The writer Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
You can make a difference and help out your fellow South Floridians with hurricane relief through these donation efforts:
Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund
The Coral Gables Community Foundation has established the Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund to benefit Floridians impacted in the Florida Keys.
“We wish everyone strength and safety as our city readjusts after Hurricane Irma and our thoughts are with our friends across the state who received the full impact of the storm, “ Mary Snow, executive director of the Coral Gables Community Foundation, said in email.
“As they begin to assess damages from Hurricane Irma and uncover the full effects of the storm, we’d like to offer assistance in any way we can,” she said. Proceeds will benefit Floridians served by the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys.
Items needed in the Keys
Homestead-Miami Speedway is collecting donations for those impacted by Hurricane Irma. Items will be distributed to South Florida residents in need, especially those in the Florida Keys.
Items must be new and unopened. Especially needed are bug spray, flashlights, batteries, solar-powered fans, tents, cots and pillows, towels, cleaning supplies, paper plates and plastic utensils, extension cords, toiletries, feminine products, baby supplies, pet food, tarps, chainsaws, water, air mattresses and protective masks.
“It’s extremely important for communities to come together in times like these,” Speedway President Matthew Becherer said in email. “The Florida Keys are a very important part of South Florida’s tourism, and as a leader in the community, we are just one of many that are helping them get back on their feet.”
You can drop off donations 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the main lobby of Homestead-Miami Speedway’s administration building at Southwest 336th Street through Gate 4. The Speedway is at 1 Speedway Blvd., Homestead. Visit www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.
Due to hurricane damage at Jungle Island, the Oct. 5 “Celebrate 30” Cancer Link luncheon has been postponed. Organizers write the event will be rescheduled for later this year. Watch this column for more information or visit http://sylvester.org/community/community-partners/cancer-link.
Support women’s health
Get through your hurricane blues by running, walking or rocking at this community fundraiser that helps local organizations fight breast and ovarian cancers and provide support to patients.
Rock N Run will start at 7:45 a.m. Oct. 8 at Temple Beth Am, 5950 N. Kendall Dr., Pinecrest. Check in begins at 6:30 a.m.
“Our local fundraiser is a great way to get moving and raise money for local organizations tackling breast and ovarian cancers,” said Aliya Hollub, 16, who co-founded Rock N Run along with Carlos and Meredith Wolf. “By moving our bodies and learning to eat healthier, we help get more women to focus on their overall well-being and take better care of themselves.”
Since 2013, Rock N Run has raised more than $200,000 for local nonprofits that help women in the South Florida community. The group also donates to larger organizations like Cancer Link and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance.
The Hollub and Wolf families started Rock N Run “to create a unique and dynamic fundraiser that would encourage a healthy lifestyle among community members as well as inspire those battling breast and ovarian cancers.”
This year’s exercise options will be Videosync’s Jay Marcos, Rumba Mania’s Wally and Claudine Nannini. Local vendors will have healthy food options for all participants. Those interested can register through Oct. 6 for $30 at www.rocknrun.org or sign up the morning of the event for $35.
Charles “Chuck” Gugliuzza of Homestead moved to Florida from Pennsylvania in 1998 and started looking for a way to get involved in his new community. When he found Kiwanis Club of Homestead/South Dade, his first project in 2002 was helping give out gifts during the holidays.
Gugliuzza was recently elected to the International Board of Trustees of Kiwanis International after serving as governor of the Florida District of Kiwanis. His new leadership role begins Sunday. He was elected to the three-year term during the recent 102nd annual Kiwanis International Convention in Paris.
“I knew that Kiwanis was right for me when I started seeing the smiles on children’s faces who had never received a gift from Santa before,” Gugliuzza said. “My wife, Emilia, who serves with me side-by-side in my service projects around the world, and I began as Santa and Mrs. Claus in 2002, and through Kiwanis, we now see over 7,000 kids each December throughout South Florida and Colombia.”
Owners of Alton Madison Property Management, the Gugliuzzas also run accounting and television production firms in South Dade.
Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is “a global service organization with more than 700,000 members in 80 countries, all dedicated to helping children in their communities.”
Clubs also sponsor youth leadership programs in elementary, middle and high schools, and at colleges and universities. Members help students learn valuable leadership skills while volunteering. Last year Kiwanis members performed about 150,000 projects around the world, representing more than 18.5 million hours of community service.
If you have news for this column, send it to Christina Mayo at firstname.lastname@example.org.