Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Family of girl killed by drunk driver works with MADD

Accepting the South Florida Council of Fire Fighters donation are representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Angie Camacho and Coral Gables Firefighter Tim Mungovan. A drunk driver killed Camacho’s daughter, Kaely, in 2012.
Accepting the South Florida Council of Fire Fighters donation are representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Angie Camacho and Coral Gables Firefighter Tim Mungovan. A drunk driver killed Camacho’s daughter, Kaely, in 2012.

School spring breaks are upon us once again and it is important to remind ourselves, and especially our young people, of the consequences of driving drunk.

Early in the morning on April 13, 2012, a drunk driver with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit killed Kaely Camacho, 13, as she slept in the back seat of the family minivan. Her then-16-year-old sister, Bree Ann, and father, Kirk, survived with injuries.

The drunk driver who hit them was speeding on U.S. 1 at 100 miles per hour on a road reserved for buses. He ran a red light and the minivan was torn in half.

Now, the Camacho family works with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in remembrance of Kaely, who was a Southwood Middle School student when she died.

The South Florida Council of Fire Fighters recently presented MADD with a $1,000 donation in memory of Kaely. Her mother, Angie Camacho and Coral Gables Firefighter Tim Mungovan, who helped raise Kaely, were at the ceremony. The family members speak at many events including school outreach in hopes that no others experience their heartbreak.

“This is a very personal issue for us. Tim and his family are a part of a brotherhood that extends beyond departments and city limits. Miami IAFF Local 587 is here today to not only support MADD’s mission but also to support our brother Mungovan and his family,” said Miami IAFF Local 587 Vice President Alex Cardenas in a release.

The South Florida Council of Firefighters consists of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) organizations in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, which includes the members of Coral Gables, Hialeah, Key Biscayne, Key West, Marathon, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami-Dade and Monroe County firefighters. The group represents about 3,500 firefighters and their families in South Florida.

To get involved or get help, or to make a donation to MADD, visit http://www.madd.org/

PHOTO CONTEST

The fifth annual Capture Coral Gables Photography Contest is a free, juried photography event open to teens and adults from amateur to professional. The contest runs through May 1 and participants can enter their work in any of the five categories: portraiture, street photography, nature/landscape, night photography and digital photo manipulation.

Submissions must be entered at www.capturecoralgables.org/ where you can read more about the prizes including a chance to win a special edition Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) Solid Gray camera.

A panel of judges will select photographs for a summer exhibition from June 3 to Aug. 19. During the exhibition Coral Gables Museum visitors can cast ballots for their favorite photo. Twelve winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at 11 a.m., Aug. 20.

DISCO PARTY FUNDRAISER

Dig into your closet for your Disco Days outfits and get out to the Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay fundraiser performance with a Saturday Night Fever theme. Club members are hoping for a great turnout to contribute funds to the West Perrine Park Summer Camp Program.

The free pre-event reception starts at 6 p.m., March 19 at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St., Miami. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $37.50 for the balcony to $85 for the VIP Rotary front orchestra. Go to https://tickets-smdcac.miamidade.gov/TheatreManager/1/login&performance=1471 or the Center’s Box Office.

For an additional $100 donation, you can enter the Draw-Down Raffle with prizes, including $3,000 in cash. And all are invited to the Disco Party following the production. For more contact Maria Kesti at mariac6990@aol.com or 305-323-1530.

QUILT WINNERS

There were 150 visitors to the Pioneer Museum Quilt Show that featured modern and vintage or antique quilts. Attendees enjoyed Rosa Brito’s lecture on the antique quilts from private collections and from the Museum's collection.

The winner of the Saturday People’s Choice Award was “Rainbow” crafted by Florence Harriett Lowe Morris. Winner of the Sunday People’s Choice award was “Sisters” crafted by Rosa Brito. Lowe Morris also won the Overall People’s Choice Show Ribbon. Local author and lecturer Charlie Hudson was on hand with her latest quilt books.

The show also allowed visitors to learn about the telegraph when members of the Samuel Morse Club of Florida set up a working key and sounder connected through a laptop. They corresponded in Morse code to other club members in Pennsylvania during the show. The vintage theme continued with displays of early fashions, hand-painted china, and hand painted jewelry, as well as old typewriters.

Pioneer Museum Board Member Karon Grunwell Buckley is to be congratulated for bringing the show together.

FLOWERING TREES

Chad Husby and Jason Lopez will talk about horticultural explorations in Southeast Asia at the next meeting of the Tropical Flowering Tree Society at 7:30, March 14 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables. The group meets in the Corbin Building next to the Garden House. Park and enter at the South Gate.

This is a wonderful opportunity to hear Husby, Fairchild’s botanical horticulturist, and Lopez, Fairchild’s Living Collection manager, speak on the flowering trees of Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. The group meets the second Monday of each month. To learn more, call 305-389-5404.

NATIVE PLANT DAY

Learn how to make your backyard a paradise at this free one-day event open to the public. Hosted by the Dade Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and the Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation department, the 21st Native Plant Day will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 19, at Bill Sadowski Park, 17555 SW 79 Ave., in Palmetto Bay.

Activities will be held for all ages, including nature walks in the park, native plant sales and raffles, a plant clinic and hands-on–take-home projects for kids.

Learn about landscaping, water conservation, “bad” insects, butterflies, seeds, geology, wildflowers and more. The Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Rain Barrel Workshop will help gardeners make their own rain barrels with a materials fee.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Also featured will be an 8 a.m., early morning bird walk. Be sure to bring binoculars. For more visit http://dade.fnpschapters.org/or call 305-985-3677.

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

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