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AUGUST 9 - 22, 2011

Museum announces last call for Founders’ contributions BY STEPHANIE ROJAS

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or a limited time, friends and residents of the City of Coral Gables have the opportunity to support the area’s newest cultural landmark, the Coral Gables Museum. The museum currently is accepting contributions for its Founder and Cornerstone Founders’ partnerships, with donation levels starting at $1,000. The names of the Founders will be displayed in perpetuity on etched glass in the museum’s lobby. The final deadline for Founders’ contributions is Sept. 15. “The museum strives to foster appreciation for the history and cultural landscape of Coral Gables,” said Arva Moore Parks, acting director of the Coral Gables Museum. “The generous support provided by our donors allows us to bring that vision to life and help others understand the value of intelligent and thoughtful planning.” The Coral Gables Museum celebrates the civic arts of architecture, city planning, landscape architecture, historic and environmental preservation and history — the elements that define Coral Gables. It is a true public/private partnership between the City of Coral Gables and the Coral Gables Museum Corp., a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. The museum will open its first major exhibitions in October. For details on Coral Gables Museum, visit <www.coralgablesmuseum.org/> or call 305603-8067.

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GABLES GREAT Carlos Ruiz combines professional excellence with community service BY GLORIA BURNS

Pictured (l-r) are Coral Gables Commissioner Ralph Cabrera; former Commissioner Jim Barker; Commissioner Maria Anderson; students Markell A. Sams, David Chambers, Tamesha D. Braithwait and Bria Dewberry; Mayor Jim Cason, and Commissioner Frank Quesada. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BY MARIA ROSA HIGGINS FALLON

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our students — Markell A. Sams, David Chambers, Tamesha D. Braithwaite and Bria Dewberry — are recipients of the 2011-12 Donald R. Hopkins/William A. Cooper Scholarship. Each student will receive $1,500 toward his or her college education. The City of Coral Gables awards this scholarship ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 annually based on financial need, academic performance, career goals, and residency. Priority consideration is given to Coral Gables students living in the Golden

Gate/McFarlane Homestead subdivision. Established in 1990, the scholarship is co-named in honor of Dr. Donald R. Hopkins, born in Coral Gables and current vice president of Health Programs for Atlanta-based Carter Center, an organization that helps eradicate and control infectious diseases, and the late long-time Coral Gables resident William Cooper. Mr. Cooper was a founder and former president of the Lola B. Walker Homeowners Association of Coral Gables, which represents the historically black neighborhoods in Coral Gables. He was very active in his church and was an advocate for community safety and improvements.

Carlos Ruiz has a long history of professional excellence combined with community service. His story starts in Pinar de Rio, Cuba, where he was born and spent his early childhood before traveling to the United States in 1961, first as a tourist and then remaining as a refugee. A product of South Florida schools, Ruiz attended Coral Way Elementary, Shenandoah Junior High and then graduated from Miami Senior High in 1968. After earning his Associate of Arts in PreArchitecture at MiamiD a d e Community College, he went on to the CARLOS RUIZ University of Miami where he graduated in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. In 1972, on vacation in Puerto Rico, he met the love of his life, wife Cathy, another remarkable

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RUIZ, page 4


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August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 3

Joint venture breaks ground on office building in Gables BY LEE STEPHENS

A joint venture between two of Miami’s most successful and recognized family names has announced it has broken ground on a commercial property in the heart of Downtown Coral Gables. Scheduled for completion in 2012, “The Building” will be a modern Mediterraneanstyle development located at 2990 Ponce de Leon Blvd., consisting of 58,000 square feet of Class A office space. The project, developed by Alberto J. Pérez of AJP Ventures, has garnered financing from HSBC Bank USA, NA. Juan Carlos Mas leads the Mas Group of Companies, a venture capital, private equity and real estate investment fund. “This is an exciting project for myriad reasons, not the least of which is the partnership with my good friends, the Zubis,” Mas said. “In addition to the beautiful and innovative design, we’re also proud to have secured backing from a leading global financial institution in this challenging economic climate.” The joint venture with Mas was struck with TAZ Partners LLC, a real estate investment fund created by the Zubizarreta family. The company is named after the initials of Teresa A. Zubizarreta, the Miami icon and late mother of Michelle and Joe, who found-

ed one of the nation’s largest and most respected Hispanic advertising agencies with more than $175 million in billings and clients ranging from American Airlines to Ford Motor Co. “Although this is certainly not our typical venture, we are thrilled to participate due to the quality of people involved, and the strategic plans for this remarkable project,” Joe and Michelle Zubizarreta said in a joint statement. Both the Mas Group of Companies and Zubi Advertising will relocate their headquarter operations to The Building. Additionally, the venture already has confirmed fourth floor tenants in the law firm Sanchez-Medina Gonzalez Quesada Lage Crespo Gomez & Machado LLP. Featuring a striking architectural design, The Building will include a floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall on its southeast corner and ground floor retail designed to accommodate “drivethru” teller capacity for potential bank tenants. As a boutique Class A office building, tenants will be able to enjoy amenities such as rooftop terrace, ample parking and full floor private suites with floor-to-ceiling windows. Additionally, with a true commitment to the environment and overall sustainability, The Building will be designed and built to achieve LEED certification awarded by the United States

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Architectural rendering of “The Building” at 2990 Ponce de Leon Blvd. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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ture firm Bellin and Pratt. “Our goal with this project was to create something unparalleled in Coral Gables,” Pérez said. “The bold architecture, central location and caliber of partners involved will make The Building a truly unique landmark in our city.” For more information, visit online at <www.thebuildingonponce>.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

RUIZ, from page 1

August 9 - 22, 2011

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individual born in a Russian community in the interior of Brazil who speaks several languages and has worked most of her career at UM where she is director of development in the Department of Pediatrics. The couple has two grown children of whom they are very proud as well as three grandchildren. As for Ruiz, his professional experience in architecture began in 1972 when he interned under Thurston Hatcher (student of Frank Lloyd Wright at Talliesin) and William Zeigler who studied with E. Fay Jones, another FLW intern, some pretty impressive teachers for anyone in the field. As many know, Wright was one of the authors of organic architecture considered by some the seed of green architecture embraced by Ruiz during his career. During the past several decades, Ruiz has been active in several leadership roles with the American Institute of Architects and the Florida Educational Facilities Planners Association. He is a member of the National Association of Realtors and currently works with EWM Realtors, a second career after retirement but continues to work as an architect on his own personal projects under

Sustainable Realty Group. Ruiz is a past member of the Associated General Contractors, Construction Owners Association of America, Society of College and University Planners (SCUP), and the American Library Association. He currently serves as chair of the Coral Gables Green Task Force. Ruiz has an extensive list of community and professional service activities winning several awards. He has served on the boards of the Girls Scouts of Tropical Florida, Granada Presbyterian Church-PCA, and South Miami-Kendall Chamber of Commerce. His volunteerism also extends to numerous other committees and community tasks forces including GMCC; Aviation Alliance Committee; Zoning-Growth Management Committee and, following Hurricane Andrew, We Will RebuildMiami. He also has been a member of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Strategic Planning Council, and the City of West Miami Planning and Zoning Board, as chair and vice chair. A newly inducted member of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, he begins yet another chapter in a life dedicated to community service.


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Westin Colonnade hosts two great charitable events Gloria Burns GLORIA’S GAB The Westin Colonnade has been a busy place recently hosting two great charitable events. On July 20, Highheels and Handshakes, a charitable organization co-founded by Bonnie Kilpatrick and Christina Ward, gathered more than 300 guests for a fundraiser held at the beautifully renovated rooftop pool lounge offering an awesome view of downtown Coral Gables and a nice breeze. The duo are planning events on the 20th of every month offering women an opportunity to network while also supporting such charities as Women for Women International, which supports self-sufficiency among women in Miami as well as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Congo, Kosovo, Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda and Sudan. Of course, men also are welcome to the monthly networking events and several were in attendance that night. Among the many participating in the evening’s entertainment and fare were deejay Papi Love from Sony Pictures, Veev Acai Spirits, Partida Tequila, Hpnotiq Harmonie, Choco Noir Wine, Santos

Sangria, Mini-Makeovers by Isabel Amezaga, Stella & Dot and Morton’s the Steakhouse. To learn more about Highheels and Handshakes visit <www.highheelsandhandshakes.com> or check out Facebook at <www.facebook.com/highheelsandhandshakes>. On the very next day, folks gathered in the Rotunda of the Westin Colonnade for yet another charitable event that raised more than $2,400, this time for “Give Kids the World,” the Davidson Hotel chain’s main charity. Thomas Russo, Westin’s executive chef, provided guests a great buffet as well as an ice cream station where those not on a diet were able to indulge and create favorite ice cream sundaes. In addition, several generous donors provided prizes for a silent auction that guests enjoyed checking out after eating. For those unfamiliar with Give Kids the World, it is a 70-acre “story book” nonprofit resort near the attractions in Orlando where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to a week-long vacation at no cost. This certainly is a great cause and one that tugs on the hearts of us all. Finally, Rotarians, Interactors and summer interns filled one of the ballrooms at the Country Club of Coral Gables on Thursday, July 28, for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables. This meeting featured attorney Frank Sexton who is a history buff and a voracious reader. Sexton’s presentations always are enter-

Pictured at fundraiser hosted by the Westin Colonnade around the beautifully renovated pool and patio overlooking Coral Gables are (l-r) Bonnie Kilpatrick, Highheels and Handshakes co-founder; Jose Santiago, general manager of Morton’s Steakhouse, and Christina Ward, also co-founder of Highheels and Handshakes.

