It is a good thing for women to be celebrated. But when women celebrate other women, now that’s really special. On Oct. 4, I was among a group of media women who were honored by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce at the 19th annual Thelma Gibson Awards luncheon. The event was held at the beautiful Coral Gables Woman’s Club.
Carolina Castillo, president of the Women’s Chamber, saw to it that we were treated like royalty, even down to the red carpet we walked on to get into the dining room. It was a grand time.
My friend Maryel Epps entertained the audience with her rich voice, later singing the dedication song “Wind Beneath My Wings” to Thelma Gibson, founder of the Women’s Chamber, and who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
In addition to Yours Truly, the Print Award honoree, also honored were WSVN’s Belkys Nerey, TV Anchor; Michele Gillen, Investigative Journalist; and Jade Alexander of 102.7 FM, Radio Award. I was in fine company.
Each of us received a beautiful scarf designed especially for us by Aleksander Alembert.
The awards ceremony ended with everyone joining Maryel in singing “This Little Light of Mine.”
Women of Distinction
Speaking of women being honored, tickets are now on sale for the ninth annual Women of Distinction and Caring Luncheon, presented by the Plaza Health Network (PHN).
The festivities will begin at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 15, with a champagne reception, boutiques to browse and shop, and a silent auction. The awards luncheon will follow at 12:30 p.m. The event will be at the Hilton Miami Downtown Ballroom, 1601 Biscayne Blvd.
This is always a lovely occasion thathonors women for their commitment to the greater Miami community. This year’s honorees are:
Maria Alonso, President and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade
Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado, Attorney, Philanthropist supporting Boys and Girls Club/Miami
Swanee DiMare, Philanthropist and Community Leader
Barbara Black Goldfarb, Past Chair of Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Chair of the 2018 Federation Mission to Israel, and 2018 BESSIE Award Recipient
Cindy Hutson, Chef/Owner Ortanique on the Mile and Zest Restaurants, Culinary Ambassador of Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health
Virginia Jacko, President and CEO Lighthouse for the Blind
Laurie Jennings, WPLG Local 10 News Anchor and Community Volunteer
Annie Neasman, RN, MS, President and CEO Jessie Trice Community Health Centers, and former Deputy Secretary, Florida Department of Health
Darlene Boytell-Perez, ARNP, Healthcare Advocate and Philanthropist
Elaine Bloom is president and CEO of Plaza Health Network; Ilene Zweig is the executive director for the Plaza Health Network Foundation; and Kristyn Schwartz is director of development, PHN.
If you want go, you must RSVP by Nov. 5 to Schwartz at 305-917-0405 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Appreciation Day
Universal Truth Center for Better Living will have its third Senior Appreciation Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, to recognize and celebrate the elders in the Miami Gardens community. The event is a part of the church’s Adventure in Faith 2018, and will focus on the commitment to social unfoldment. The event will feature safety information, entertainment, haircuts, basic hairstyling , raffles, free lunch, fingernail polishing and massages.
The church will also present Rosey Lanese and Andrew Carey as leaders of a workshop on “Tips for Effective and Stress-Free Budgeting” as a part of the church’s Adventure in Faith commitment in the area of financial unfoldment from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 27, in Classroom One.
Lanese and Carey will use powerpoints and other material to offer insight and guidance on effective money management. The event is free, but love offerings are encouraged and greatly appreciated.
Universal Truth Center is at 21310 NW 37th Ave. in Miami Gardens. The Rev. Charles Taylor is the senior minister.
Writers group meeting
The second anniversary gathering and celebration of the Ralph Hogges and Benjamin Cowins Writers Group of South Florida will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Arts and Recreation Center (ARC) in Opa-locka at 675 Ali Baba Ave. The theme of the event is, “The Enduring Power, Creative Joy, and Beauty of Words.”
The keynote speaker will be Delores M. Smiley, who served as executive director of the Office of Diversity and Cultural Affairs in the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education at Nova Southeastern University until her retirement in 2014.
Smiley started her career in education in Albion, Michigan, as a junior high school library secretary, and later served as administrative assistant for the city’s public school superintendent, and as a high school English and social studies teacher. She also taught community education.
Smiley was an outstanding community leader, who served two consecutive terms as president of the local branch of the NAACP. In 1986, she ran for mayor of Albion, coming in at second place.
She moved to Florida to accept an administrative fellowship to complete her doctoral program in the Fischler School of Education at Nova. Upon graduating, she became the coordinator of Nova’s Student Services, and was later promoted to dean and executive administrator.
As a leader of diversity in the Fischler School of Education, Smiley established a calendar of celebrations for various ethnic groups at the university.
In addition, Smiley co-founded with Hogges the Monthly Scholars Roundtable and Forum at the university. She currently is the pastor of Smiley Family MInistries.
Community bus tour
The South Florida People of Color will host a bus tour titled “Segregated Miami Past and Present,” from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, beginning at Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, 8100 NW 17th Ave. in Liberty City.
The tour will take participants through neighborhoods that have struggled under the weight of historically discriminatory practices and witness changes that are occurring today due to South Florida’s rapid growth and climate gentrification. The tour will be guided by Jacqui Colyer, a community consultant, according to a news release.
For more information go to www.southfloridapoc.org.
Scholarship named for LGBTQ activist
The Aqua Foundation for Women has announced a scholarship in honor of Miami attorney Elizabeth Schwartz, a nationally recognized advocate for the legal rights of the LGBTQ community.
The foundation will honor Schwartz at an event from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at R House Wynwood, 2727 NW Second Ave., Wynwood. To donate to the Schwartz Scholarship Fund and to learn more about the event, email email@example.com.
Sunshine A Cappella Choir
You are invited to the ninth annual concert presented by the Sunshine A Cappella Choir at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Tenth Tabernacle Beth El, 2298 NW 62nd St., where Chief Rabbi Philip E. McNeil is the executive director and evangelist Samuel J. Eaves II is the local pastor.
The theme of the program: “In Him I Live and Move.” Special guest choirs will include Everglades Legacy Chamber Choir and the Church of God and Saints of Christ Youth Choir.
Ticket may be purchased at the door and the cost is $5 per person. Call Tangie White Jackson at 305-606-2439 for more information.
Holy Convocation Revival
The annual Holy Convocation Revival meeting at The Church of God Tabernacle (True Holiness) will convene at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at the church, 1351 NW 67th St. in Liberty City.
The meeting is a celebration of deliverance from sin. Services will be at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21 and 28. Nightly services during the week will be at 8 p.m. There will be no service on Saturday.
The Holy Convocation is a revival meeting at which time the congregation gives thanks for God’s grace and mercy in delivering them from many of life’s pitfalls, said Bishop Walter H. Richardson, the pastor and overseer of the church. “It is a meeting of deliverance, thanksgiving and celebration,” he said.
Richardson said the services will consist of great gospel music presented by the church choir; soul-searching preaching by one of the church’s evangelists and warm fellowship.
“Everyone is welcome,” he said.
Trunk or Treat Family Festival
The fourth annual Trunk or Treat Family Festival will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at Palm Springs United Methodist Church, 500 W. 12th Ave. in Hialeah. The festival is free and open to the community and offers a safe, fun celebration of Halloween.
If you go, please do not wear scary masks or costumes. Car trunks will be decorated and filled with treats and there will be storytelling and a live DJ. Hot dogs, chips, drinks and brownies will be for sale.
In addition, there will be holiday and gift items available for sale in the Fellowship Hall.