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Miami Lighthouse affair benefits eye care for underserved

Miami Lighthouse affair benefits eye care for underserved

Miami Lighthouse affair benefits eye care for underserved

Coral Gables Rotarians Felix Pardo, Diane Thurston,Lorraine Sheldon and Keith Phillips are seen here at Miami Northwestern High School where they visited to speak to graduating seniors.

The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind gathered friends and supporters to their location at 601 SW89 Ave. on Apr. 30 for the organization’s seventh annual event to benefit the Heiken Children’s Vision Program.

The “Music Under the Stars: Bon Appétit Miami” affair, emceed by Nicole Maristany, media and community relations manager for Publix Super Markets, served to honor Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry along with three generations of Harrison Family Board Leadership that includes participation in the founding of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute by Miami Lighthouse, and the Miami Marlins Foundation.

Guests at the event enjoyed fine wine and cuisine as well as musical performances by Miami Lighthouse’s Better Chance Music Production Program with guest appearance by Latin Grammy winner Paul Hoyle, an outstanding multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Hoyle, renowned for his movie and TV show scores, also has worked with top artists including Shakira, Julio Iglesias, Jon Secada and Albita. The music program coordinator, vocalist Kevin Mendez, a classically trained baritone, also joined Paul Hoyle for the show. The Better Chance Music Production Program musicians’ children’s album was a 2013 Latin Grammy finalist.

The Heiken Children’s Vision Program provides free eye care for underserved.

The Junior Orange Bowl will be unveiling its parade theme on May 20, 6 p.m., at the Merrick House. For information, call 305-662-1210.

Graduating seniors at Miami Northwestern High School in Liberty City welcomed groups of Coral Gables Rotarians, led by the club’s community service chair Lorraine Sheldon, on Apr. 22 and 23. During their visit, the Rotarians spoke about their professions and offered pearls of wisdom to graduating seniors.

The school, located right next to the largest housing project in Florida and serving 1,800 students, was founded in 1955. The current school building was completed in the 1990s.

While the school is best known for achievements on the sports field in football and track, the school recently made the headlines by becoming the first inner city school in Miami to go from an “F” class school to an “A” class school. In addition, the graduating rate went from 40 percent receiving high school diplomas to 80 percent, an amazing accomplishment for which the students, principal and staff are most proud and should be congratulated.

Among the many Rotarians participating with Sheldon in this outreach effort were Keith Phillips, Dick Golden, Jim Skinner, Diane Thurston, Carol Brock, and Feliz Pardo. The group was especially impressed as they walked to meet students in the college resource center and viewed a lobby plastered with college acceptance letters. On the wall was a national map showing the students’ names and the schools they will be attending in the fall. Turns out that the presentations were so well received by the students that the high school has asked and hopes to have more.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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