Gables Rotary president Debbie Swain thanks club past president Frank Sexton for his presentation at recent meeting. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Pictured at Give Kids the World Ice Cream Breakfast fundraiser are (l-r) Mike Wurster, Westin general manager; Patty Hendon, GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club; Jennifer McDonough, Westin food and beverage manager, and Amy Randall, Westin human resources manager.

taining, informative and great fun. This talk revolved around who the really discovered America, a fascinating lesson for all who still think it was Christopher Columbus. Among the many enjoying the meeting were Rotarian Bonnie Blaire and her son, Adam, who is a CPA and brought all his high school interns as a treat for their last day working at his office, and daughter, Karen, a development officers with the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade. Dr. Phil Boswell also filled a few tables with officers and members of the Interact Club at

Coral Gables High. All in all, it was a day for all ages. The Rotary Club of Coral Gables meets every Thursday, noon, at the Country Club of Coral Gables and visiting Rotarians always are welcomed. Lunch is $23 for members and guests. Until next time, keep making each day count. If you want to submit information for this column, please send your news via email to <gloriagalburns@aol.com>.


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 9 - 22, 2011

UM professor and AHEC Tobacco Program manager earns Fulbright BY INGRID VEGA

The Florida Department of Health applauds the recent selection of Dr. Asma Siddiqi Aftab as a Fulbright scholar. As part of this prestigious program, Dr. Aftab will introduce a comprehensive tobacco cessation and training curriculum program for undergraduate, graduate and faculty development audiences in two Pakistani universities — Dow University of Health Sciences and Aga Khan University. As tobacco use declines around the world, usage of tobacco products in all its forms is on the rise in Pakistan. Dr. Aftab plans to travel to Pakistan in the spring of 2012. As a research assistant professor with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Miami, Dr. Aftab teaches undergraduate and graduate courses as well as conducts preventive medicine research. As program manager of the university’s Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program, which works in cooperation with the Florida Department of Health, she oversees the University of Miami’s tobacco training and cessation program in the medical school, residency programs and hospital system. Dr. Aftab has appeared in a number of scholastic publications and has been recognized time and again by international organizations like World Health Organization (WHO). “This is a remarkable achievement for Dr. Aftab and we wish her great success,” said Kim Berfield, deputy secretary of Policy and Advocacy for the Florida Department of Health. “This also illustrates the caliber of personnel we have working

Dr. Asma Siddiqi Aftab ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

on tobacco control in Florida. We look forward to her return.” The Fulbright U.S.-Pakistan Initiative seeks to improve mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of Pakistan through academic and cultural exchange. Due to a recent expansion of the Fulbright program with Pakistan, several new grant opportunities are available for U.S. scholars interested in visiting Pakistani universities during the 2012-13 academic year. Tobacco Free Florida (TFF) is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. To learn about TFF and the state’s free quit smoking resources, visit <www.tobaccofreeflorida.com>.


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 7

Carlos Borras named COO of Arthur Murray International BY BOB POLLER

website to serve both franchisees, dance students and the general public, has Arthur Murray International, the iconic received positive reviews from all three Coral Gables-based dance organization, audience segments. has announced that Carlos Borras has been As COO, Borras is responsible for all named to the position of chief operating operational aspects of the corporation, officer (COO). including all franchise operations, legal Borras, who began his career in the affairs and financial administration. dance business in 1989, was appointed to An alumnus of the University of the COO position by the Massachusetts and board of directors (Phil University of the Masters, chair; John Sacred Heart, Borras Kimmins and Georgia H. came to Miami from Theiss). Puerto Rico with his â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the 22 years that family in 1989, the Carlos has been with same year he joined Arthur Murray Arthur Murray International, he has International. Borras played a pivotal role in had been the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our expansion from a previce president of finance dominately North and operations and assisAmerican organization in tant corporate secretary the late 1980s to today, since 2001. when we are truly a globThe iconic Arthur Murray Dance Schools al organization,â&#x20AC;? said John celebrate 100 years of Kimmins, president. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This teaching the world to new position recognizes Carlos Borras dance in 2012. There are his contributions in the â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; studios in Hong Kong, past and his expanded role with our organization in the years to Taiwan, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Cairo, Egypt, UAE, Germany, Austria, England, come.â&#x20AC;? Working closely with Kimmins, Borras Mexico, and more than 150 in the United has been instrumental in the corporationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s States and Canada. Arthur Murray expansion into new countries and new con- International now has 10 studios in Italy, tinents. Today there are more than 275 nine in Australia, eight in South Africa, dance studios, located in every corner of the and six in Japan. Arthur Murray Dance globe. He has taken a leadership position in Studios recently opened in Brazil and developing the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s online presence, Latvia and new studios are soon to open in including social media and Web initiatives, Istanbul, Turkey; Poland, and the Ukraine. For more information about ballroom working also with Tom Murdock, vice presdance, visit the Arthur Murray ident of marketing and promotions. Borrasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; collaboration in the redesign of International website at <www.arthurmurthe popular <www.arthurmurray.com> ray.com>.

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August 9 - 22, 2011

Junior Orange Bowl creates fund for Japan relief efforts BY JOHN MAXSWEEN

Japan needs your help after being struck by a devastating earthquake on Mar. 11. Because of the disaster Japan will be unable to host the 20th anniversary of the Toyota World Junior Golf Team Championship until next year. Since the championship’s inception, the Junior Orange Bowl Committee (JOBC) has sponsored and selected the American team for the Championship with the coordination of golf coaches from around the United States. The warm hospitality and goodwill of the Japanese people have touched the lives of many of the junior golfers who have been fortunate enough to participate in the championship. Therefore, in light of the championship’s anniversary year being postponed, the Junior Orange Bowl is taking this opportunity to give back to the Japanese citizens in their time of need. The Junior Orange Bowl Committee in coordination with the Bank of Coral Gables has set up a bank account to assist with the Toyota Relief Fund effort for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. It has been estimated that Japan’s initial recovery will take at least five years and the full recovery much longer than that, thus any support will go a long way toward helping the cause. Contributions may be tax-deductible and 100 percent of the donations will go directly to helping the victims. The idea for creating this relief fund came from two local teenage golfers whose fathers are past presidents of the Junior Orange Bowl and have been

involved with the Toyota World Junior Golf Team Championship since its beginnings. Lindsay Kerdyk, daughter of Coral Gables Vice Mayor William “Bill” Kerdyk and Julie Steinbauer, daughter of Junior Orange Bowl Golf director J.R. Steinbauer, conceived the idea of creating a fund to assist the Japanese recovery efforts during a round of golf at the Biltmore Hotel. They brought the idea to their fathers and the fund was created. By the end of May more than $11,000 had been raised thanks to donations from the Junior Orange Bowl Committee, Royal Canadian Golf Association, Colombian Golf Federation, and European Golf Association. Additional donations from other golf federations around the world have already been pledged. The fund remains open and the general public is welcome to make contributions to help bring it closer to its final goal. Send your donations to: Bank of Coral Gables, Junior Orange Bowl Japan Relief Fund, 2295 Galiano St., Coral Gables, FL 33134. Make your checks payable to Junior Orange Bowl Japan Relief Fund. Should you have any questions, call the Bank of Coral Gables at 305-500-9501 or the JOBC at 305-662-1210. The JOBC Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that serves the community of South Florida and the youth of the world by providing opportunities for wholesome, competitive and multi-cultural experiences. For more information on the Junior Orange Bowl Committee, call 305-6621210 or visit the website at <www.jrorangebowl.org>.


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Debut author holds first book signing at Books and Books Medeia Sharif (seated) signs her debut book for Norma Davids at Books and Books.

BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

What happens to a teen girl who is expected to observe Ramadan by her family? How can a teen live if she has to give up not only pizza but boys? Those are the themes of Bestest.Ramadan.Ever., a debut young adult novel written by Miami Beach resident Medeia Sharif. “It’s about a girl named Almira,” Sharif said. “During the last Ramadan she cheated and she ate. Her grandfather catches her with crumbs on her mouth. The next Ramadan she decides to be good. She’s not supposed to think about boys. But she falls in love with a boy. There is a possibility she’ll get into trouble with her parents and her best friend if she goes after what she wants, which is the boy.” Sharif and another debut author, Kristi Cook, did a book signing on July 16 at Books and Books in Coral Gables, an event co-sponsored by the Florida Center for the Literary Arts. “It was fun. It was a nice crowd,” Sharif said. “I read funny excerpts. Then someone started laughing and I started laughing. It was a bit of an interruption.” Thus far, Bestest.Ramadan.Ever. has received two good reviews from wellknown review publications, Kirkus and Booklist. Initially, Sharif set out to write a middle grade book focused on a boy celebrating the holiday. “But when I thought it out, I wanted it to be a girl. I had a previous adult novel that didn’t work out so I took pieces of that and made this book,” she said. Bestest.Ramadan.Ever. is not autobio-

graphical. Sharif said she’s never celebrated the Muslim holiday — which requires fasting from sunrise to sunset every day for a month — although members of her family would. In fact, her family did not get upset with her for not participating in the holiday. “I had to read about the holiday and I had to read about the religion,” she said. “There was even a scene when she was in a mosque and had to do research because I’ve never been in a mosque.” It took her about nine months to write the book. Currently, she’s working on two novels simultaneously — one is a sequel to Bestest.Ramadan.Ever. and the other is about a girl who is very attractive but loses her looks in a very fast and unusual manner. “I hope to be finished with one of them by the end of the summer,” Sharif said. She shares her writing with a critique group based in Aventura. “My group has read portions of my two books and I’ve noticed an improvement in my writing,” she said. “I think if I joined them sooner, I would have been published sooner. It really doesn’t help writing in a bubble, which I was.” Sharif wrote her first book when she was 17 and has written poetry and short stories since middle school. Although every writer’s dream is to write full-time, she’s has kept her day job as a public school reading and English teacher. She had been teaching high school English at Corporate Academy North, an alternative school, but expects to be assigned to a new school soon. That’s because budget constraints and attendance require closing and combining the alternative schools. “I’ll be placed somewhere else,” she said. “I’m certified in middle and high school.”

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August 9 - 22, 2011

Students get taste of real journalism at UM workshop BY CHRISTINE WILLIAMS

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workshop will be steps ahead o their peers because of their- e This summer, 21 high school rience and the skills they wil students have been staying at the acquire. University of Miamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Learning to tell stories is Communication (SoC) and learning craft,â&#x20AC;? Lima said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If they co the ins and outs of journalism.of this workshop learning anyt Organized by the School of it should be to tell a good st Communication, the Peace sounds simple, but there are s Sullivan/James Ansin High School many different elements,â&#x20AC;? he Workshop in Journalism has beenadded. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It gives them an advan accepting high school students to in learn this young.â&#x20AC;? South Florida for 27 years to - expe Just like professional journ rience what a career in this field the students at the workshop has to offer. Students apply for research and contact sources f scholarships provided by the Ansin interviews, including topic ex Family Foundation and Peace Students find that the camp Sullivan, a former United Presshelping them to be more comfor International journalist, to attend able communicating with many the three-week workshop, which different people. Victoria Cas takes place at UM. The students17, from Felix Varela High in stay in campus dorms. Kendall, has discovered that Each year the students publish a although she doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to- p newspaper calledMiami Montage sue a career in journalism, sh that highlights all of the workbeen and able to learn everyday sk research done during their three while being at UM. weeks at UM. They also learn- mulâ&#x20AC;&#x153;I am a part of the yearbook timedia storytelling skills that are more on graphic design a focus essential for journalists today. advertising,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wan This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Miami Montage utilize this camp to get bette theme is Social Media. Studentsspeaking are with people and commu required to write stories and shoot nicating with others. So far t video reports of different aspects what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doing for me.â&#x20AC;? of social media. They selected the Students work with cameras a stories for the newspaper, ranging equipment provided by the Scho from cyber bullying to young cell of Communication. The hands-on phone application developers. experience helps them to get- c The workshop co-director, SoCfortable in a professional atm faculty member Rafael Lima saidphere. that students who are a part of Although this Eric Farlow, 17, fr

          

 

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August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 9 - 22, 2011

Christine and Jennifer Henry make their job a ‘sister act’ Jennifer Henry (left) is pictured with her sister Christine.

BY GARY ALAN RUSE

In some families, sibling rivalry is the norm, but sisters Christine and Jennifer Henry are not only close-knit in their family life, they also have teamed up to form MOD Media LLC., a public relations and events firm representing clients in the areas of fashion, hospitality, entertainment and real estate. Always in the Greater Miami area, both young women graduated from Florida International University with degrees in Communications and Public Relations and worked as interns in a number of area marketing firms, magazines, businesses and organizations before striking out on their own two years ago to create a business that appeals to their personal passions. “We have always been lovers of fashion and the communications field,” Christine said. “It’s so exciting to work with an upand-coming designer, boutique or venue, and help assist them in branding and marketing their location to the public.” The sisters agree that their family life made working together not only easy but inevitable. “We have always been close, and being each other’s best friends as well as family is the perfect match for success,” Christine explained. “We are the perfect balance at MOD Media, Jennifer’s strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. We know that no matter what, we will always be family. It’s great to have that support behind you while you work, and that person pushing you to succeed.” Jennifer said that their individual strengths combine to make them a better team on projects. “Christine complements our partnership with her honesty, smile, work ethic and exemplary grammar skills that I sometimes

lack,” Jennifer said. “She handles all of our accounting and business infrastructure while letting me focus on the creative campaigns and artistic design that I bring to our company.” For Christine, there is a mutual appreciation for Jennifer’s skills, approach and support that makes their job easier. “She is incredibly creative and a go getter,” Christine said. “Jen really knows how to search and find new business for MOD Media. She is great at creating and designing our overall look, website, and handling our branding. She is definitely my rock!” They just completed their most ambitious project to date, coordinating the second annual MOD Swim Week at the Sagamore Hotel in Miami Beach. They couldn’t be happier with the results. “It’s been a dream,” Christine said. “Our second year at producing this amazing event, and this year was even more of a success. With the help of the amazing staff at the Sagamore we were able to really make our vision and concept a reality. Our fabulous sponsors and designers helped make it that much more perfect. We can’t wait for next year.” Their original interest in fashion led them to go beyond just representing other designers and to launch their own line of vintage clothing called Vintage Coquette. “We spent some time browsing various stores and traveling to Amsterdam and Paris purchasing some divine pieces that we were able to alter and make our own,” Christine said. “The collection is vibrant and fun and really shows how another woman’s clothes can be translated and styled to fit your look. It’s exciting and so fun to be able to find a great piece at an affordable price and be the only girl in the room wearing it.” For more information visit online at <www.modmediamiami.com>.


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Biscayne Bay Regional Coordination Team to host meeting Persons interested in the ecosystem restoration efforts being planned in the Biscayne Bay region are invited to attend a meeting of the Biscayne Bay Regional Restoration Coordination Team (BBRRCT) on Aug. 12. The meeting is taking place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Statistics Building, located at 75 Virginia Beach Dr. A detailed agenda and directions can be found at the Task Force home page at <www.sfrestore.org/calendar>. Directions also are available by calling 305-361-4200. The public is encouraged to attend and opportunities will be provided to make public comment throughout the meeting at the discretion of the chair. For more information, contact Mary Plumb, Task Force public affairs officer, at 305-348-1662 or visit the Task Force home page at <www.sfrestore.org>. BACK TO SCHOOL FUN FEST RETURNS TO DOLPHIN MALL Dolphin Mall, located at 11401 NW 12 St., will usher in the new school year with its annual Back to School Fun Fest on Aug. 13, from noon to 5 p.m., in the center’s

Ramblas Plaza area. Dolphin Mall’s Back to School Fun Fest includes special character sing-a-long shows, magic show, musical entertainment, face painters, games, hula-hoop contests, balloons, giveaways and more. Dolphin Mall will distribute an exclusive back to school deal flyer at the event featuring discounts as well as provide a free backpack with a purchase of $250 or more. Customers must present same-day receipts totaling $250 or more at the information booth located in the Ramblas Plaza to receive a free backpack. Customers can take advantage of the special backpack offer through Aug. 21 or while supplies last. Limit one backpack per customer. For more information, visit online at <www.shopdolphinmall.com>. BATH & BODY WORKS TO HOST PARIS AMOUR FRAGRANCE LAUNCH Bath & Body Works just might make your dream a reality at the Paris Amour launch event celebrating the latest addition to the Signature Collection taking place on Aug. 13 at your local store. Discover how Paris Amour, the captivat-

COMMUNITY NEWS BRIEFS ing new scent, was created and enter to win a romantic Paris getaway for two. At the event, attendees also will have the opportunity to vote on the next Signature Collection scent. Even if your travels don’t take you to Paris, you still can experience the most romantic city in the world at your local Bath & Body Works. For more information, call 1-800-7565005.

trum of community thinking. Educators, students, parents, business people, community members and interested citizens are invited. The panel will consist of leaders within the education community. Thirty minutes prior to the forum, parents and students are invited to the “Empowerment Hour.” Organizations will provide information to students and parents, increasing their level of preparedness for this school year and graduation.

