Rotary Club to celebrate Miami history and its own at Century of Service Gala

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Jackson, Shutts, Bowen, Burdine, Seybold, Palmer, Stoneman. They are prominent names most Miamians know for a hospital, a law firm, a department store, a jewelry center, an eye institute and a newspaper.

The last, Frank Stoneman, was publisher of the Miami Herald and father to Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the woman who saved our Everglades.

All were, in their working days, founders or members of the Miami Rotary Club set to celebrate its 100th anniversary at the Century of Service Gala March 25.

The club is known for establishing and nurturing the University of Miami, Lighthouse for the Blind, YMCA, South Florida Boys and Girls Scouts, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Boys Town of Florida, the Bone and Tissue Transplant Center and the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office.

Event chairs Susan and Robin Shelley and Rotary President Oliver Ruiz are proud to continue the legacy of this prominent Miami service club.

“The club’s founding president in 1917 was Dr. James Jackson, of Jackson Memorial Hospital fame, and he was followed by a long list of Miami’s civic pioneers and business leaders,” Ruiz said in email.

“Today, our club is comprised of members from diverse backgrounds and professions that are honored to continue the legacy of service to the community by awarding Thomas Brown McLelland medical school scholarships of over $6.5 million awarded to date, by serving humanity and participating in projects locally and abroad, by sponsoring the Miami High Interact Club, a high school level Rotary Club, for decades and conducting an annual Peace Conference, and by giving our annual Griffitts Award to the City of Miami Police Officer of the Year now in its 48th year,” Ruiz said.

“We look forward to celebrating our Century of Service at our upcoming gala, where we will be joined by Rotary International and District leaders, civic leaders from our community, and the generous organizations that have supported our club and the gala.”

Miami Rotary has sponsored more than 40 other South Florida Rotary Clubs. Its global projects include ending polio and providing clean water in dozens of countries. One of the Miami Rotary Club presidents, William R. Robbins, even served as president of Rotary International. The worldwide organization has 1.2 million members.

The Century of Service Gala will be 6 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at Rusty Pelican, 3201 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne. Individual tickets start at $150 and program sponsorships are available. Buy tickets and see details at http://centuryofservice.org/. Or call 305-443-5787.

Donate sneakers at the fair

Spread the word with family and friends that it’s time to go through closets and gather up old sneakers for donation. If you bring them to the Miami-Dade County Fair, Thursday, March 23, through April 16, the shoes can help fund scholarships and other civic projects of the Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest.

“The sneakers are recycled and repurposed to almost new by micro entrepreneurs from impoverished areas and distributed at a cost that the local residents can afford,” President Howard Horowitz said.

Go to Booth 777 at the Fair’s Market Place to drop off your worn sneakers.

Anyone bringing in three pairs will receive a coupon book with discounts for vendors at the Market Place. If you donate six or more pairs, you will also receive a free certificate for up to five people for a Bayside cruise.

To learn more about this project and Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest visit http://www.rotarypinecrest.org/.

New show at Banyon Bowl

The acclaimed musical “In the Heights” will be presented by the Miami Acting Company and run Thursday, March 23, through Sunday, March 26, at the Banyan Bowl in Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Rd.

“This is a wonderful collaboration of many talented individuals from all walks of life and ages who have come together to present this meaningful and game changing musical,” artistic director Bill Altfield said.

The show, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame, opened on Broadway in 2008 and was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won four including Best Musical.

Tickets are $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, and $15 children up to age 14. Get more information, watch videos of rehearsals and purchase tickets by visiting https://www.facebook.com/miamiactingco/.

As part of their mission to make theater available to all, MAC members will perform for several groups at complimentary performances. Residents from Casa Valentina, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and students from Take Stock in Children, and members from Unrepresented People’s Positive Action Council (UPPAC) are among those benefitting from this outreach, Altfield said.


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