Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Brunch for the Animals raises close to $100,000

Having fun raising funds for the Humane Society of Greater Miami at Brunch for the Animals are, from left, Ann King, Lourdes Martinez with Bella, Bronwyn Miller, Irene Korge, Hayley Sloman, and Debbie Young.
Having fun raising funds for the Humane Society of Greater Miami at Brunch for the Animals are, from left, Ann King, Lourdes Martinez with Bella, Bronwyn Miller, Irene Korge, Hayley Sloman, and Debbie Young.

“It’s a dog’s life” took on a chic new meaning when furry friends, and almost 400 of their humans, gathered at the Brunch for the Animals at Fontainebleau Miami Beach to raise funds for the Humane Society of Greater Miami on Nov. 22.

Close to $100,000 was raised at the event to help the Humane Society of Greater Miami “provide shelter, food, veterinary care and plenty of TLC while the dogs and cats wait for their permanent home, no matter how long it takes.”

“This is my fifth year with Humane Society’s Brunch for the Animals, which has truly become the best brunch in Miami,” said event chair Amy Zakarin. “So many new people joined us in celebrating our favorite breed: rescues!

“This year alone, Humane Society has adopted out over 3,000 cats and dogs into loving homes, including to many members of the host committee. There is nothing more pure or rewarding than bringing home a pet that someone sadly deemed unwanted and making that pet a part of a family,” Zakarin said in email.

Also chairing the event were Alan G. Randolph, Steven Rodriguez and Isaac Rosenberg. The group had much appreciated help from Lisa Petrillo, entertainment and lifestyle reporter for CBS4, who was the emcee.

The event host committee included: Michele Addison, Lana and Michael Bernstein, Angela and Louis Birdman, Sam Blum, Mariana and Simon Cruz, Irene Korge, Suzanne and Todd Legon, Lesley Lyons-Monahan, Harvey Daniels and Sabine Otamendi, Perry Ellis International, Laura and Jay Parker, James Provencher, Megan Riley, Adam and Brooke Rosenfeld, Durée and Dwayne Ross, Brigitt Rok, Kane Sarhan, Hayley Sloman, Michael Comras and Daniela Swaebe, Judge Bronwyn Miller and Maury Udell, Deborah Young and Elizabeth Van Walleghem.


Show your appreciation for outstanding educators and community leaders at the fourth annual Eunice Watson Liberty Day Celebration and Awards Banquet at 4 p.m. Dec. 6 at Richmond Heights Women’s Center, 14855 SW 116 Ave.

The event ticket/donation is $50, and proceeds will go toward the historical center’s renovations and computers for the after-school program.

New Vision Gospel Community Choir Inc. is hosting the event to honor retired assistant principal James L. Marshall and retired principal Wylamerle Marshall for their contributions in the field of education.

Arsimmer Wilder-McCoy, vice president of New Vision Gospel Community Choir will receive the Humanitarian Award.

The banquet is held in memory of Eunice Watson Liberty, who was “a driving force on behalf of children, education and the community.”

“Mama Liberty,” as members of her community called her, was an activist and educator. She taught in public school in Liberty City for 42 years. Including her many achievements and awards, she was instrumental in starting the Miami-Dade County Black Archives.

For banquet tickets and more information, contact Carolyn Scott at 305-620-9582 or Dolores Shepherd at 305-621-7285.


Members of The New Neighbors Club of South Florida will end the year with a musical tribute to the holidays starting at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 9 at Devon Seafood + Steak at 11715 Sherri Lane in the Town & Country Mall in Kendall.

This group helps people new to the area, empty nesters and others looking to make new friends at monthly luncheons, club activities and events throughout the year. Everyone is invited to join in. Learn more at

The holiday luncheon with sing-along is $23. Also featured at the event will be member and travel professional Evelyn Guilfoyle, who will give a brief talk about upcoming travel opportunities.

Reservations are required. Email or call 305-595-0213, no later than 6 p.m. Dec. 6.


Meet businessman and author Miguel “Mike” Benito Fernandez when he speaks about his book Humbled By The Journey: Life Lessons For My Family… And Yours at a free event at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at Lou Rawls Center for the Performing Arts, Florida Memorial University, 15800 NW 42nd Ave., in Miami Gardens.

The SEED School of Miami is hosting this event, and the public is invited to attend for free with an RSVP. All proceeds from book sales go toward the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation.

Fernandez will talk about his 508-mile pilgrimage along El Camino de Santiago from France through Spain, and his journey from a small Cuban town to his success in the U.S.

The book teaches the lessons he has learned over a lifetime of tireless work, overcoming obstacles, and “showing up.” The most important lesson he teaches is: “You have to take care of those who come after you.”

RSVP your attendance by calling Tiffany Graver-Smith at 786-218-8503 or write to her at by Dec. 8. To learn more about The SEED School of Miami and its 24-hour college preparatory public boarding program starting in sixth grade, visit To learn about the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation, go to

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