Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: It’s time to give thanks for every blessing, large and small

Bea L. Hines
Bea L. Hines

Well, here we are, dear friends, on the eve of another Thanksgiving Day. I don’t know about you, but my blessings are so many that I can’t count them. But just let me take a little time to mention a few of them here today.

First off, I am thankful for being blessed to have been counted worthy to see another beautiful South Florida day. (Even if it’s raining, it is still a beautiful day.) As I wake up to the morning news, I hear of so many bad things that occurred while I was asleep. I am so thankful that when I arose this morning I didn’t rise to bombs falling all around us, as is the case with so many people in other parts of the world.

I am thankful that I have a good mind; that I know who I am. I am thankful for the roof over my head and for a nice, clean bed to rest on. And for food on the table.

I am thankful for my biological family, church family and friends (like you) who never cease to encourage me. That helps to keep me going.

I am thankful that I can reach out to someone less fortunate and pass along a blessing.

I am thankful for every blade of grass, for the towering trees, and for the flowers that bloom. I am thankful for the butterflies that flutter around the flowers, making me smile. It is such a blessing to see them and the beautiful colors they wear. I am thankful, too, for the ladybugs, who come dressed in such a variety of colors and designs. God is truly an awesome God.

I am thankful that although I am alone, I am never lonely because of my relationship with God and you, dear friends.

I could go on and on, but there isn’t enough space nor time. I know that as you read this, you are also thinking of the many things you can give thanks for.

So, dear friends, I send out many blessings to you and yours on this, another Thanksgiving season.


Registration for the Turkey Day 5K Run will be take place noon to 6 p.m. on Nov. 23, 24 and 25 at Sports Authority, 8364 S. Dixie Hwy. While there, you may drop off your sneakers or shoes that are in good condition to the Miami Dadeland Pinecrest Rotary Club. There will be a dropbox for your donations. The sneakers and shoes will later be distributed to the needy. If you donate, please tie sneaker or shoe pairs together.

The Turkey Run starts 7 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. If you haven’t already donated your sneakers or shoes, you may do so at Tropical Park, where the Turkey Run will be held. A dropbox will be provided at the Rotary table. The funds from the donated footwear will be used to fund scholarships and other needy projects in the community.

For more information call Howard Horowitz, president of the organization, at 786-346-6661 or email him at


The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council of Greater Miami (DVSAC), will present an in-depth look at the criminal justice system’s response to crimes of domestic violence from experts working inside the system from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in the 11th floor conference room at the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, 175 NW First Ave. in downtown Miami.

The program, “Part One — Criminal Justice Response,” will start with registration and breakfast, a welcome and opening remarks by Francesco Duberli, chairman of the DVSAC. Judge Carroll Kelly will be the keynote speaker. The event will feature panel presentations, panel moderators and special guests from the judiciary, law enforcement, the state attorney’s office and the public defender’s office.

Each panel will include time for questions and answers.

To make your reservation and for more information, call Angie Castro at Survivors’ Pathway, 786-275-4364 or 786-334-6992. You may also email her at .


“GeekiWood 2015”, which empowers girls in middle school by providing them with a greater appreciation and interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEM + Art = STEAM), will be held Dec. 5 at Florida International University Modesto A. Maidique Campus, 11200 SW Eighth St.

The event is being held, said Noreen Legault Mendoza, founding director of GeekieGirl, “because currently, women are vastly underrepresented in these courses of study and as professionals in these areas.”

Since its founding, GeekiWood has grown to an event where hundreds of young girls participate in the event’s “unique blend of hands on activities and interactive demonstrations showcasing all of the elements of STEAM,” Mendoza said.

“The appeal of GeekiWood is its one-of-a-kind ability to blend the magic of movies and television in a way that takes attendees on a journey of discovery,” she said. “As a result, the participants realize, much to their delight and surprise, an interest in STEAM and how STEAM impacts their daily lives.”

Students may sign up for a variety of workshops and activities geared toward their areas of interest. The full day event costs $10 per person and includes all program materials, lunch, a souvenir T-shirt, and a certificate of completion. Student who are in the free or reduced lunch program at their school are awarded scholarships that will allow them to attend the event free of charge.

For more information and to register, call Mendoza at 305-302-1678 or email her at You may also go online at:


The third annual Christmas Tree Lighting Extravaganza in Coconut Grove will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 at CocoWalk. The tree will be lit at 6:30 p.m.

Sponsored by the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District and CocoWalk, the holiday event will include a bounce house, Mom & Pop’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice; arts and crafts; pictures with Santa Claus, and live performances by the Miami Conservatory of Music; Bridgeprep Arts and Minds Academy, and Coconut Grove Ballet Studio.

If you go, please bring an unwrapped toy to the ceremony. The toys will be donated to the St. Alban’s Child Enrollment Center as a part of the annual toy drive. If you forget to bring a toy to the ceremony, don’t fret; toys will be collected until Dec. 14. You may drop them off at Coconut Grove BID or Coco Walk at the Sunset Place offices from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The toys will be delivered to the school on Dec. 15.

In addition to the holiday festivities, local restaurants and shops will also feature special offers, live music, raffles and holiday gifts during the monthly Fashion + Art + Music night from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec 5.

Other Coconut Grove events will include a KROMA and Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery collaboration for Art Basel/Art Miami Week starting Dec. 3,

For more information and a complete schedule of activities, call Natalia Grozina at the Coconut Grove BID office, 305-461-5506 or email her at:


If you ever wondered how Tamiami Trail, the historic road that connects Miami to Tampa, got started, you should plan to attend the lecture to be given by Bob DeGross, Big Cypress chief interpreter, at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 7, in the Pioneer Room of First National Bank of South Florida, 1550 N. Krome Ave. in Homestead.

The lecture is a part of the Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture Series and is free and open to the public. If you go, and would like to have lunch, reservations for a simple lunch can be made by calling Barbara at 305-230-9185 before 2 p.m. on Dec. 4.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.