South Miami High School was one of a select list of teams competing this year in the Jr. Orange Bowl Basketball Tournament that has gained international attention as teams travel from around the nation and world to South Florida to participate. South Miami, that came in third place, opened the tournament against the team from Slovenia, Gimnazija Bezigrad. Kudos to Chuck Little, Basketball Chair and Past President of the JOBC and his committee for growing this tournament over the years into a most impressive and competitive event for high school athletes.
In other festival action, like the King Mango Strut in the Grove at the end of the month, both the Jr. Orange Bowl Parade and the Strut got their fair share of rain but it dampened neither. Kudos to parade organizers who volunteer their time and energy to showcase our community and our children in such a positive way. Of course, for the Jr. Orange Bowl, the parade is just the tip of the iceberg for a committee that produces so many events that showcase youth and attract visitors to our community. Aside from the aforementioned basketball tournament and parade, other major events included an international tennis tournament and golf invitational, sports ability games and creative arts to mention a few held in December. The Junior Orange Bowl was grateful to CRAVE Restaurants, the official restaurant partner of the 2013-2014 Junior Orange Bowl Festival, for hosting a social on Dec. 17th to celebrate the holidays and the organization’s 65th anniversary year.
Speaking of great events, on December 7, Water Party MIA 2013 transformed The Collection in Coral Gables into a celebration where guests enjoyed music, food from some of Miami’s most remarkable restaurants, drinks, raffles, and a silent auction, all in an effort to raise funds to bring clean, safe drinking water to those less fortunate.
With a goal of raising more than $10,000, they exceeded that by raising $10,700 thanks to four of Miami’s philanthropic women, Brenda Cortes, Denise Erwin, Farrah Marin, and Tania Marin, who joined forces to produce this event. While all four are professional career driven women, they make time every year to orchestrate a charity:water fundraiser.
The reasoning is simple, they understand that water is the barest of all life’s needs, those with no access to clean water have no chance forsurvival. The group’s first Water Party MIA,in 2011, raised enough money one well. Earlier this year that water well came to fruition in the GVH Kamenya Community in Malawi and now serves 42 people. In addition, funds from that year’s WATER PARTY MIA alongside 25 other charity:water campaigns sponsored a Piped Water System – Tap Stand in the Motilanto Community in Ethiopia where 438 people are served. Each water well will have a plaque named after our vivacious city, MIA, the airport code for Miami. Each well proves that our city is not only the “Magic” city but is quickly becoming a “Caring” city.
Proceeds from this recent event will bring to fruition two water projects benefitting a few communities in Orissa, India via the non-profit charity:water.
Charity:water, a non-profit organization based out of New York, has funded yearto- date 9,458 water projects in 20 countries. It is one of the few non-profits who utilize 100% of their funds to implement the creation of the water projects. After about 18 months, the organization provides its sponsors/donors with a complete report which includes GPS coordinates, pictures, and all the details as to who exactly will benefit from the new source of water.
Finally, save the date for the Rotary Charity Golf Classic presented by the Rotary Clubs of Coral Gables and Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest on Feb. 6, at the Biltmore Golf Course. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. for registration. To reserve space or receive sponsorship information, call Coral Gables Rotarians Chris Morrison at 305 582-7690.
May you all have a Happy New Year! Until next time, keep making each day count.
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