Miami Beach

Beach Buzz: Miami-based Casa Valentina for at-risk youth celebrates 10th anniversary

Casa Valentina founders Lisa Schejola, Sharon Langer, Sharon Socol, Susan Lampen and Marcia Reisman at the 10th anniversary celebration.
Casa Valentina founders Lisa Schejola, Sharon Langer, Sharon Socol, Susan Lampen and Marcia Reisman at the 10th anniversary celebration.

Casa Valentina, a Miami-based nonprofit that serves at-risk youth and youth transitioning out of foster care, celebrated its 10th anniversary with an intimate get-together for 150 guests on Nov. 10 at Coral Gables Art Cinema.

The event, which raised $65,000 for the organization, featured personal stories of community members who have helped others or received help with regard to immigration issues. Guest speakers included: Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, attorneys Robert Josefsberg and Mayra Joli and former Casa Valentina resident Jose Machado.

“Ten years ago, five local women identified a great need in our community that was not being addressed by any organization: Young girls were aging out of foster care at age 18 with nowhere to go,” said Sharon Langer, Casa Valentina co-founder and board of directors chair.

Those five women — Langer, along with Marcia Reisman and Sharon Socol (Coral Gables), Susan Lampen (Coconut Grove) and Lisa Schejola-Akin (Miami Beach) — raised funds to provide safe, affordable housing and life skills training by caring professionals.

To date, the nonprofit has served more than 150 youth — young women, young men (Emmaus Place in partnership with Camillus House) and moms and their children at housing in West Grove, the Roads and Life Skills Training in the city of Miami Gardens.

Over the years, Casa Valentina has partnered with a wide variety of organizations including: Women’s Fund of Dade County, St. Phillips Episcopal Church, OUR Kids Inc. and National Council of Jewish Women.

The organization is now planning its next decade — and is working with Miami-Dade Public Housing and the FIU Cejas School of Architecture to explore the creation of an expanded Casa Valentina Village in West Grove.

To learn more or donate, call 305-444-0740 or visit


Adrienne (Mrs. Chris) Bosh celebrated the opening of Sparkle and Shine Darling, her new retail boutique and event venue at 1665 Alton Road (suite 101) in Miami Beach with a series of private launch parties, beginning with one for friends and family on Nov. 9.

More than 100 VIPs attended the Nov. 9 event, including Micky and Madeleine Arison, Alexis Stoudemire, David and Natasha Fizdale, Amaris Jones, Deborah Cox, Shannon Allen, Wayne Boich Jr. and Cynthia Marin.

Produced by Miami-based Jackie Ohh Events, the bash featured catering by Grown Miami and bubbly by Moët & Chandon. Guests were treated to lip and handwriting analysis entertainment, glamour shots in a Sparkle and Shine Darling-branded photo booth and custom fashion sketches by Emily Brickel Edelson of Chic Sketch, while scoping out the store’s one-of-a-kind products for home and office, and its café, which offers bakery treats and beverages.

Parting gift bags included goodies such as American Social gift cards, Briogeo’s Blossom & Bloom Volumizing Blow Dry Spray, designer tops by Julian Chang, Olyve Flowers gift certificates, Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center Deluxe Hydrafacial certificates and more.

Bosh, mother, philanthropist and wife of Miami Heat center Chris Bosh, says she hopes her new venue will serve as a “haven” for women. As for how she came up with the name: Bosh says “Sparkle and Shine” represents all of her favorite things and items that she hopes will keep everyone shining from the inside out; and “Darling” is what hubby Chris has called her since they first started dating almost six years ago.

The store officially opened to the public on Nov.16. Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., the facility also offers event space and customizable themed packages for parties, showers and other celebrations.

To learn more, call 305-763-8667 or visit


The Miami Beach Senior High Class of 1960 gathered for its 55th Class Reunion recently. More than 85 people attended the event, which featured cocktails and dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab on Halloween night. Attendees were part of the last class of “Typhoons” — they started at the original Beach High location before the school moved and students became known as “Hi-Tides.” Guests sported bibs designed by classmate Merri Mann that read “We got right in at Joe’s.”

Beach Buzz appears every other Sunday, and focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.