Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Middle-, high-school students join Weather Rangers program

Young Weather Rangers at South Miami Middle Community School show off their new T-shirts and are excited to learn about weather preparedness through StormZone’s latest community involvement program.
Young Weather Rangers at South Miami Middle Community School show off their new T-shirts and are excited to learn about weather preparedness through StormZone’s latest community involvement program.

There is always weather to watch. And now, students can learn first-hand the importance of preparedness and involvement through the new StormZone program called Weather Rangers.

“Weather Rangers will be comprised of dedicated middle- and high-school students responsible for teaching their classmates and the community at large about the importance of severe weather-related disaster preparedness and community volunteerism,” said StormZone Director Bay Proby, who founded the program in 2006.

“In any conversation, the most talked-about topic is weather, whether it is local, national or even international,” Proby said.

Every year, thousands of Americans find themselves in harm's way from weather disasters such as hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes, floods and flash floods, wildfires and earthquakes, he said.

“No one is exempt,” Proby said. “That's why understanding the most dangerous weather threats in each locale and making advance plans can save lives and protect property.”

Learn how to organize your school group and order the Weather Ranger T-shirts. To start a group, middle and high school students or representatives should email their interest and contact information to the StormZone office at

Some of the Weather Rangers on-campus and community activities include Weather Expo half-day events featuring an emergency management center with disaster preparedness simulation, a storm-resistant house contest, and building your disaster kit and a family plan; student simulations at the local emergency operations center in which students practice building a government and resolving emergencies; community outreach to inform South Florida residents about the importance of preparedness and volunteerism.

Weather Rangers also will publish articles in campus publications, local newspapers and magazines, and social media about the importance of advance planning, location of storm shelters and evacuation routes, and home mitigation, Proby said.

More information about Weather Rangers is at You also can learn how to become a Red Cross volunteer through StormZone.


Help raise funds and have fun at the upcoming WCA Franklin C. Bush Chapter of University of Miami annual Rock the Runway fashion show and luncheon. Everyone is invited to attend the luncheon or any of the upcoming activities.

This nonprofit group of hardworking members has a mission to help cure cancer. The volunteers plan activities and run The Bargain Box thrift store to raise money for the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Miller School of Medicine. You can learn more at

The fashion show and luncheon will begin with socializing at 10 a.m., Nov. 12, at Coral Gables Country Club, 997 Greenway Dr. Be sure to arrive early to check out the bazaar of vintage clothing.

Reservations are required. Email or call JoAnn Cappelletti at 305-235-6453. Cost is $75. Deadline for reservations is Nov. 10. To learn more, visit, or visit The Bargain Box, 1350 West Flagler St.


More than 100 applicants were entered in Switchboard of Miami’s fourth annual Katz Barron Squitero Faust All-Star Non-Profit Awards. The finalists will be celebrated at a luncheon starting 11 a.m., Nov. 19, at Jungle Island in Miami.

“All of us at Switchboard of Miami are thrilled to announce this year’s finalists,” said Switchboard of Miami President and CEO Catherine Penrod in a release. “Each of the finalists work so hard in our community to make it a better place.”

Everyone is invited to attend the luncheon to recognize the honorees. Ticket prices are $75 per person for general admission and $50 per person for nonprofit staff/government representatives. Sponsorships and program ads are available. Visit for tickets and additional information.

Switchboard of Miami provides round-the-clock assistance to counsel, connect and empower people in need. The suicide prevention programs, information and referral contact center, and crisis counseling and wellness services also provide “a first point of assistance and a last resource for Miami-Dade County residents.” The funds raised at the luncheon will directly contribute to funding Switchboard of Miami.


What if Works, the community-engaged, post-graduate company based in Miami, is offering up three one-act plays to help bring about awareness of the importance of libraries and performance.

The plays will be at 7 p.m., Nov. 18, at Kendale Lakes Regional Library, 15205 SW 88th St.; and at 6 p.m., Nov. 19, at the main Miami-Dade Public Library, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami.

Admission is by donation and all money will go toward scholarships for first-generation college students in the performing and visual arts.

The “triple bill” of plays is based on Hispanic music and visual artists and will include Rhythm of Beauty by Juanita Castro, based on Katiushka Mendoza, the Colombian pop singer who tragically died undergoing plastic surgery; A Detail of Frida by Maleeha Naseer and performed by Amanda Quintero exploring a moment in the lives of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; and La Guarachera de Cuba (Queen of Salsa) by Lisset Riera.

Castro is a postgraduate from the Florida International University Department of Theatre, Rivera is also in the FIU program, and Naseer and Quintero are in the magnet program at Miami Arts Studio 6-12 at Zelda Glazer School, said Phillip M. Church, artistic director of What if Works and associate chair for Engagement, Department of Theatre and College of Architecture + the Arts at FIU.

“It is a program created in response to the call to help make libraries accessible to the public and to keep the doors open,” Church said. “‘Flying Solo Through Libraries’ is a wonderful homage to the purpose and meaning of libraries. They were once positioned at the very center of a community.”

To learn more and for reservations, call 305-271-1073 or visit


Antique and modern quilts, along with vintage sewing machines, can be displayed at the Pioneer Museum Quilt Show set for Feb. 20-21, 2016. The deadline to enter to display your treasures is Dec. 15. There is no registration fee.

Registration forms and more information are available at the Florida Pioneer Museum at 826 N. Krome Ave. in Florida City, the Town Hall Museum at 43 N. Krome Ave. in Florida City, and at

The February show will open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and the Pioneer Museum will be open as well. There will be a $5 admission fee to view the quilt show.

There also will be a lecture on the Museum’s antique quilt collection and a demonstration of an 1860s sewing machine. Other sewing machines from the 1860s through the 1940’s will be on display. And the Samuel Morris Club of Florida will give a live telegraph demonstration.

If you would like to display an antique sewing machine contact Karon Grunwell at

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