STATE REP. DWIGHT BULLARD TO HOST FUTURE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION FORUM State Rep. Dwight M. Bullard will host “The Future of Florida’s Public Education Forum” on Aug. 15, 6 p.m., at the Southridge High School Auditorium, 19355 SW 114 Ave. Focusing on the future of public education, the forum will solicit a broad spec-

ANTI-BULLYING WORKSHOP SLATED AT BRANCH LIBRARY IN PINECREST The Miami-Dade Public Library System’s Pinecrest Branch Library, 5835 SW 111 St., will conduct a “How to Stop Bulling” workshop on Aug. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m.

–––––– Continued on next page


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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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This timely discussion will teach youngsters and their parents how to avoid being a target of bullying, how to empower themselves and become more confident. There also will be exercises in leadership skills building. For more information, contact the branch at 305-668-4517 or visit online at <www.mdpls.org>. PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM HELPS STUDENTS GO BACK TO SCHOOL Now that summer is almost over, the Miami-Dade Public Library System wants to be a studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s source for information and entertainment. Helpful programming will include: the Spanish Wrangler who will teach a little Spanish through song and dance; MassMutualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kids Smart Start financial literacy program which will teach kids about banks, saving money and making wise financial decisions, and the Food Detectives who are on the case to discover how the kitchen is like a laboratory. Participants will learn how acids, bases and liquids combine to make the food your body uses as fuel. There also is a lesson to be learned with

the Morikami Museum and Gardens Japanese Crafts where you will create unique paper figures and Book â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Cookinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, a fun-filled story and handy lesson in nutrition where you will learn to make healthy, satisfying lunches for school. For details on these programs and for a list of everything going on in August, visit <www.mdpls.org> and click on the Calendar of Events, or call 305-375BOOK (2665). BELEN JESUIT VERSUS COLUMBUS IN FOOTBALL GAME ON SEPT. 9 The annual rivalry football game that attracts alumni from two of Miami-Dade Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most prestigious, private, allmale Catholic Schools â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Belen Jesuit vs. Christopher Columbus â&#x20AC;&#x201D; will take place on Sept. 9 at FIU Stadium, 11200 SW Eighth St. Alumni are invited to take part in pregame festivities by joining the tailgate from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by kickoff at 7:30 p.m. More than 10,000 spectators are expected for the game, with partial proceeds benefiting the Belen Alumni Association. For more information contact Ricardo R. RaimĂşndez, assistant director of Alumni Services at Belen, 786-621-4667 or via email at <rraimundez@belenjesuit.org>.


August 9 - 22, 2011

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August 9 - 22, 2011


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August 9 - 22, 2011

         





     



 

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August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Get sneak peak at hottest new video games at Dadeland Mall BY IVONNE SNAVELY

Dadeland Mall has announced that the 2011 Simon GamePlay tour, connecting fans of all ages to the hottest video games before they are launched officially and available in stores, will come on Wednesday, Aug. 10, and Thursday, Aug. 11, from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., at Center Court. Simon GamePlay, powered by Coke Zero, will take place exclusively in 26 Simon properties around the country. For the third consecutive year, GameStop, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest multi-channel video game retailer, is the retail partner for Simonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s GamePlay. â&#x20AC;&#x153;GameStop is always looking for ways to share the excitement of video gaming with the community, so we are thrilled to be a part of the Simon GamePlay Tour again in 2011,â&#x20AC;? said Mike Dzura, senior vice president of stores for GameStop. The free event will launch on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at Dadeland Mall, and wraps up Sunday, Nov. 13, in Ontario, CA. Last year, more than 900,000 gamers across the country participated in Simon GamePlay. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the great things about Simon GamePlay is that it has something for every gamer â&#x20AC;&#x201D; young kids to parents to hardcore gamers,â&#x20AC;? said Tod Dalberg, vice president of business development for Simon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The tour is one of our most successful in-mall programs, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re excited to present it to consumers across the country,â&#x20AC;? Dalberg added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are really looking forward to bringing this exciting event to Miami,â&#x20AC;? said Humberto Maldonado, director of Mall Marketing and Business Development of

â&#x20AC;&#x153;GameStop is always looking for ways to share the excitement of video gaming with the community, so we are thrilled to be a part of the Simon GamePlay Tour again in 2011.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mike Dzura, senior vice president of stores for GameStop. Dadeland Mall. Dadeland Mall is the perfect place for this terrific event that appeals to all ages.â&#x20AC;? The recently launched Nintendo 3DS gaming system will take center stage at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s GamePlay. A â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nintendo 3DS Loungeâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; decked out with couches, snacks and games â&#x20AC;&#x201D; will be at the disposal of shoppers wanting to kick back and compete on their handheld 3DSs. For the super competitive, Nintendo offers â&#x20AC;&#x153;Street Pass,â&#x20AC;? an opportunity to show off video skills in tournament-style play using Nintendo 3DS devices. GamePlay will display all of the action on two flat screens so shoppers can cheer on participants as they compete for the highest score. The tour also offers 10 gaming pods, including two mature zones, with a variety of products from leaders in the video gaming industry, including 2K Play, Capcom, Eidos, SEGA, Namco-Bandai, Warner Brothers Interactive, THQ, 2K, Atari, and Edios/Square Enix.

          

 

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August 9 - 22, 2011

Hospital’s Champions Dinner: A chance to say ‘thank you’ Former patient Elizabeth Gomez gives a warm hello to her nurse, Orlando Betancourt, ARNP, at the Critical Care Champions Dinner celebrated recently at Baptist Hospital. Gomez, who called her former nurse an angel, spent nine days in the Critical Care unit and 22 days in the hospital for septic shock. The special evening reunited former patients with the doctors and nurses who cared for them during their hospital stay. The yearly event gives caregivers and patients who survived life-threatening illnesses a chance to celebrate life and a return to good health. (Photo by Mabel Rodriguez)


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Darrin Smith receives recognition from Fresh Start Family Services BY LEWIS MATUSOW

Former University of Miami linebacker Darrin Smith (www.AttitudeofaChampion.com), a two-time All-America/ National Champion and a two-time Super Bowl winner with the Dallas Cowboys, recently received the Rising Star Award from Fresh Start Family Services of Homestead. Smith, a motivational speaker, gave the keynote address at Fresh Startâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent first annual â&#x20AC;&#x153;Star Awardsâ&#x20AC;? at the William F. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Billâ&#x20AC;? Dickinson Community Center Ballroom. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To have someone of Darrinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stature as our keynote speaker was a fantastic way to kick off our first fundraising event,â&#x20AC;? said Dr. Ted Greer Jr., president and CEO, Fresh Start Family Services. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has created a powerful message of a champion that is fitting for men, women and youths from all cultural backgrounds, corporate America, and the nonprofit and faith communities,â&#x20AC;? Dr. Greer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He inspired and motivated our audience of individuals of all ages and professional backgrounds including our mayor and vice mayor.â&#x20AC;? Companies and civic organizations from throughout the United States and Caribbean have called upon Smith to address and motivate their corporate employees and sales forces with his â&#x20AC;&#x153;Attitude of a Championâ&#x20AC;? presentation. For these organizations, his message of positive, forward thinking and overcoming barriers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no matter how formidable they may seem â&#x20AC;&#x201D; has stimulated and excited his audiences. They walk away from a Darrin Smith speech with a â&#x20AC;&#x153;yes I canâ&#x20AC;? attitude.

Darrin Smith, former two-time University of Miami All America/National Champion and two-time Super Bowl winner, (right) receives the Rising Star Award from Dr. Ted Greer Jr., president and CEO of Fresh Start Family Services. â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

Fresh Start is a nonprofit organization offering a wide array of programs and services to children, youths and families, including individuals living at or below the federal poverty level. The organization serves as a much needed safety net to help individuals and families needing community resources to achieve a fresh start in their economic, educational, vocational, career, health and social development activities. For more information or to book Darrin Smith for a speaking engagement, contact Lewis Matusow, Total Sports Marketing, at 305-238-1889 or send email to <Totalsportsmrkt@aol.com>.

