Community Voices

The Four Tops to perform April 29 at Project: New Born’s Sounds of Motown

The Four Tops will perform some of their greatest hits at the Project: New Born fundraiser to help babies born prematurely at Holtz Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The Four Tops will perform some of their greatest hits at the Project: New Born fundraiser to help babies born prematurely at Holtz Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

R&B, pop/rock music legends the Four Tops are slated to perform at a good cause where guests can roll back the clock and hear hits like “Baby I Need Your Loving” and “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).”

The event, Project: New Born’s Sounds of Motown, is a “remix” of one scheduled last October but stymied when Hurricane Matthew approached South Florida.

“But nothing stops this legendary group, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 with 24 top pop hits to their credit,” Schatzi Kassal said.

The event, 6:30 p.m. April 29 at Magic City Casino, will benefit Project: New Born, which supports the Schatzi and Stanley Kassal Project: New Born Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center Complex.

“The format is the same,” Schatzi Kassal said. “My philosophy is: ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’ The only change is that the performance now takes place an hour earlier and is on a Saturday night, which we consider an asset.”

How did Project: New Born swing such a great group for its event? It was because of a wonderful experience Barbara Havenick had when her grandson was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Kassal said.

“After being treated at the unit he went home as a healthy baby with mom and dad,” she said. The grateful Havenick, who owns Magic City Casino, wanted to do something special for the charity and she offered to bring the Four Tops to the fundraiser.

This one-of-a-kind event will start with the jazz sounds of Joe Donato and his ensemble during the opening reception and silent auction. That will be followed by at four-course gourmet dinner paired with fine wines and an open bar with dancing to the live band The Clique.

And after that, the Four Tops will perform their unforgettable hits.

Tickets for this memorable evening that raises funds to help the tiniest patients are $250-$375. Tables of 10 are $2,500. And a front row VIP table for 10 is $5,000. To purchase tickets call 305-335-2007 or visit

“When Project: New Born was started in 1973, a 1-pound preemie had less than a 5 percent chance of survival,” Schatzi Kassal said. “Today, the same infant has better than an 80 percent chance of survival!”

UM Sports stars in Hall Of Fame

In 1966, eight Dade County circuit court judges, all University of Miami alumni, founded the UM Sports Hall of Fame to recognize the student-athletes, coaches and administrators who “excelled at their sport and brought acclaim to the University through their achievements and championships.”

Nine new members are about to be inducted to bring the total honored to 309. The UM Sports Hall of Fame will hold its 49th annual Induction Banquet with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. April 18 at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami.

The Class of 2017 include: football’s James Jackson, Jeremy Shockey and Darryl Williams; baseball’s Ryan Braun and Dan Davies; basketball’s Steve Edwards; tennis’ Audra Cohen; women’s basketball coach Katie Meier; and Valeria Tipiana, who will be the first volleyball player ever inducted.

“Once again, I’m pleased to introduce another great class of University of Miami Sports Hall of Famers for 2017,” said Hall of Fame President Gerard Loisel in a release. “We invite all Hurricane fans to join us this April 18th at our induction banquet as we welcome the newest members into the Hall of Fame.”

“The UM Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 is representative of the excellence displayed by the thousands of Hurricane coaches and athletes over the years,” said Athletics Director Blake James in email. “The individuals to be honored achieved remarkable success during their time in Coral Gables and, for many, on fields and courts well beyond South Florida. On behalf of the Hurricane Family, I want to congratulate all of the inductees and to thank them for their contributions to The U.”

Individual tickets are $125 and tables, seating 10, are $1,250. In addition, a Super Table of 10 can be purchased for $1,750, which includes preferred seating and a half page advertisement in the banquet program.

For information contact the Hall of Fame at 305-284-2775 or visit

Sports gear and clothes needed

For 15 years, the volunteer students involved with Patriot Outreach have collected old sports equipment and apparel for the impoverished children in the Higuey and Punta Cana areas of the Dominican Republic.

Generous donations in South Florida have brought in over 70,000 items to help the youngsters participate in athletics in their communities.

“Twice a year, many of my fellow college and high school athletes pool our resources and conduct a communitywide drive to collect old sports equipment and apparel,” said Blake Miller who is coordinating the effort during his spring break from Rhodes College in Memphis.

“Clean out your garage and your children’s rooms. Get rid of all that stuff you don’t need or that your kids don’t use any more. We need your help so that we can help others.”

Used, but still functional, athletic equipment, clothes and shoes can be dropped off at Suniland Park, 12855 S. Dixie Hwy., every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the main office. If you have any questions, email

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