Community Voices

To this mom, her four foster children were always part of family

Bea L. Hines
Bea L. Hines

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!

I’s so pleased that I was chosen to be a mom, and now a grandma and a great-grandma, too. I tell you, there is no other feeling like it.

My hat is off also to all the mothers, who though not a mother in the biological sense, have mothered and nurtured many children, making them very special in my sight, and I believe, in the sight of God.

I am reminded of one such mom, who took in a family of four children as a foster mom nearly two decades ago. When it was time for the older children to "grow" out of state care, my friend, Sandra Clark, decided to keep them as her very own family. That Clark, a single woman with a career, would take on such a responsibility really touched me.

Today, Clark is a proud grandma of seven.

"I never considered them as foster children," she said. "From the start, I saw them as my very own children and treated them as such. Even my relatives saw them as a part of the family. They were never treated like outsiders," Clark said. "A lot of people didn't even know that they were not my biological children."

When she took on the children, Clark said she didn't see it as a problem because she came from a large family — six sisters and two brothers.

She said there was never a time that she didn't want to be a mother. “After you have had the children for a time, they really do become like your children. I couldn't throw them a way like garbage,” she said.

Kudos to you, Sandra Clark!

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The Pentecost Feast, an annual revival at The Church of God Tabernacle (True Holiness) at 1351 NW 67th St. in Liberty City, convenes today, May 8, at the church.

The revival, held at the church for 73 years, celebrates the birthday of the Christian Church as well as the "...out-pouring of the Holy Ghost on believers," said Bishop Walter H. Richardson, pastor and overseer of the church for 51 years.

The festive services will feature spirited preaching, music and testimonials and will be held at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays, with weeknight services starting at 8 p.m. There will be no services on Saturday. The Pentecost Feast will culminate on May 15.

"Everyone is welcome to this free, and holy celebration," Richardson said.

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The 18th Annual Pops Concert will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 10 at Gusman Hall, University of Miami, 1314 Miller Dr. in Coral Gables.

Presented by the Greater Miami Symphonic Band, the concert, "Moon Over Miami", will feature the musical culture of South Florida "... in all its color and variety," said Conductor Robert Longfield.

The program will include such favorites as "Moon Over Miami", as well as the "Best of the Miami Sound Machine - Gloria Estefan,” a tribute to KC and the Sunshine Band performed by the GMS Swing Band, "Dade Variations" by Robert Longfield and "Miami March" by Henry Fillmore.

Tickets are $15 for adults, and $5 for students and children over 5. They’re available at the box office on the day of the concert, or in advance online at, www.GMSB.org. For more information call 305-273-7687.

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Adele Rodriguez, 85, knows how to be happy and she has written about it in her book "The Way to Happiness: My Journey".

At 4 p.m. on May 15, Rodriguez will be at Books & Books at 265 Aragon Ave. in Coral Gables at a book event and book signing.

Rodriguez will show you that with God's help, happiness is achievable in a simple and unsophisticated way. But first, you must be willing to make some changes in your life by applying basic, common sense principles that are outlined in the book.

Once applied, Rodriguez said the principles will open doors for you and bring you "... profound peace, contentment, and lasting happiness."

If you go, please RSVP by calling 305-987-1196 or email, jayrod9@bellsouth.net

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For all the years that I have known Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, she has been a lifter-up of the human spirit. This is what she did as an elementary school principal and later as a Florida State Representative and now, as vice-chair of the Miami-Dade County School Board, District 2.

Her latest endeavor is to present the American Girl Fashion Show fundraiser, which will benefit the organization Embrace Girls Foundation's After School Programs and Camps. The event takes place at 2 p.m. on May 15 at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, 3385 NE 186th St. The show will be hosted by Ami Viteri, WPLG 10 news anchor/reporter.

Said Bendross-Mindingall: "I am proud to be the presenting sponsor of this event, which will educate girls from across South Florida - not only about fashion, but also about historical moments in time.”

Tickets are $40 general admission and $60, VIP if purchased in advance, and $50 general admission and $75 VIP on the day of the show. To purchase your ticket(s), go to, aventuracenter.org or call 877-311-7469.