Page 21

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 9 - 22, 2011


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Wyclef Jean to perform for final Marlins Super Saturday, Sept. 3 BY JENNIFER VALDES

The Florida Marlins have announced that Grammy Award-winning artist Wyclef Jean will perform at the season’s final Baker Concrete Super Saturday on Sept. 3. The live on-field concert will follow the Marlins’ game against the Philadelphia Phillies starting at 7:10 p.m. Jean closes a 2011 Super Saturday season that saw acts such as Pitbull, T-Pain, Ludacris, The Beach Boys, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and Fuego with Los Hermanos Rosario deliver incredible post-game performances. With the new Marlins Ballpark set to open in April 2012, the Sept. 3 show with will be the final Marlins Super Saturday at Sun Life Stadium. Preparing to release his self-titled album wyclefjean later this year, Haitian-born singer and producer Wyclef Jean first rose to fame as part of the hip-hop trio, The Fugees. With The Fugees, Jean won a Grammy for Best Rap Album in 1996 for The Score, which sold 18 million copies worldwide. In 1997, Jean released his first solo album, The Carnival, which included hit singles We Trying to Stay Alive, Gone Till November, and Guantanamera, selling five million albums worldwide. He has since released seven studio albums including The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, Masquerade and The Preacher’s Son. Jean also has made several notable guest appearances on No. 1 hit singles including Maria, Maria with Santana and Hips Don’t Lie with Shakira. Baker Concrete Super Saturdays also feature pregame parties at The Strike Zone at Gate H including: • Celebrity, player and alumni autograph sessions; • Appearances from Billy The Marlin, the Mermaids and Manatees; • Special prizes and live TV/radio

Wyclef Jean ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

broadcasts, and • Interactive giveaways for fans. Fans can enhance their Super Saturday experience by purchasing VIP “Pit Passes for $25 each online at <www.marlins.com/supersaturdays>. The passes provide on-the-field access for the post-game concert. For more information on the final Super Saturday and to purchase tickets, call 1877-MARLINS or visit the Marlins’ official websites at <www.marlins.com> and <www.marlinsbeisbol.com>.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Have a unique experience at

Back to school with tax-free weekend at Dadeland Mall BY IVONNE SNAVELY

The best Brazilian steakhouse in Brickell

Friday Happy Hour: 5 pm to 1 1 pm Live DJ • Free Appetizers Complimentary Wine & Caipirinha tasting Your first Caipirinha or House wine is on us, after that it ’s 2 x 1 specials until 11:00pm

Mary Brickell Village 901 Brickell Plaza Miami, FL 33130 www.grimpa.com 305 455 4757 Savor our wide variety of meats and wines

August 9 - 22, 2011

Get ready for back to school at Dadeland Mall, Miami’s premier fashion-forward shopping destination, during tax-free weekend — Friday, Aug. 12, to Sunday, Aug. 14. To kickoff the weekend of super savings on back-to-school essentials, Dadeland Mall is inviting families to enjoy a fashion show, interactive activities and a nutrition presentation on Friday, Aug. 12, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Families will get a front row seat to see the latest fall fashions for children from Nordstrom, JCPenney, Justice, Gymboree and TOUS. The free-to-the-public fashion show, taking place in Center Court, is sure to get kids excited to hop on the school bus and arrive to class in style. In addition to the fashion show, Dadeland Mall will host its monthly Simon Kidgits Club event with fun back-to-school activities and a nutrition presentation from Miami Children’s Hospital. The hospital’s

dietician will show kids and parents how to prepare healthy meals and snacks and share tips on making smart eating habits fun and fresh all year-long. “We anticipate a lot of families getting ready for back to school, so we’ve created a great event just for them,” said Humberto Maldonado, director of mall marketing and business development of Dadeland Mall. “Parents will be able to kick off their backto-school shopping with a look at the latest trends, while learning to prepare healthy meals for kids.” The nutrition presentation and Simon Kidgits Club activities are free for Simon Kidgits Club members and will take place in front of the Art of Shaving. Families can sign up for the Simon Kidgits Club for $5 during regular mall hours at Guest Services or online at <www.simon.com/kidgits>. The Simon Kidgits Club is sponsored by Florida Blue. For more information on Dadeland Mall, call 305-665-6226 or visit online at <www.simon.com>.


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Seniors ‘Make A Difference’ in lives of young students BY KERRY GREEN-PHILLIPS

In honor of Make A Difference In A Child’s Life Month, Palace Royale residents recently delivered back-to-school supplies to the Children’s Home Society, one of Florida’s oldest private not-for-profit organizations providing services to children and families. The assisted living residents are part of The Palace Royale’s newly formed Make A Difference Club, which was created to give back to the community at large and support South Florida charities. “Regardless of their age and physical limitations, our residents have so much wisdom, love and compassion to offer others,” said entertainment director Pamela Parker, who organizes the club. “They want to contribute and still be a vital part of society.” Backpacks filled with calculators, dictionaries, composition books, glue, scissors, highlighters, markers, pencils, granola bars and water bottles were assembled by the group’s 12 members. Children’s Home Society will provide the bags to children awaiting foster care or adoption.

Make A Difference Club member Lauren Meyer receives a hug from a student.

“We’re so fortunate to live a wonderful lifestyle at The Palace and we understand the importance of ‘paying it forward,’” said resident Doris Feibelman. “The future of the world is in the hands of the young. We hope our assistance will leave a legacy that will have a positive ripple effect for the next generation.” A special touch was the personal message residents wrote for each child receiving a backpack. One note read, “Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” “The notes exemplify the spirit of our residents,” Parker added. “This was the perfect opportunity to kick off our campaign of giving back.” The club plans to complete four community service projects each year and the next initiative will be geared to the homeless during Thanksgiving. Located at 11355 SW 84 St., The Palace Royale features “catered living,” a new concept offering all the services of traditional assisted living with special emphasis on residents’ cognitive abilities. For more information, call 305-270-7000 or visit online at <www.ThePalace.org>.

CONTACT US NOW FOR AN ADMISSIONS VISIT ( PRESCHOOL TO 12TH GRADE )

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 9 - 22, 2011

Hemiplegic teen leads normal life with help of his personal trainer BY LEE STEPHENS

Strokes in infants and children are rare, but they do happen. Research shows that about one in every 4,000 full-term births have a recognized form of stroke. These odds did not matter to Jacqueline Serrano. When her son Ryan was 4 months old, and after noticing he wouldn’t use his left arm, she learned from doctors that he had suffered a stroke in utero — in other words, before he was born. “I was both shocked and devastated to hear that my son had suffered a stroke. All my tests during pregnancy were normal, and when I received the news I was led to believe my child would be severely limited,” Serrano said. A stroke in a child can have lifelong effects. It may impair motor skills, lead to learning disabilities, and even affect language development. In Ryan Serrano’s case, he would be diagnosed with hemiplegia, meaning that the left half of his body suffers from a form of paralysis. With no cure in sight, to address his hemiplegia, the Serrano’s were encouraged to undergo various forms of therapy. “Once diagnosed, my son Ryan started a heavy dose of both physical and occupational therapy in order to help him develop his motor functions. He started his therapy at four months old and continued to the age of 6. It was grueling; we did some form of therapy three times a week until one day Ryan said, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ He was tired.” As Ryan got older, therapy no longer provided the motivation he needed nor was it having the same effect as it did when he was a child. His parents decided to give him a break but after noticing that he was beginning to digress, started looking into other options other than traditional therapy. Eventually, through much research, Jacqueline heard about fitness trainers that worked specifically with kids. “I met Jose Lima, one of the trainers at the Health Joint Fitness Club [8015 SW 40 St.] and signed up Ryan for personal training sessions three times a week,” Serrano said. “Since it was more fitness and health focused, I knew it would interest him. Today, after two years, the change has been amazing — both physically and emotionally. He not only has a positive,

healthy role model, but Ryan has also developed his strength, has muscle definition, is more mobile, and can actually use his left arm now.” Regular physical fitness activity throughout life is encouraged as being important for preventing diseases and promoting physical and emotional well-being. For children with disabilities or chronic conditions, these benefits can have more impact. There are many demonstrated fitness gains to be obtained by following an appropriate fitness program. “When Ryan first came in, the first thing we did is give him a fitness test,” said Jose Lima, Ryan’s personal trainer for more than three years at the Health Joint. “At the time he did not have much function with his left hand and his motor skills weren’t that great either. Half of the equipment we couldn’t use. However, after six months of consistent training we grabbed our first bar, and eventually started using some of the equipment. I am very proud of his progress.” Kids with his type of condition may not ever get to 100 percent mobility but as Lima said, “I can assure that with the right exercise and persistence he will get to at least 80 percent.” For the Serranos, 80 percent sounds just right as it is better than results achieved through other alternatives. In short, an exercise program of strength and endurance training may be a safe and feasible option for children with disabilities, as the benefits can be immeasurable. Ryan, now 15, and in high school, has started to experience a new life by improving the functionality of his left side. “The training I’ve received from Jose at the Health Joint has changed my life,” Ryan said. “I get one-on-one training and I get to challenge myself physically, results of which I see improve with every passing year. Being able to do simple things like going kayaking and doing sports is just amazing, as they are things I was never able to do before. I have learned that exercise is progress, it has helped my body and my confidence.” For more information on fitness programs for children with special needs call 305-261-4004 or visit online at <www.thehealthjoint.com>. More information regarding hemiplegia can be found at <www.chasa.org>.


