Miami Laker 2015 July 17

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July 17, 2015



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JULY 17, 2015

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Miami Lakes Fencing Club rates in Sunshine State Games The Miami Lakes Fencing Club features competitors who practice three days a week at Miami Lakes Methodist Church, 14800 Ludlam Road. The group recently competed in the Sunshine State Games in West Palm Beach, where head coach and trainer Javier Andino and assistant coach Gary Cardenas led their team to a good rating for overall performance during the tournament. “Our youngest club member is 9 years old and our most senior is over 70,” Cardenas. “We are a competitive club and have traveled throughout Florida for tournaments. We have even been to Puerto Rico and El Salvador to compete in international events. “Next year, we are targeting to make it to one of the National tournaments that are held throughout the United States by the U.S. Fencing Association, which is the governing body for the sport in the U.S.” One of the group’s brightest young stars is Alex Cardenas, Gary Cardenas’ son, who has been focused on epee as his primary weapon and has been winning medals consistently over the past three years. This past year, he turned 13 and was able to compete in open events, which are comprised of fencers of all ages (above 13) and skill levels. “He is currently focusing on obtaining his first national ranking in epee,” Cardenas said. Fencers are rated in one of 6

categories which are A, B, C, D, E, and U, with U unclassified and A being the highest rating attainable. “I am primarily focused on epee and gained my E rating in 2014, but I also actively practice and compete in foil and saber as well. I am classified as U in those weapons, but have won medals in all three weapons in unrated events,” Alex Cardenas said. “We are one of a few pairs of parentchild fencers in the South Florida area, so it's a unique sport in the fact that it offers an opportunity for both parent and child to train and compete alongside and sometimes against each other. You won't find that in baseball, football and soccer.” The Miami Lakes Fencing Club hosts five tournaments a year in Miami Lakes with the next one scheduled for Sunday, October 18 and Sunday, November 22 at the Roberto Alonso Community Center at Royal Oaks Park, 16500 N.W. 87 Avenue. Last year, the first event drew almost 100 fencers from throughout Florida, as well as some that traveled in from Puerto Rico and Columbia. Coach Andino is a certified member of the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association and has competed on the national team for his home country of Honduras. The Miami Lakes Fencing Club practices on Monday, Tuesday and Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the church.

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Did You Know? Fio Marquez’ random acts of kindness! By Amanda Berengeur Special to The Miami Laker The thought of a stranger passing out thank-you cards for people simply being themselves is pleasantly out of the ordinary, but for 23-year-old Miami Lakes resident Fiorella Marquez, random acts of kindness like this are just stepping stones on her journey towards making positive impacts on peoples lives. Marquez, known affectionately as Fio, has a degree in psychology and is currently working on her second degree in sociology. Fueled by her deep passion for knowledge and helping others, Marquez has dedicated herself to the mission of boosting confidence and self-worth. Whether it be a child of eight-years-old or an adult of 30, Marquez aims to make a difference in peoples lives. Along with her full time schooling, Marquez has managed to build an online community focused on the betterment of oneself through their own eyes. Her goal is to be that shoulder you can lean on, that voice of wisdom that reminds you that though tough times may come, there is a light at the end of every tunnel. Why is Marquez so dedicated to her cause? It wasn’t long ago that she was made to believe she had no purpose in life. Struggling with depression, Marquez was teased and harassed by those who she believed to be closest to her. On her website,, she recounts her hardships in detail. For almost a year she would

efficient and still maintain beautiful yards and landscaping,” said WASD director Lester Sola. One way residents can save water and money is to take advantage of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department’s free evaluations of single family homes’ irrigation systems. The evaluation will provide homeowners with details on how to make their irrigation system more water-effi-

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FIORELLA MARQUEZ Miami Lakes restaurants and handed out thank-you cards to strangers. The cards had words of encouragement such as “You are strong,” “You matter,” “You're worth it,” and “You are beautiful.” She handed these notes of optimism to nurses and waiters and even left some on cars in parking lots. Her goal was to make as many people feel as appreciated as she could, an act of kindness she plans on repeating. Marquez’s list of goals is quite vast and includes traveling the world as a motivational speaker, becoming a mental health counselor for children and getting her doctoral degree, just to name a few. Marquez believes that although bad things may happen, there is always a positive outlook on life and every day she strives to reach her message of love and understanding to all who are willing to listen.

M-D Water/Sewer Dept. promotes July as ‘Smart Irrigation Month’ The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) is helping county residents save water and money by celebrating July as Smart Irrigation Month. July is a peak time for outdoor water use, making it the perfect time to promote efficient water use. “This July, take a few minutes to identify ways that you and your family can become more water

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receive phone calls, e-mails, and text messages from her peers calling her ugly, fat and worthless. “I began to think I was going insane, I blamed everything on myself, I began to convince myself that I deserved every single bad thing that was happening to me,” recounts Marquez. Despite this hardship, Marquez made it though her struggle and devoted herself into making sure no one would have to experience what she did. She started her website where people could write to her about whatever was on their minds. There was no judgement or ridicule, simply an ear to listen and an open heart to understand. As time progressed, Marquez began to get letters from her readers and other individuals who believed that her strength helped them get through their own rough times. Marquez also hosts a free support group once a month where individuals of all ages can gather and speak freely about whatever may be troubling them. Marquez also put together an event earlier this year she titled “I am Woman.” Here, she arranged for some of the ladies who had been reaching out to her to have their hair and make-up done, gave them gifts and even had a photographer take their pictures. “I’ve had low self esteem before so I thought about what would make me feel beautiful and designed the event around that,” said Marquez. In early June, Marquez went around to hospitals and local

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cient. Homeowners who implement the recommendations and provide verification of the retrofits will qualify for up to $500 in rebates a year. Homeowners do not need to implement all recommendations at once to be eligible for rebates. They can implement the retrofits for what works best for their system and their budgets. Outdoor irrigation accounts for up to 50 percent of water use in Florida, and up to 50 percent of the water applied to lawns is lost to evaporation; some households may lose up to 70 gallons of water each day. In order to conserve as much water as possible, Sola said, “We must be vigilant especially when watering our lawns to make every drop count.” For more information on the irrigation program and other water conservation programs, go to

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