Community Voices

Teddy bears given to immigrant children separated from families

The Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe recently collected teddy bears for the children of immigrant families who were separated from their parents and placed in a Miami-Dade shelter. At a similar drive, teddy bears were given to the Miami Beach Police Department to help children through police-related situations. From left are:  Miami Beach Police Major Paul Acosta, Jackye Russell of ELC, Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez, Elaine Flores of Miami Beach Police, and Corey Jackson of ELC.
The Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe recently collected teddy bears for the children of immigrant families who were separated from their parents and placed in a Miami-Dade shelter. At a similar drive, teddy bears were given to the Miami Beach Police Department to help children through police-related situations. From left are: Miami Beach Police Major Paul Acosta, Jackye Russell of ELC, Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez, Elaine Flores of Miami Beach Police, and Corey Jackson of ELC.

A soft, stuffed teddy bear can be a comfort to anyone at any age, but especially to a child struggling with separation from their parents.

The Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe recently collected new teddy bears for immigrant children who were taken from their families and placed in a Miami-Dade shelter.

“We were all so touched by the plight of the immigrant children who were separated from their families and moved to Miami, that we collected teddy bears to give the children, hoping this would provide a small degree of comfort and security to them,” said Jackye L. Russell, senior vice president of communications, community outreach and program policy, in an email.

The bears stay with the children, she said.

“We did a similar drive a few months back and provided teddy bears to the Miami Beach Police Department,” Russell said. “The bears are given by officers to children who become involved in police-related situations.”

“The gifts were made possible through the generosity of Kaplan Early Learning Company, Lakeshore Learning, and Becker’s School Supplies,” Russell said.

The Early Learning Coalition of Miami‐Dade/Monroe is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “ensuring that children in Miami‐Dade and Monroe Counties have an opportunity to receive high‐quality early education.” Learn more at www.elcmdm.org.

Congratulations

Mary Pettit received the South Dade Leadership Award for 2017-18 in a presentation by the Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay at the group’s annual Rotary Club Banquet.

The award is presented to “an individual who has, through their outstanding business and professional conduct as well as community service, most benefited South Miami-Dade County.”

“We were very pleased to present the award this year to Mary Pettit as she exemplifies the intent of this recognition,” said Maria Kesti, past club president and nominator, in an email.

“Mary was instrumental in the development of the South Dade YMCA and as executive director of the Deering Estate she led it to become a world-class destination,” she said.

“I’m extremely honored and humbled to receive this award, especially by an organization that provides such tremendous support and efforts in the community. Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self, is what these Rotary Club members exemplify,” Pettit said in an email.

The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay provides services in the community including holiday gifts, Thanksgiving baskets, and tutoring and programs for the after-school sessions at West Perrine Park. The club meets noon Tuesdays for lunch at the Palmetto Bay Branch Library, 17641 Old Cutler Rd.

Visit pcrpbrotary.com or contact Michael Kesti at KestiM@Aol.com or 305-323-2903.

Free legal clinic for creative people

Artists, arts groups, inventors, creative entrepreneurs, writers, musicians, architects, filmmakers, composers, playwrights, graphic designers, choreographers, techies and digital designers are all invited to attend the free Legal Clinic for Creatives, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 7 at WeWork 350 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach.

The clinic is hosted by Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, a joint program with Dade Legal Aid and the Arts & Business Council. It features dedicated pro bono lawyers in one-on-one, 30-minute consultations with participants on topics such as copyright, trademark, contracts, gaming, patents, licensing and freelance agreements, incorporation, bylaws & articles of incorporation.

“This is a great opportunity for entertainment lawyers to interact with each other and at the same time provide pro bono legal advice to artists and other creatives,” said longstanding volunteer attorney Steven E. Eisenberg in a release.

“Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is a great resource in our thriving entertainment community and this clinic is just one example of the many great programs put on by Legal Aid and the Arts Business Council,” said Eisenberg, who is a VLA committee member.

Space is limited. Registration is $15 in advance for a consultation with an attorney. Get tickets at www.artsbizmiami.org/events.

“The Legal Clinic is a great event to mix and mingle with the creative and legal ecosystems. Entrepreneurs and creatives need to protect their intellectual property and brand. In addition contracts, licensing and freelance agreements need to be customized and incorporation options need to be considered. Legal consultations are an investment to protect your content and help you reach your goals,” said Laura Bruney, CEO of the Arts & Business Council, in a release.

Persons needing special accommodations to participate in this event may contact ADA Coordinator Eileen Coto at 305-579-5733 ext. 2240.

Take a look at Mars

If the weather is clear you can join in the Mars watch 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, along the shore of Deering Estate at Cutler, Southwest 168 St., Palmetto Bay. The planet will make its closest pass by Earth since 2003 at 35.8 million miles away.

This event is being hosted by the Southern Cross Astronomical Society Astros. Members will set up their high tech telescopes and with clear to partly clear skies, dark details and white polar caps may be visible if the huge dust storm is reduced on the Martian surface.

Mars glows in the constellation Capricornus in the Southeast to Southwest sky all night during the summer and you may be able to see details in binoculars. The next “closest visit” by the Warrior Planet will be in 2035. Call the Deering Estate for details at 305-235-1668.

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