August 9 - 22, 2011

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August 9 - 22, 2011


August 9 - 22, 2011

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August 9 - 22, 2011

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August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

Page 31

Man writes book about daughter’s miraculous recovery from cancer BY LINDA RODRIGUEZ BERNFELD

In July 2007, four-and-a-half-year-old Bella Torres became paralyzed overnight. Her father, Raymond Rodriguez-Torres said she had no prior symptoms of an illness when it happened, although she previously had complained of a stomachache. That complaint had been checked out by her pediatrician who ran tests that ruled out any problems. “That was the first sense of something seriously wrong,” he said. He rushed home from his meeting in Orlando and met his family at Miami Children’s Hospital, where his father had been chief of staff for 16 years. “They performed a lumbar puncture,” Rodriguez-Torres said. “It came back positive for a disease she didn’t have — Guillain-Barre syndrome. She started treatment for that.” He was horrified, since he knew about the disease as his father had a bout with it years before. In its worst case, GuillainBarre could cause the respiratory system to be paralyzed. The experimental treatment his father received is now the standard treatment that is given over five days. But on the fifth day, they could see the paralysis was not improving. The doctors suggested one more test. The test showed Bella had Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma in the form of enormous tumor wrapped around her spine. It’s a rare childhood cancer that’s very aggressive. “She had cancer in her jaw, her foot, her shoulder, her rib, her hip, her knee, her hand and later in her brain,” RodriguezTorres said. The doctors told Rodriguez-Torres and his wife, Shannah, that Bella would never walk again and with stage four cancer, she probably wouldn’t live. But the family was not willing to give up without a fight. “What we decided to do is to try a chemo

Pictured are Raymond, Shannah, Rayna and Bella Rodriguez-Torres. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

protocol for six weeks and see if it changed,” he said. “Bella began therapy that afternoon. I found myself in the greatest point of despair.” Until Bella’s illness, Rodriguez-Torres was not a religious man. Raised in the Catholic Church, he was a lapsed Catholic, but during those dark days he believes God talked to him through a friend and told him he needed to have an army of people to pray for his daughter. “When I hung up the phone I felt different,” Rodriguez-Torres said. His brother and sister-in-law developed the website <www.PrayForBella.com> to help bring people together to pray for his daughter. And people all over the world did pray.

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“They prayed from as far away as Japan and Australia,” he said. “We even had conference calls where we would all pray in unison, together.” After the first round of chemo, the tumor had shrunk 94 percent and then a scan showed the other areas of her body were cancer free. “Today Bella is the only known survivor of her kind of cancer in the world,” he said. “She can walk, jump and play. She is a cheerleader at her school. Bella’s case was investigated by the Catholic Church and is officially known as a miracle.” Rodriguez-Torres believes that Virgin Mary also made several visitations based on things his daughter told him, things that were impossible for the child to know otherwise. “I don’t know why we were chosen for this,” he said. The experience changed his life. Rodriguez-Torres became a certified life coach working with families of childhood cancer patients pro bono. His book, Why Not Me, is the publisher’s bestseller and he speaks at churches and events about what happened. “I am the happiest man you will speak to today, tomorrow and the next day,” he said.


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August 9 - 22, 2011

U2 brings back memories with South Florida concert BY LEE STEPHENS

Lisa Hayes was a teenager when she decided to skip school one day and not lie about it. She came out clean to her mother and warned her that nothing could stop her from making the endless line to get tickets for U2. That was in 1992. In June 2011, the Irish band’s explosive 360° Tour hit the Sun Life Stadium with a massive stage and all the energy four hearts from Dublin can deliver. Hayes was there too. She was one of thousands who waited years to see the band perform. When they finally came out, a little after 9 p.m., the surreal steel machine known as “The Claw” really came to life and everyone let go. “Thank you, Miami. Muchas gracias. And thank for your patience,” said Bono, dressed in black. The Edge on the guitar also wore dark clothes while Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen balanced it out in white. People of all ages and backgrounds came for this moment. They wanted to be part of the special night. They danced to In The Name of Love, Miss Sarajevo, Zooropa, City of Blinding Lights and sang whenever Bono gave them the chance, which he graciously did several times. The crowd also responded to his calls for freedom, peace and love and grew emotional when old footage of the band in its younger days came on the giant TV screen. South Florida fans expected the political references and the lead singer’s famous moans, but they did not expect a personal greeting (“Hello, Miami”) from NASA astronaut Cdr. Mark E. Kelly nor did they expect to hear Burmese political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi thank them for their support. Aside from the touching broadcasts, highlights included A Beautiful Day and Where the Streets Have No Name. During Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me Bono’s leather

jacket emanated red lights like lasers. Later on white lights shone on the entire stadium. For the audience it was as if celestial lights had taken over the whole space. The band then followed with With or Without You before ending the night with Moment of Surrender. With his glowing mike now turned blue, Bono took off his jacket and grabbed a hanger right there on the stage before saying “Good night, Miami. Thank you. America is a great idea. We love your country.” It was the vision of a band that has grown up together that allowed for such an emotional performance and dramatic stage. Reports had “The Claw” standing at four legs/tentacles but from higher seats it looked as if it had hundreds of arms and legs. The fortunate crowd at ground level melted with the centerpiece spectacle and their palms floating in the air gave the illusion of a mechanic animal gone wild. Nobody really knows if it was a spider from outer space or a spaceship carrying aliens. The fact is it cost more than $20 million and delivered the intimate feeling the band wanted for this tour, which already holds the record for highest-grossing tours of all time. The Rolling Stones’ Bigger Bang Tour held the previous record with $558 million. If waiting is an indication that an amazing show is in the works, as a wine gets better with time, then South Florida fans will probably not mind waiting even longer for U2 to come back. In the meantime, should your kid ever ask you what U2 360° stands for, tell them that is the formula for the hottest, biggest concert that toured the planet at least up until 2011. If they do not believe you, ask them to skip school one day and get in line for tickets that will test their patience but ultimately change their life.


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

UM’s Festival Miami features diverse blend of performers BY ELIZABETH AMORE

Now in its 28th season, Festival Miami features a diverse blend of exciting performers showcasing their talents alongside student and faculty artists. The dynamic program includes 23 concerts organized into four themes: Great Performances, featuring legendary artists and composers; Creative American Music, a mélange of new compositions by student and faculty composers; Jazz and Beyond, guaranteed to spark your groove, and Music of the Americas, a cultural firestorm spanning two hemispheres. In addition, visiting artists who conduct free lectures and master classes will give audiences an insider’s insight. Festival Miami will begin on Oct. 1 and conclude on Nov. 4. This year Festival Miami brings two Pulitzer Prize-winning American composers — Gunther Schuller, headlining opening night with the Frost Symphony Orchestra and Frost Chamber Players, and Michael Colgrass, who unveils two contemporary works with the Frost Wind Ensemble. The festival also offers three piano concerts, including Chopin Competition winner Claire Huangci, renowned Liszt expert Jerome Lowenthal, and a two-piano concert featuring the incredible Santiago Rodriguez and UM Frost School of Music dean and acclaimed pianist Shelton “Shelly” Berg performing music by George Gershwin. Other highlights include NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson, singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor, salsa music master Willy Chirino, and the vivacious Lucy Arnaz, performing her father’s sensational arrangements. For closing night, Festival Miami is copresenting a concert with JazzRoots: A Larry Rosen Series at the Adrienne Arsht Center, featuring UM Frost School’s own

Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra with new artistic director Terence Blanchard, and an all-star roster of guests including Michael Feinstein, Dave Grusin, Mark O’Connor, Denyce Graves, and Monica Mancini. Festival Miami has set a precedent during the past 27 years by providing a series that blends artistically and culturally diverse music with educational opportunities. The festival offers 20-30 concerts each season, providing for people of all ages the chance to be enriched by live musical performances. It is unrivaled in its scope of musical presentations and is known throughout South Florida, the U.S., and the international community for its cultural contributions while expanding academic opportunities and cultural enrichment to all of South Florida and its visitors. The festival’s concert series is unparalleled in its scope of musical magnitude and includes stellar guest artists, the Frost School’s widely known artist-faculty and student ensembles, and an educational mission that includes children’s concerts, master classes, lectures, forums, and concerts that highlight historically significant events.  For a complete listing of concerts and to order tickets online visit <www.festivalmiami.com> or send email to <festivalmiami.music@miami.edu> for additional information. The Festival Miami Advance Ticket Sales Office phone number is 305284-4940. Hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All performances are at the Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, located at the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music, 1314 Miller Dr. on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables Campus (unless otherwise noted). For more information on the Frost School of Music, visit <www.music.miami.edu>.

