Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade president receives Torch Award for Community Leadership

Mark B. Rosenberg, President of Florida International University presents Alex Rodriguez-Roig, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade with the FIU Torch Award. Also pictured are Frank J. Peña '99, President of the FIU Alumni Association; and Duane Wiles, Associate Vice President of FIU Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the FIU Alumni Association.
Mark B. Rosenberg, President of Florida International University presents Alex Rodriguez-Roig, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade with the FIU Torch Award. Also pictured are Frank J. Peña '99, President of the FIU Alumni Association; and Duane Wiles, Associate Vice President of FIU Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the FIU Alumni Association.

Alex Rodriguez-Roig believes in making a difference in our community. As president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade he oversees the organization that opens doors of knowledge for more than 8,000 children through after-school and summer programs.

For his outstanding service and civic involvement, Rodriguez-Roig recently was honored by the Florida International University Alumni Association with the Torch Award for Community Leadership at the 14th annual Torch Awards Charity Gala.

Recipients of this award are recognized for their achievements in their specific professional industry and contributions to society. The alumni and faculty selected represent FIU’s finest.

“I am very honored to be recognized by the FIU Alumni Association with the Torch Award for Community Leadership,” Rodriguez-Roig said in a release. “Having come to the U.S. from Cuba at age 5, I truly believe in helping less fortunate children by providing them with hope, freedom and opportunities.”

Rodriguez-Roig has been part of the Boys & Girls Club movement since he joined in 1996 and he is now responsible for five clubs — Hank Kline, Kendall, South Beach, Northwest and Gwen Cherry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology/Education from FIU.

Club programs focus on character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, cultural arts, sports, fitness and recreation to enable all young people to work toward their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.

Rodriguez-Roig also serves as treasurer on the board of directors of the Florida Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs and the National Latino Advisory Council for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He is a board member of the South Florida Workforce Youth Council and, in 2012, he was appointed to the FIU College of Education Advisory Board.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has been assisting youth since 1940. Started as a single site for boys, the organization has grown to five clubs helping boys and girls year round, even on holidays, through its motivating programs. To learn how you can volunteer, donate, become a sponsor and much more visit http://bgcmia.org/

The organization’s Club Blue Miami for young business professionals celebrated its fourth anniversary in April. Check the website for more about this group for Miami’s “most motivated, energetic young professionals, ages 45 and younger, who will become the community’s future leaders.”

POINCIANA FIESTA

It’s that time of year again when Miami’s flowering trees burst with color. The Tropical Flowering Tree Society will present the 78th annual Royal Poinciana Fiesta events June 7-8 with picnics, tree tours and celebration with the famous Royal Poinciana punch and cake, among other refreshments.

Activities start at 11:30 a.m., June 7 at the Kampong, former home of David Fairchild, located at 4013 Douglas Rd., Coconut Grove. Bring a picnic lunch and explore and then board a bus at 1 p.m. for the narrated tour of our area’s most dazzling trees. Reservations are required and there is limited seating. Call Carol Vannoorbeeck at 305-258-1086. The fee is $25 per person.

Tours will be narrated by Larry Schokman, Director Emeritus of the Kampong; and Steve Pearson, Director of the Gifford Arboretum at the University of Miami, president of the Tropical Flowering Tree Society and of TREEmendous Miami. Refreshments will be served after the tour at the Kampong.

The fun continues at the fiesta’s reception with refreshments starting at 6:30 p.m., June 8 in the Garden House at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. Use the south entrance. There will be two tram tours starting at 7 p.m. and the party will include jazz by Joe Donato.

Talented artists will display their work and the 78th Royal Poinciana Queen and her Court will be announced and presented with scholarship funds. Schokman also will present the Book Award to a community member who exemplifies the Tropical Flowering Tree Society’s goal to “Color the Horizon.” Admission to this event is free for TFTS members and $5 for everyone else. To learn more visit the group’s Facebook page.

NEW NEIGHBORS

Meet new friends in your neighborhood and try out a new skill at the next gathering of The New Neighbors Club of South Dade. The group will host Belly Motions, a dance studio specializing in Middle Eastern, Indian and World Dance performers with social hour at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon, June 10 at Killian Palms Country Club, 9950 SW 104 St.

Belly Motions has a mission to “educate, empower, and motivate their clients through authentic world dance forms designed to provide a fun experience and healthy life style.” Learn more about classes and Belly Motions community outreach programs at http://www.bellymotions.com/

The cost of The New Neighbors luncheon is $26 and deadline for required reservations is June 5 by noon. Send email to ritafosse@yahoo.com or call 305-595-0213. For more about social events of The New Neighbors Club of South Dade check out http://newneighborssouthdade.webs.com/

MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS

I have switched to a new email address for my Friends and Neighbors column. Please write to me with your good news story ideas at christinammayo@gmail.com.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at ChristinaMayo05@aol.com.

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