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"Brundiba'r" an opera for children, will be presented at three performances at 4 p.m. May 15 at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57th Ave.; at 4 p.m. May 22 at Temple Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus, 20350 NE 26th Ave. in North Miami Beach, and at 4 p.m. June 5 at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, 137 NE 19th St.

The opera tells the story of two children, Pepicek and Annika, who go town to get fresh milk for their sick mother. They had no money to buy the milk and so decided to sing in the town square to raise the money. Their efforts are thwarted by the evil organ grinder "Brundib'ar." The children are visited by a sparrow, cat and dog, who tell them they will call all the village children, and together they will defeat Brundiba'r. The children band together and defeat the bully and the siblings get the money needed to buy the milk.

This beautiful opera for children by Czech-Jewish composer Hans Kra'sa, became both a symbol of hope and resistance as well as a Nazi propaganda tool and was performed over 55 times in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, where the Nazis used it as a tool to show how well the prisoners were being treated.

The opera will be performed by the students from the Miami Art Studio at Zelda Glazer 6-12 school, and Orchestra Miami, conducted by Elaine Rinaldi.

Tickets are $10 for children ages 3-17 (free to lap-seating children under 3) and $15 for adults. For tickets and more information go to, www.OrchestraMiami.org or call 305-274-2103.

To receive a complete study guide with information on the history of the opera and suggested lessons and readings to prepare children for the performances, send an email to info@orchestramiami.org

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Rachael Ramjattan, CFRE President of Non-profit Plus, will present a one-day only workshop on "How to Raise 10k Fast With Non-Profit Crowdfunding" from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on May 20 at Partners for Self-Employment, 3000 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 200. The cost is $40 for the early-bird special and $60 for all others. The early-bird special expires on May 13. Register at eventbrite.

Also on May 20, Ramjattan will present "The Power of Storytelling in Your Crowdfunding Campaign" at a one-day-only workshop, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Partners for Self-Employment. The cost is $5 per person and $25 for the early-bird special. The early-bird special expires on May 13. Register at eventbrite. For information, call 786-618-1447 or go to www.theaffiliatez.com

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The Booker T. Washington Alumni Association will have its annual Reunion Weekend May 19 - May 22.

The reunion will be the Alumni Association's first, all-inclusive four days of activities. The weekend will begin at 4 p.m. May 19 with a "mix and mingle" event at Calder Casino and Race Course (buffet is $20 per person).

Class Day/Celebration of Life will be at 6 p.m. on May 20 in the BTW School auditorium, followed by a reception in the school's cafeteria.

The Alumni Picnic will be from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 21 at Arcola Park, 1301 NW 83rd St, at Shelter #2 on the park's west side. Serving time is from 1 to 2 p.m.

The weekend of events will culminate at 9 a.m. May 22, with the Alumni Worship Service at the Church of the Incarnation, 1835 NW 54th St. A reception will follow the service in the Rev. J. Kenneth Major Parish Hall.

The cost to Alumni Association members is $25 per person and includes all events including the church offering. The picnic is $12 for adult non-members of the association and $6 for children ages 4-10.

If you go, tickets must be purchased by May 13, as there will be no tickets sold at any of the events. For tickets and more information, call Laura Jones in Miami Gardens at 305-621-4317; Madeline Atwell in Central Miami at 305-696-2498 or Barbara Burrows in the south area at 305-633-4331.

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The Alhambra Orchestra will present a free classical concert titled, "Natural Wonders" at 7:30 p.m. May 15 at Ransom Everglades School, 3575 Main Hwy. in Coconut Grove.

The orchestra, led by Musical Director/Conductor Timothy Shade, will perform Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony No. Six.” The musical work will give listeners a walk in the countryside, a violent thunderstorm and the ensuing peaceful scene.

Concertmaster Rand Bella will perform excerpts from Lalo's dramatic "Symphonie Espagnol" with the orchestra. "Gearbox," a work by contemporary composer James Syler that produces the imagined sound of a car engine, will also be performed.

The concert is free and there is no need to RSVP. For more information call 305-668-9260 or go to, www.alhambramusic.org.

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 bea.hines@gmail.com. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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