Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Coral Gables firefighters honor fallen 9/11 brethren

Coral Gables IAFF Local 1210 members Juan Pineiro, Daniel Cook, Gabe Arteaga, Chris Garcia, Jeff Cook, Dave Vargas, Brandon Selts, Anthony Jinete and Jason Barger were part of the second annual New York City Firefighter Stair Climb to honor firefighters killed on 9/11.
Coral Gables IAFF Local 1210 members Juan Pineiro, Daniel Cook, Gabe Arteaga, Chris Garcia, Jeff Cook, Dave Vargas, Brandon Selts, Anthony Jinete and Jason Barger were part of the second annual New York City Firefighter Stair Climb to honor firefighters killed on 9/11. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

Carrying the memory of the brave 343 New York City firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2001, seven Coral Gables firefighters joined in the recent second annual New York City Firefighter Stair Climb.

The IAFF Local 1210 members were among 343 firefighters, in full gear, who ascended the 72 floors of 4 World Trade Center.

Each climber at the event, many from around the country, made the quest in honor of one of the FDNY firefighters who were killed. The climb also memorialized fallen first responders and military personnel around the world.

The New York City Firefighter Stair Climb is primarily a memorial climb. Each year, the organizers designate a beneficiary and raise funds for that group.

This year, the climb proceeds of $70,145 will benefit Team Red, White & Blue — New York City Chapter. That group’s mission is “to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.”

To learn more and to watch live-stream clips of the climb, visit Registration for the 2017 climb will begin in November.


Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired celebrated its 85th anniversary with the announcement of the launch of Lighthouse Learning Center For Children.

The recent anniversary event also recognized family foundations, charitable trusts and the major donors who made it possible to reach $10 million in capital funding for the nonprofit organization’s innovative new program.

The Lighthouse Learning Center for Children will be on the grounds of the existing Miami Lighthouse complex and will include classrooms for a pre-kindergarten for 3- and 4-year-old visually impaired children. The official opening is projected for fall semester 2017. Upon completion, the space also will have other learning laboratories for children from birth through age 4.

To volunteer, donate and get involved, visit The group’s Music Under the Stars fundraiser is May 4. Tickets are $75 and are available through the website.


Be sure to get your tickets to the Miami Jazz Cooperative’s two-night, 12-hour jazz extravaganza April 29-30 at the Open Stage Club, 2325 Galiano St., Coral Gables, in celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, Duke Ellington’s birthday and International Jazz Day.

The two nights of jazz will feature more than 75 of South Florida’s jazz musicians. Performances will be live-streamed to the International Jazz Day audience.

Advance ticketing is available at Ticket prices begin at $30 for general admission with a two-night discount available. Tickets at the door, if still available, will have a $5 surcharge per night.

Can’t make it to the big event? The MJC Monday Night Rent Party at the Open Stage Club is a weekly event, “with great musicians, a great piano, a great sound system, and a great audience which appreciates great jazz.”

The Miami Jazz Cooperative is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 with a mission to support jazz appreciation in our community through education and outreach.


Put on your fascinator Derby hats, get out your racing silks, and celebrate at the annual Kentucky Derby Party hosted by the Women’s Cancer Association of the University of Miami, The Franklin C. Bush Chapter. The fun is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 7 at Duffy’s Tavern, 2108 SW 57th Ave., Miami. Race post time is 6:34 p.m. for the Kentucky Derby.

This “Hot Casino” party will have “Blackjack, roulette and craps” tables along with a cash bar, raffle prizes, silent auction, and tasty snacks. Tickets are $50 and benefit the group’s cancer research initiative. RSVP by calling JoAnn Cappeletti at 305-235-6453.

There will be a prize for the Best Hat.


Get your furry friends off the couch and visit Woofstock for pet tricks, a look-alike contest, K-9 officer demonstrations, animal blessings, adoptions and a lot more fun.

The Barnacle Historic State Park will be open for all the best dogs in our lives from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 1 at 3485 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove.

Dogs, please keep your humans on a leash that does not exceed six feet in length, and vice versa.

Cost is $2. Kids ages 5 and younger are admitted free. Check out or call 305-442-6866 for more information.


Teens can now find expanded centers for homework assistance, ACT/SAT prep, tutoring, career preparedness, community service opportunities and much more at four locations of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade is a special place for teens,” said Alex Rodriguez-Roig, president of the group, in a release. “We are very pleased to now offer our teen program with extended hours within each of our clubs. We place great emphasis on helping to prepare teens for college and careers, as well as providing positive, enjoyable programs for them.”

The programs are at four clubs: Hank Kline Club, 305-446-2654; Kendall Club, 305-279-3013; Northwest Club, 305-758-5753; and South Beach Club, 305-535-1135 with extended hours from 2 to 8 p.m.

Summer employment positions also are available for qualifying year-round teen club members. The after-school curriculum includes financial literacy workshops, job shadowing, and career enrichment as well as college tours, apprenticeships with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, fitness activities, guest speakers, and mentors. For more, visit

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