Community Voices

Hurricanes great Charles Johnson to host UM Celebrity Bowling Tournament

Longtime University of Miami public address announcer Jay Rokeach and UM Sports Hall of Fame member and retired baseball catcher Charles Johnson helped raise funds at the 2016 Celebrity Bowling Tournament.
Longtime University of Miami public address announcer Jay Rokeach and UM Sports Hall of Fame member and retired baseball catcher Charles Johnson helped raise funds at the 2016 Celebrity Bowling Tournament. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

Canes fans and bowling aficionados alike can sign up for teams and play alongside some of their favorite former sports all-stars in a relaxing evening of family fun at the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame sixth annual Celebrity Bowling Tournament.

The fundraiser is 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 27 at Splitsville in the Shops at Sunset Place in South Miami. Hurricanes great and UMSHoF member Charles Johnson is the guest host.

“I’m looking forward to hosting the upcoming UMSHoF Bowling tournament this year,” Johnson said in a release. He played as a four-time Gold Glove winning catcher with the Florida Marlins. “It’s always a good thing to support student athletes that went to UM. It is part of the reason I started Catch This Academy, to give back to the community that supported me.”

Teams start at $500 for four bowlers. Regular sponsor lanes are $1,200 and premium sponsor lanes are $1,700. Tickets for individual bowlers are $150. Or you can show up to watch with a social ticket for $75 and get a T-shirt too. Social tickets for children under 12 are $25.

For more on teams and sponsorships, contact UMSHoF Executive Director John Routh at 305-284-2775.


Everyone is invited to experience the latest journeys of NASA’s space probes New Horizons, Juno and Cassini and see their photos of Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn at the next Southern Cross Astros free event.

The group will host physics/astronomy students Steve Revesz and Steven Peterson when they present “Lost in Space?” at 8 p.m. Feb. 17 at Florida International University Physics Building Lecture Hall CP-145, Modesto A. Maidique Campus. Park in the FIU garage in faculty or visitor spaces on the west side of southwest 109th Avenue and Eighth Street and follow the SCAS signs across the patio into CP-145.

The event includes free refreshments and lively discussion. And it is a great opportunity to share the excitement of space exploration with students of all ages. Call 305-661-1375 for more information.


If you’ve never seen the Aero Modelers of Perrine Aerobatics Challenge it is time to do so. The annual event draws 60 pilots from as far away as Canada to compete in five flying categories of radio-controlled giant-scale model airplanes.

The Challenge is set for Feb. 18-19 at the AMP flying facility two miles west of Krome Avenue on Southwest 168th Street, (20040 SW 168th St.). The International Miniature Aerobatics Club and the Academy of Model Aeronautics sanction the AMP Aerobatic Challenge.

It is practically free with a $5 per car donation requested for parking. Funds raised at this event go toward scholarships for aviation students.

Pilots are awarded points for precisely following a series of aerobatic maneuvers as they compete for plaques and prizes. Some of the planes they fly, from the ground by radio, have wingspans of over 10 feet and can exceed $10,000. Kids of all ages can check out the planes when they are on the ground and then watch as they roll and climb in the air.

Bring a picnic or purchase food and drinks. Competition is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. A freestyle competition takes place at 2 p.m. Sunday with the awards presentation at 3 p.m.

For more information and directions, visit or contact contest coordinator Tony Fandino at 305-216-8580 or


The leaders of the Deering Estate Foundation gathered at the Visitors Center Theater for an annual meeting to applaud the efforts of board members, volunteers and community partners, and to plan for the coming year.

Liede DeValdivielso, president of the 100 Ladies of Deering philanthropic circle founded in 2012, announced the retirement of the Founders designation. Each founding member received a plaque and a fern, the circle’s symbol.

Recognized for their service were Suzoyo Fox, Lori Haas, Karen Hoffman, Barbara Ludovici, Sandy McCarthy, Jocelyn Tennille and Marta Weeks-Wulf. Founders Susan MacArthur and Heather Bell-O’Brien were unable to attend.

DeValdivielso praised the leaders for their “creativity, generosity and wisdom.”

Over three years the 100 Ladies of Deering have improved the estate’s furnishings and art collections, she said in a release. This has “greatly enhanced the experience of all who visit and they continue to charge forward with new projects to broaden awareness of this treasured gem of South Florida’s history.”

Becky Matkov, chairwoman of the 100 Ladies Film Committee, introduced commissioned award-winning filmmaker Carl Kesser who showed an excerpt of “On This Land — The Charles Deering Estate.”

This new project, presented by the 100 Ladies of Deering, is a historic documentary about the 10,000-year-old property’s legacy. The film will be shown locally and nationally, and to guests enjoying the Deering Estate in the Visitors Center Theater. There are still sponsorship opportunities available.

Foundation Executive Director Mary Pettit inducted newly elected officers during the meeting as well. They are David McDonald, president; Becky Matkov, vice president; DeValdivielso, secretary; Vicki Hinz, treasurer; David Marley, past president; directors Laura Beaton-Aguilera, Peter England and Barry Johnson; and trustees Lynn French and James Harris.

For more about getting involved, call 305-235-1668, ext. 253, or visit

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