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FLORIDIANS WIN IF AT&T AND T-MOBILE COMBINE AT&T’s acquisition of TMobile USA offers tremendous benefits for consumers. Both AT&T and T-Mobile are in the business of keeping up with consumer demand. The acquisition will help the combined companies to continue to meet this demand by providing them with the capacity to drive innovation and competitive prices for consumers. And most importantly, it will help the combined companies deliver what consumers expect in a wireless world – fewer dropped calls, faster speeds and access to state-of-the-art mobile broadband Internet service – whether they live in a large city, a small town or rural areas. The acquisition will benefit Florida consumers in many ways: improving service quality and network capacity, fostering innovation, increasing competitive pressure and helping to ensure that America remains a global leader in mobile broadband. The U.S has led the world in mobile broadband usage and innovation. From 2007 to 2010, data volumes on the AT&T network increased by a staggering 8,000 percent. By 2015, that data volume is expected to be eight to 10 times what it was in 2010. Both AT&T and T-Mobile USA face spectrum shortage or even spectrum exhaustion in some markets, challenging each company’s ability to support the boom in customer demand. The acquisition provides the fastest, most efficient and certain solution to the impending wireless exhaustion facing both companies. Combining these two companies facilitates the spread of mobile broadband coverage, which can bring small towns and communities many benefits in education, health care and economic development. With the approval of the merger, AT&T

has committed to provide cuttingedge 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile Internet service to more than 97 percent of the U.S. population – that’s more than 300 million Americans, nearly 55 million more people and one million additional square miles than under our pre-merger plans. LTE will give more businesses located in rural America the same powerful tools enjoyed by those located in major cities. And, rural consumers will particularly benefit from real-time access to a wide range of resources that would not otherwise be as readily available. The expanded 4G LTE deployment and increased spectrum efficiencies resulting from the acquisition will help tie our communities to one another. Through distance learning programs, schools will be able to bring specialized teachers to their students and will be able to bring students new curriculum and experiences. Smaller and larger districts will have the same opportunities. Telemedicine services will allow residents in rural communities to get remote treatment from doctors in different areas. With access to cuttingedge technology, area small businesses will be able to stay competitive with larger companies. In the end, the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile’s compatible networks will lead to community development and economic growth. Florida must be able to keep up in the digital age. Expanded advanced, high-speed mobile broadband services will spur demand for new innovative applications and service for all of us. Getting these services to more hard-to-reach communities and businesses and maximizing the existing services we have will improve the quality of life here in Florida.


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August 9 - 22, 2011

MDC to offer new bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences BY TERE ESTORINO

Miami Dade College (MDC) soon will offer a new Bachelor of Science with a major in Biological Sciences (BS-BS) to meet the local demand for trained professionals in the biological/life science industries in South Florida, thanks to unanimous approval from the Florida Board of Education. Students choosing to pursue this degree at MDC can select one of three concentrations: biotechnology, biopharmaceutical sciences, or science education. Graduates will be prepared for in-demand careers such as those of biological scientists, research technicians, microbiologists, natural science managers, or science teachers. “We are extremely pleased to offer this new degree,” said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College. “We know that our students will serve to fulfill a critical workforce need in areas that are pivotal to our local economy, and to the economic development efforts in this region.” The BS-BS degree program will allow

graduates to tap into the burgeoning demand for biological scientists with fouryear degrees, projected to increase by 21 percent during the next decade. Degree candidates can take advantage of the seamless transfer of existing credits toward the degree and the many other benefits of a quality education at MDC, including significantly lower tuition compared to other institutions, and the ability to access classes with convenient schedules and locations. The development of the BS-BS is another example of MDC responding to the workforce needs of the dynamic community it serves. In addition to more than 300 associate degrees and certificate programs, the BS-BS is MDC’s eighth baccalaureate program, following the recently added BS. in Electronics Engineering Technology. The BS-BS degree offers hands-on experience that emphasizes skill sets and workforce-driven training that is essential and in high demand by local employers. For more information, call the Biology/Health and Wellness Department at 305-237-1101.

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August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

FPL gives check, participates in ‘Christmas in July’ for FSO

Pictured (l-r) are Lynelle Zelnar, executive director of FSO; Debbie Riley, FPL Miami; Margarita Truitt, FPL Juno Beach, and Bob Nichols, FSO national chair. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY LEE STEPHENS

Many of Florida Power and Light’s employees from Miami to Juno Beach participated in the recent Forgotten Soldiers Outreach (FSO) “Christmas in July” annual packing event at FSO’s National Operation Center located in Lake Worth. Since 2004, the FPL’s Community Volunteer Corps (CVC) have been holding fundraisers and collection drives to help Forgotten Soldiers Outreach in their mission of sending out monthly “We Care” packages. FPL’s Debbie Riley (Miami) and Margarita Truitt (Juno Beach) presented a check in the amount of $6,041 to Lynelle Zelnar, executive director and founder, and Bob Nichols, FSO national chair. These funds were raised via the company’s annual “Jeans Day” fundraiser conducted at FPL’s Juno Beach and Miami locations. Many FPL employees currently are registered with the Armed Forces and/or have had family members serving in which they benefit from the FSO program. Not only are the employees of

FPL committed to their own personnel and their families who have been called to duty, but to all of the U.S. servicemen and women deployed overseas. “Our troops certainly deserve an extra holiday, so in lieu of our normal monthly packing events, we decided to up the ante and send them Christmas style “We Care” packages, Zelnar said. “The support we continue to receive from Florida Power and Light Company sets a great example to other businesses in the surrounding community and throughout the country, of what it means to be able to do ‘something’ to show your support of our troops,” Zelnar said. “Since 2003, FSO has benefited close to a quarter of a million of our military. It is more important now then ever to truly show our support and send our servicemen and servicewomen that ‘little bit of home’ to assure they are not forgotten.” Forgotten Soldiers Outreach Inc., is a national 501(c) tax-exempt corporation and can be reached at 1-561-369-2933 or by email at <info@forgottensoldiers.org>.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 9 - 22, 2011

Great Grove Bed Race set to roll on Sept. 4

This team representing the University of Miami competes in the 2010 Great Grove Bed Race. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY BARBARA FERENCZI

The third annual celebration of bed racing will take place in Coconut Grove during Labor Day Weekend, Sunday, Sept. 4. The Great Grove Bed Race is a free community event and fundraiser in the Grove each year. It is attended by celebrities and proves that a community can come together, have fun, be unique and raise funds for charity The six-hour event is scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The wildly comedic bed race involves rolling beds down village streets in Coconut Grove with the local South Florida community, individuals, businesses, organizations, and clubs sponsoring the beds. Teams consist of five members, four racers and one rider, racing against the clock until the fastest beds in each division are determined. Divisions are Men’s, Women’s, Co-Ed and Corporate/Over 30. Those finalists go head-to-head in a race

for the top position. More important than the speed trophies are the top prizes awarded for theme, engineering, décor, best overall and crowd favorite through the race’s TEXT your vote telecom sponsor. Open to the public, the race is organized as a fun community event to improve awareness and economic impact to the Grove and raise funds for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. Race registration fee is $125 per team (one bed, five participants) with the final entry deadline of 5 p.m. on Aug. 26. One hundred percent of the registration fee goes to the Boys and Girls Clubs of MiamiDade. Many activities will take place during the day along with the Bed Race; there is a Parade of Beds, theme contest (best costumes and cheers would help in winning this), decoration contest, etc. For more information visit online at <www.TheGreatGroveBedRace.com>.


