Community Voices

Male breast cancer survivor, Olympic medalist to participate in Day of Caring

Twenty survivors will participate in the “Models of Hope Fashion Show” at this year’s Day of Caring for Breast Cancer Awareness event April 14.

One of those is South Florida resident Sam Rivera, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1971 during a routine physical exam when he was 18.

Rivera is now a 46-year survivor. He is retired, the father of four adult children, and recently married. He said having breast cancer was hard for him because he considered it a woman’s disease. Several women in his family have had breast cancer. He now knows this disease doesn’t discriminate.

Awareness is key. The American Cancer Society estimates about 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men in the United States this year and about 480 will die.

Breast cancer survivor and former Olympian Novlene Williams-Mills will be the guest speaker at the 17th annual Day of Caring for Breast Cancer Awareness event. There will also be a fashion show with survivors as runway models. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

The guest speaker at the 17th annual Day of Caring is also a survivor. Former Olympian Novlene Williams-Mills won bronze medals in the woman’s 4 x 400 meter relays in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics, and four world championship silver medals and a bronze medal. She was diagnosed while preparing for the 2012 London Olympics.

“We’re thrilled to have Novlene as our guest speaker,” said co-chair Vivien Knight. “She continues to succeed as a world class athlete and is an inspiration to breast cancer survivors to find the courage to continue to follow their dreams.”

Medical professionals will host morning seminars on survivor stress management, reconstructive surgery, preventive nutrition and alternative treatments. The fashion show will be after lunch.

“This extraordinary event is designed to educate, empower and give hope to those affected by breast cancer,” said Doreen Ruggiero, co-chair of this year’s event, in a release. “Those who attend will leave feeling inspired and invigorated.”

Registration and continental breakfast starts 8 a.m. at the Hotel InterContinental Miami. Events run until 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $70. Register online at

Walk MS in Coral Gables

“This year marks the 27th annual Walk MS: Coral Gables and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Alexandra O’Neal, coordinator Walk MS, in an email. Registration is at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 14, at Coral Gables City Hall. The walk starts at 8:30 a.m.

Over 30 years, the event has grown to nearly 300,000 participants in more than 400 locations and in 2017 participants raised more than $40 million for multiple sclerosis research and breakthroughs.

“The money raised from Walk MS: Coral Gables is critical in supporting the research, services and resources the National MS Society spearheads,” said Robin Nunley, president of the South Florida chapter, in email. “We’re so grateful to all those out walking, the friends and family that support them, our awesome sponsors and amazing volunteers. None of this would be possible without them.” Register at

Youth of the Year

Congratulations to Briana Vergara, 17, who was named the 2018 Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Youth of the Year.

Briana has been a member of the Kendall Club since she was in kindergarten. She and 29 other teens from Florida clubs will be competing for the state title April 12-14 in Sarasota. Briana, a senior at John A. Ferguson High School, wants to attend Florida International University and become a civil rights lawyer.

“While we have many members here who embrace the attributes we represent at the Clubs, Briana is the ideal representative of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade,” said Alex Rodriguez-Roig, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, in a release. “She deserves to be named Youth of the Year and we congratulate her for all of her hard work.”

The judges who made this year’s selection were Angela Smith with the Miami Marlins, Nelson Fraga with Norwegian Cruise Line, Erica Glick with Top Golf, and Ahbria Marshall, a former Youth of the Year. Get involved at

UM Sports Hall of Fame

Nine former Hurricanes athletes will be inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame at the 50th annual induction banquet 6 p.m. April 19 at Jungle Island Miami. The dinner is at 7 p.m.

Members of the Class of 2018 are baseball's Yonder Alonso; basketball's Chanivia Broussard and John Salmons; golf's Tina Miller Lloyd; football's Frank Gore, Devin Hester and Coach Larry Coker; track and field's Dominique Darden; and Britney Butcher, the first ever soccer inductee.

“What a honor it is to introduce this well-deserving University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame class,” said Hall of Fame President Tracy Kerdyk. “For the past 50 years we have been inducting our Hall of Famers at the annual banquet. We invite Hurricane fans from all over to come join us as we celebrate these great athletes.”

Tickets are $125 each, or a table of 10 for $1,250. Call 305-284-2775 or go to

Jazz great to perform

Legendary jazz musician Ira Sullivan will perform with Marc Berner, Gideon Vigderhous and other musicians 4 p.m. Sunday, April 15, at the Alper JCC, 11155 SW 112th Ave. Tickets are $15 for members, $20 for the general community, and proceeds will go to the center’s literary and performing arts programming.

Get tickets at or call 305-271-9000, ext. 268.

A legacy of caring

Family matriarch Josephine Arden Korge died April 2 surrounded by her loving children and grandchildren. They had all been together recently, on Feb. 7, when Josephine turned 100 years old.

Josephine Korge celebrated her 100th birthday on Feb. 7.

She and her late husband George Joseph Korge were among the original 12 families of Lebanese descent who founded St. Jude Melkite Catholic Church on Brickell Avenue in the early 1970s.

“We are so blessed to have had our mom with us for so many years and to be able to celebrate her 100th birthday,” said her son Chris Korge on Facebook.

Josephine was active in many Miami civic organizations. Her good works included serving on the board of directors and as chairman of the board for Catholic Charities. She also was an involved member of the Miami Junior Woman’s Club and the Miami Woman’s Club, and she volunteered at Vizcaya for over 20 years.

She was president of her church’s Lady’s Guild and was a founding member of the feast of Saint Jude’s annual festival.

In a story celebrating her birthday in this column, son Tom Korge said his mom “taught me practically everything about being a good person.”

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