The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
With its award-winning book, My Body Is Special and Belongs to Me!, KidSafe Foundation uses easy-to-understand material to cultivate a discussion about sexual abuse and personal safety between adults and children. The book is designed as a resource for school guidance counselors and is worded to help students of any age understand the sensitive concepts. Topics include the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate touching, what to do when presented with a hazardous situation, and how to ask for help. A special section dedicated to caregivers and faculty helps broaden adults' knowledge of identifying and discussing abuse. The program has reached 20,000 children and more than 5,000 adults through its Southern Florida initiatives, and aims to expand distribution to more elementary schools within the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach areas.
• For $25, you get a one-month All Y adult membership plus one 30-minute fitness assessment, one 60-minute personal-training session, and three guest passes (a $169 value). • For $39, you get a one-month All Y family membership; one 30-minute fitness assessment and one 60-minute personal-training session per adult (up to two adults); and three guest passes (up to a $291 value).
SOS Children's Villages - Florida nurtures youth in foster care through a neighborhood built exclusively for them. The street's 12 houses buzz with the activity of the 75 resident boys and girls, who were removed from their homes due to abandonment, abuse, and neglect. They spend their childhood with foster families selected by a caseworker and have access to an array of social and mental-health services. Most children stay at the Village for about two years until they are found a permanent adoptive home or reunited with their biological families. The Village places a high priority on maintaining family connections among siblings, generally placing them in the same house.
SOS Children’s Villages sustains a connection with all its youth after they turn 18 through the After Care program, which helps them transition into adulthood and self-sufficiency. SOS boasts incredible success with this program: 83% of its alumni have graduated high school—33% higher than the national average for foster children—and 47% have gone on to pursue higher education.
Spearheaded by "The Gridiron Griller" himself, former Miami Dolphins player John Offerdahl, the Gridiron Grill-Off congregates chefs from the top restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, and culinary-inclined celebrities as they prepare grilled grub for a tasting competition benefiting several local charities. Twenty teams comprised of Miami Dolphins legends including Dan Marino, and top Broward County food maestros concoct 20 delectable dishes that fans can sample, pair with wine or beer, vote on, and assemble into an indoor snowman. While nibbling on grilled bites, visitors also compete in a beanbag tailgate tournament with celebs and chefs joining top-ranked teams in the final rounds. Proceeds from the Gridiron Grill-Off support 4Kids of South Florida, Here's Help Culinary Program, and the Miami Dolphins Foundation.
After Dr. Angel Perez passed away due to kidney cancer, his wife and children discovered a way to honor his memory. Sonia Perez and her daughters were hosting a recreational picnic for his former patients, many of whom were affected by congenital heart defects (CHD) or childhood acquired heart disease, when they realized that these patients and their families needed somewhere they could gather and receive non-medical financial, emotional, and social support outside the hospital. The Perez family founded Angel's Pediatric Heart House to fill this need. The organization provides free programs and services to South Florida children living with CHD such as financial support during a child’s hospital stay; family fun day social events, which provide opportunities for cardiac kids and their families to come together; monthly hospital outreach to three area children’s hospitals and a free infant items donation program through a partnership with a national baby store retailer. Its programs also function as a tool for group healing. Mommy and Me groups provide opportunities to gain support, the Miles and Millas program delivers care packages to kids undergoing heart surgery, and a national CHD awareness campaign spreads encouragement to families and distributes Heart Shadow Buddies to kids in hospitals.
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