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

FPL gives check, participates in ‘Christmas in July’ for FSO

Pictured (l-r) are Lynelle Zelnar, executive director of FSO; Debbie Riley, FPL Miami; Margarita Truitt, FPL Juno Beach, and Bob Nichols, FSO national chair. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– BY LEE STEPHENS

Many of Florida Power and Light’s employees from Miami to Juno Beach participated in the recent Forgotten Soldiers Outreach (FSO) “Christmas in July” annual packing event at FSO’s National Operation Center located in Lake Worth. Since 2004, the FPL’s Community Volunteer Corps (CVC) have been holding fundraisers and collection drives to help Forgotten Soldiers Outreach in their mission of sending out monthly “We Care” packages. FPL’s Debbie Riley (Miami) and Margarita Truitt (Juno Beach) presented a check in the amount of $6,041 to Lynelle Zelnar, executive director and founder, and Bob Nichols, FSO national chair. These funds were raised via the company’s annual “Jeans Day” fundraiser conducted at FPL’s Juno Beach and Miami locations. Many FPL employees currently are registered with the Armed Forces and/or have had family members serving in which they benefit from the FSO program. Not only are the employees of

FPL committed to their own personnel and their families who have been called to duty, but to all of the U.S. servicemen and women deployed overseas. “Our troops certainly deserve an extra holiday, so in lieu of our normal monthly packing events, we decided to up the ante and send them Christmas style “We Care” packages, Zelnar said. “The support we continue to receive from Florida Power and Light Company sets a great example to other businesses in the surrounding community and throughout the country, of what it means to be able to do ‘something’ to show your support of our troops,” Zelnar said. “Since 2003, FSO has benefited close to a quarter of a million of our military. It is more important now then ever to truly show our support and send our servicemen and servicewomen that ‘little bit of home’ to assure they are not forgotten.” Forgotten Soldiers Outreach Inc., is a national 501(c) tax-exempt corporation and can be reached at 1-561-369-2933 or by email at <info@forgottensoldiers.org>.

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

August 9 - 22, 2011

UPS 5K event to benefit United Way of Miami-Dade BY SANDRA RODRIGUEZ

UPS and United Way of Miami-Dade have once again teamed up for the UPS 5K race/walk benefiting United Way’s work in the areas of education, income and health. The race will take place Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Coral Gables City Hall, 405 Biltmore Way.  “For almost three decades, UPS has been giving back to communities nationwide,” said Harve Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade. “Now, our community has the opportunity to help UPS and United Way continue to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all.” To pre-register for the UPS 5K, participants must submit their entry forms by 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, via the Internet at <www.unitedwaymiami.org/ups5k>. Early registration is only $20. Race day registration begins at 6 a.m. on Sept. 17 for a cost of $25. “UPS employees are dedicated to supporting the communities where they live and work, and we encourage everyone to

put on their running shoes and join us in this effort,” said Romaine Seguin, president of UPS Americas Region. “This great race with the United Way gives everyone a chance to walk, run, cheer and have a good time while supporting a good cause.” For those unable to run, participants have the opportunity to volunteer on race day or enjoy fun activities for the entire family. For more information on becoming a race sponsor, or to form a team, contact Jessica Silverman at 305-646-7011 or <sil-


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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August 9 - 22, 2011


August 9 - 22, 2011

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BEFORE

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Dear Linda, Great questions! I see lots of patients in my office for these concerns. As you know, the “smiles lines” are often known as the nasolabial folds. They run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth. In my practice, I frequently treat these lines with injectable fillers. Depending on the medicine used, the improvement in these lines can last from 3 months to over one year. In my office, I do offer permanent options for the nasolabial folds. These treatments have become quite popu-

Dr. Sharma focuses exclusively on cosmetic Facial Plastic Surgery. His office is located on 475 Biltmore Way, Suite 308. Coral Gables , FL 33134 305.456.5727 drsharma@PSImiami.com PSImiami.com


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August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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August 9 - 22, 2011

Simon Youth Foundation awards $5,600 to high school students BY DESIREE LLERENA

The Simon Youth Foundation Scholarship program, sponsored by Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that champions education opportunities for students of all backgrounds, awarded $5,600 to Miami-Dade County high school students, so that they may pursue a postsecondary degree. Simon Youth Foundation assists youth in Simon Mall communities nationwide by providing scholarships to help them realize their hopes of going to college. Scholarship recipients Lourianne Apollon, Daniela Serna, Sonja Castel and Kristina Oliva were presented with a certificate during an intimate luncheon at the Knife Restaurant in Miami International Mall. Representatives from Dadeland Mall, Miami International Mall, The Falls and The Shops at Sunset Place were in attendance to congratulate and recognize the students chosen from their Simon Mall community. The following recipients received $1,400

Buying a business?

each toward their university of choice: Lourianne Apollon of Miami for University of Florida, Dadeland Mall recipient; Daniela Serna of Miami for Brown University, Miami International Mall recipient; Sonja Castel of Miami for University of Miami, The Falls recipient, and Kristina Oliva of Coral Gables for Pratt Institute, The Shops at Sunset Place recipient. “The administration and staff at the Simon Miami Malls are proud to participate in the scholarships program with Simon Youth Foundation,” said Dailen Rodriguez, director of mall marketing and business development for The Falls. “The awards [remove] some of the financial obstacles that may have prevented their continued learning.” To date, the Simon Youth Foundation Scholarships program has granted $1.15 million in nationwide scholarship awards in 2011 to recipients who plan to attend postsecondary institutions.

Verizon works to educate teens on dating violence

Are they telling you the truth?

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The Valuations & Forensics Advisory, LLC 7950 NW 53rd Street www.valfor.net Doral, FL 33166 Frosillo@valfor.net

1-800-959-6122 • 305-477-5652

Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest wireless provider, is leading the effort to educate teens about how to responsibly use technology to promote healthy relationships. The Verizon Wireless Teen Technology Panel program conducted recently included Boys and Girls Club teens and representatives from the Miami community. Collectively, the group discussed the warning signs of abusive dating relationships and explored how technology can be used to promote positive relationships among teens. Pictured on the panel are (l-r) Daniel Rodriguez, Det. Cora Mann of the North Miami Beach Police Department, Alex Lopez, Paula Owen of Safespace Foundation, Adrian Abreu and Christine Brouri.


August 9 - 22, 2011

COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Chevrolet has a hit with new Camaro Convertible Ron Beasley LET’S TALK CARS Chevrolet’s beautiful new Camaro Convertible made its debut in January at the Los Angeles International Auto Show and it was an immediate hit; American consumers loved it. With the top up, the Camaro Convertible has the same sleek profile as its sibling hardtop. With the top down, it is much more seductive, and the overused term of “sleek and sexy” only begins to describe its beauty. The Camaro Convertible’s underlying body structure has been re-worked to accommodate the very tight and nicely tailored top mechanism. GM engineers made four primary additions to strengthen the body structure and eliminate cowl and steering wheel shake. They added a tower-to-tower brace under the hood, installed a new transmission support reinforcement brace, added an underbody tunnel brace and installed front and rear underbody “V” braces. The end result is a

convertible automobile that has a good looking profile and handles very much like a sport coupe. Additional structural safety reinforcements include a hydroformed tube in the A-pillars, an inner reinforcement bracket in the windshield header, a reinforced front hinge pillar and reinforcements inside the rockers to improve noise and vibration characteristics. The changes give the car’s body better bending characteristics and torsional stiffness. Designers also wanted to eliminate the appearance of convertible top support ribs, so they used composite knuckles rather than aluminum, extended the top material below the belt line and revised the top’s stitch lines for a smooth, taut and carefully tailored appearance that retains the sleek roofline of the coupe. The power top retracts in about 20 seconds, folding in a simple “Z” pattern, and latches with a single twist handle at the center of the windshield header. Turn the latch to the open position, push a button and the windows go down and the top goes down. And you don’t have to be parked to activate the top; you can drop it on a spur-of-the-moment, such as while stopped at a traffic light. A folding, one-piece tonneau covers the folded top for a finished look and an accessory windscreen is available that installs behind

Camaro Convertible top folds in a “Z” pattern and retracts in 20 seconds.

the front seats to limit wind buffeting when driving with the top down. The Camaro Convertible is available in the same configurations as the coupe. The standard model comes with a 312 hp direct injection V-6 engine that delivers 29 mpg highway. The SS model has a 426 hp 6.2 liter V8 engine under the hood. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment and a six-speed automatic is an option. Other distinguishing characteristics include locating the OnStar/XM/AM-FM radio antenna on the deck lid on LT models

without the RS package; embedding the radio antenna in the rear spoiler on RSequipped LT and SS models and moving the trunk lock cylinder to the rear seat area for a cleaner exterior. Pricing starts at $30,000, including $850 destination charges. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.


August 9 - 22, 2011

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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COMMUNITYNEWSPAPERS.COM

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Green Gables CafĂŠ Organic Foods. Sustainable Catering Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly We are a neighborhood restaurant with a simple & nourishing menu that features seasonal, local, and organic food.

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EXPIRES 8/19/2011


Coral Gables News 8.9.2011