Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Alonzo and Tracy Mourning to present first Z’s Winter Groove

I want to take this time to thank Alonzo and Tracy Mourning for making South Florida their home, and for making such a wonderful contribution to our community. I believe I speak for many when I say that their presence here has made a great big difference in the lives of many — especially our youth.

Now, the Mournings and the Mourning Family Foundation have added another notch to their giving belt: On Dec. 27-29, the foundation will present its first Z’s Winter Groove, which will be a sister event to Zo’s Summer Groove.

“For 15 summers, my wife and I produced the one-week fundraising event Zo’s Summer Groove, and raised more than $10million during its tenure,” Alonzo Mourning said. “Now, after three years as the Mourning Family Foundation, we can’t wait to create yet another signature Groove. And there’s not better place than Miami to do so. Not only is it America’s winter playground, but it is my home.”

Tracy Mourning has also made her presence felt in the community with her Honey Shine Mentoring Foundation for Girls, which encourages the balance of mind, body and soul in girls and women by providing nurturing experiences that enlighten their paths and empower their future.

The three-day winter event will feature a Family Health and Wellness Groove on Dec. 27; a Comedy Groove on Dec. 28; and a Hall of Fame Gold Groove on Dec. 29. All events will be hosted by Alonzo and Tracy Mourning.

Alonzo recently was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. The Family Health event will include a 5K run/walk, football and basketball clinics, fitness classes, and health screenings. This event will be co-presented by the city of Miramar at Miramar Regional Park, 6801 Miramar Pkwy.

Registration for the 5K run/walk starts at 6:30 a.m., with the event starting at 8 a.m. Family activities are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the sports clinics are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $25 per person for the 5K run/walk; and event day registration fee is $35 per person. Pre-registration is available at

And because laughter really is the best medicine, on Dec. 28 there will be a private fundraising comedy show at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, with comedian Rodney Grant as host. The show will also feature stand-up by Def Comedy Jam and Laff Mob’s Robert Summer, John “Honest John” Basinger, Karlous Miller, Robert Powell and Ashima Franklin.

The VIP reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. and costs $175 per person, including an open bar. Tickets for the comedy show only are $75 per person and may be purchased at

Zo’s Hall of Fame Golf Tournament at Turnberry Isle Resorts and Golf Course, 19999 W. Country Club Dr. in Aventura, will wrap up the weekend Winter Groove. The tournament will feature over 80 golfers, Groove Golf Ambassadors, Hall of Fame members from sports, music, television, motion pictures and business, including Julius Erving (NBA); and Cornelius Bennett and Bruce Smith, both NFL Professional Bowl players.

Registration is at 7:30 a.m. and tee time is 9 a.m. The cost is $6,000 per foursome and sponsorships are available starting at $10,000.

For more information on this event, send an email to

Hanukkah party in Palmetto Bay

The community is invited to celebrate Hanukkah with the village of Palmetto Bay from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Coral Reef Park, 7895 SW 15th St., at the park’s gazebo/band shell near 77th Avenue.

The program will include activities for children, including a bounce house and Hanukkah crafts. There will also be music for all ages, dancing and raffles, and traditional holiday delicacies of donuts and chocolate coins (also known as Hanukkah gelt).

At 3 p.m, Rabbi Zalman Gansburg will be joined by Mayor Eugene Flinn for the Grand Lighting of a chocolate coin menorah. It’s free. Call 786-208-9222 for more information.

Blakley Ceramics program planned

From the late 1960s through the late 1990s, the ceramic work of Tom and Mary Blakley, who owned Mary Blakley Ceramics, was very popular in South Florida.

At 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 5, their son Jeff Blakley will give a presentation in the Pioneer Room of the First National Bank of South Florida at the Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture series. In his lecture, Blakley will provide the history of Mary Blakley Ceramics, to include where his late parents were from, their educational background and how they came to live in the East Glade area, east of Florida City, where their studio was located.

Jeff will bring several pieces of both Tom and Mary to show the diversity of their artistic endeavors. Collectors who own pieces of the Blakleys’ work and would like more information, may bring the pieces to the luncheon.

The Pioneer Room is on the third floor of the bank at 1550 N. Krome Ave. in Homestead. The lecture is free and open to the public. An optional, simple lunch is available for $10 by calling Barbara at 305-230-9185 before 2 p.m. on Jan. 2. Lunch is at 11:30 a.m., followed by the lecture at noon.

‘A Tale of Two Exiles: Tibetans and Jews’

At 7 p.m. Jan. 5, Nathan Katz, one of eight Jewish thinkers asked for advice by Dalai Lama, will speak on the topic, “A Tale of Two Exiles: Tibetans and Jews” at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, 301 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach.

In his talk, Katz will explain that although the two groups are of different faiths, cultures and are worlds apart, they have faced a common need: keeping their heritage alive during exile. It is a natural topic for Katz, who was responsible for the Dalai Lama’s visits to South Florida in 1999, 2004, and 2010.

Katz is founder and director of the Jewish Studies Initiative at Florida International University. He is also a distinguished professor in the School of International and Public Affairs and founder of the Program in the Study of Spirituality at FIU. His talk on Jan. 5, is a part of the Mondays at the Museum series. Admission is $10 for the public; $5 for museum members, and free for students with ID.

Call the museum at 786-972-3175 for tickets or more information. You may also send an email to

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.