will be Feb. 11 at Miami’s Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St. Registration opens at 6 a.m., opening ceremony is at 7 a.m. and the run/walk starts at 7:30 a.m. This important gathering raises funds, awareness and support for those with pancreatic cancer.

Andres Tejidor, volunteer and affiliate chairman of the Miami Affiliate Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, lost his mother to pancreatic cancer in 2007 just 20 months after she was diagnosed. His Team Tejidor walks in her honor.

Anita Marks, PurpleStride Miami event chair, walks for her brother.

“Over a decade ago, I lost my brother to pancreatic cancer. I not only volunteer in memory of my brother but for all the brothers, sisters, mom, and dads who are fighting the fight, and the ones who have lost. They are all my heroes,” Marks said in email.

Roy Sonenshein volunteers as media relations chairman and raises funds for many. On his personal fundraising page, he said he knows too many people who have lost loved ones to pancreatic cancer.

“With the current five year survival rate of 9 percent, significant strides have been made from the rate of 5 percent just a few years ago. However, this is still way too low, and every donation helps the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network support research, clinical trials, and education to help fight this deadly disease,” Sonenshein said.

He said the group is especially looking for runners to come out to support PurpleStride Miami 2017.

To donate, register as an individual, start a team or join one, go to Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome, but pets are not for safety and liability reasons.

Do you know someone who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer? Direct them to Patient Central at 877-272-6226 or write email to


Investing in education and children is a quest of the Early Learning Children’s Foundation, which “creates scholarships to support high‐quality early care and education opportunities for children of low-income working families in Miami-Dade.”

The group awarded its latest preschool scholarships to six children up to age 5 and the families awarded scholarships will receive $5,000 towards early education tuition.

Recipients were selected from the school readiness waiting list that includes about 3,700 working families in Miami-Dade in need of preschool tuition assistance. “When we invest in the early years, we know we are helping children to succeed in school and in life,” said Evelio Torres, president and CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami‐Dade/Monroe in a release.

The gift from the foundation will be matched by the Child Care Executive Partnership Program to double the reach to families who qualify for scholarships.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Early Learning Children’s Foundation for its hard work to raise awareness and dollars to support the work of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami‐Dade/Monroe,” said Adrian Alfonso, chairman of the Early Learning Coalition’s board of directors in a release. “The scholarships will make a world of difference to the children who will receive a quality early education and enter elementary school with the basic social, emotional, and education skills required to succeed.”

Learn more at


Branch out and meet new people at the New Neighbors luncheon and fashion show featuring the new spring line by Chico’s. New Neighbors members invite everyone to join them at 11:30 a.m. for socializing before lunch on Feb. 8 at Devon’s Seafood + Steak, 11715 Sherri Lane in Kendall’s Town and Country Mall.

The cost is $24, by check, and reservations are required. Send email to or call 786-250-4849 no later than 6 p.m. Feb. 3.

This active group holds many activities for empty nesters and for those new to our community. Members strive to “provide friendly settings where neighbors new to our area and not so new can get acquainted with the community and meet others.”

Check out for more.


Professionals and business owners can contribute through volunteering and sharing knowledge with the Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest now conducting its Winter Membership Drive.

The club is looking for members to fill open classifications of journalist, dentist, veterinarian, optometrist, chiropractor, psychologist, publicist, computer technician, security service executive, plumber, printer, architect and several physician and lawyer sub classifications.

The club meets for breakfast on the second and fourth Tuesday morning of every month, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., at the Dadeland Marriott Hotel, 9090 S. Dadeland Blvd. Members and guests discuss international and community service projects and hear an interesting speaker.

For more, contact David Kinney, 786-837-6992, or Ron Lieberman, 305-613-6744,

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