Community Voices

Rotary Club of Coconut Grove members help in Guatemala and at home

Members of the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove have provided missions and financial support to the Casa Colibri clinic in Nuevo Eden, Guatemala, that help the indigenous Mayan population. Officers include, from left, Joe King, Randy Lakel, Bob Gombosh, Richard W. Martin II, Ellen Blassi, Phil Everingham and Tim Crowther.
Members of the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove have provided missions and financial support to the Casa Colibri clinic in Nuevo Eden, Guatemala, that help the indigenous Mayan population. Officers include, from left, Joe King, Randy Lakel, Bob Gombosh, Richard W. Martin II, Ellen Blassi, Phil Everingham and Tim Crowther. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

Last year, members of the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove donated a medically equipped van to provide prenatal care to residents of the highlands in northwest Guatemala. The van is operated by a nurse practitioner who speaks the local dialect and who offers services for midwife training, prenatal care, and screenings for birth defects such as clubfoot and cleft palate.

The Rotarians also help out in our community by providing financial support and volunteer hours to Coconut Grove’s Casa Valentina, which helps youths who have aged out of the foster care system by giving them care and support to reach their full potential.

The active Rotarians volunteer a lot and recently members celebrated at the swearing-in ceremony of new President Richard W. Martin II. Held at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, the event was presided over by Past District Governor Ellen Blasi.

Martin spoke about the spirit of Rotary that emphasizes “Service Above Self,” calling the new title “an honor.”

The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove has funded numerous after-school programs, youth sports, and health initiatives. If you want to learn more, meetings are held every 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, 2990 S. Bayshore Dr. For more information, visit www.rotaryclubofcoconutgrove.com.

Help restore beach dunes

Many of us have never heard of Scaevola frutescens, an invasive weed that is prevalent on our beaches.

According to the city of Miami Beach website, the “Hawaiian half-flower” has shallow roots that make it less effective in dune stabilization. Scaevola “should not be trimmed because it becomes a greater maintenance concern by growing back thicker and further spreading its seeds.”

Concrete Beach Brewery and Surfrider’s Miami Chapter are teaming up to help restore beach dunes during two weekends in August. Organizers say the events are “open to anyone and everyone willing to get their hands dirty for a good cause.”

The cleanups will be 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 19 at 14th Street in South Beach, and 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 26 at 85th Street on the north end of North Shore Open Space Park.

Surfrider members will lead volunteers in the removal of invasive plants and litter from the beach dunes. Tools, supplies, and cold water will be provided. Volunteers should be prepared for a strenuous workout involving cutting, digging and hauling plants from the sand.

“Hosting dune restorations during Beach Week are another great example of Concrete Beach’s commitment to engaging with our local beach and ocean environment,” Jayson Koch, chair of Surfrider Foundation Miami Chapter, said in a release.

The dunes cleanup is free. Volunteers who donate $10 to the cause will receive a tank top, and those 21 and over can enjoy a complimentary Concrete Beach beer after the cleanup at any location where Concrete Beach beers are sold.

Volunteers can sign up at http://concretebeachbrewery.com/beachweeks.

Eclipse viewing in Miami

It’s predicted to be a bright summer day in South Florida on Aug. 21 until about 1:26 p.m. At that time, the moon will start to come between the sun and the Earth and gradually we will see about an 80 percent partial solar eclipse.

By 2:58 p.m., the maximum point of coverage, it will look as if the moon has taken a bite out of the sun. The partial eclipse will continue until 4:20 p.m.

Eye safety is of vital importance. Viewing the eclipse requires special solar glasses. Sunglasses are not safe to use. If you don’t yet have eclipse glasses, you can find out more and where to purchase them at https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters

Miami’s Southern Cross Astros will arrange hi-tech solar telescopes at a free eclipse viewing event 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72 Ave., Palmetto Bay. The group is planning to have some solar viewing glasses available, but it is advised you bring your own just in case they run out.

Some group members will travel to see the total solar eclipse near the Rocky Mountains. They will share their photos at a free public program 8 p.m. Sept. 15 FIU Physics Lecture Hall CP-145 Main Campus. For more visit www.scas.org.

Free help for pets

Low-income residents of Miami-Dade County who love their dogs and cats can get help with free spaying and neutering up until Sept. 30. The service, provided by the Miami-Dade Animals Services no-kill project in partnership with the Humane Society of Greater Miami, is available to anyone receiving government assistance. The pets also will receive a free rabies vaccine with the surgery.

“We cannot adopt our way out of the pet overpopulation problem we are facing in Miami-Dade,” said Laurie Hoffman, executive director of the Humane Society of Greater Miami, in a release. “The best way to keep animals off the streets and out of shelters is by spaying and neutering our own.”

The service will be provided at the Miami-Dade County Community Spay Neuter Clinic, 10700 SW 211 St. in Cutler Bay. Transportation is also available for those who need it. In addition to the free services, low-income pet owners will receive a free goody bag with treats for them and their pets.

Schedule your pet’s appointment by calling 305-749-1854 or visit www.humanesocietymiami.org/services/free.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at christinammayo@gmail.com.

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