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January 2011

December 2010

Tournament of Champions along with Nike and The Miami Children’s Hospital To Host Annual Sports Festival

Miami, FL-Momentum and heightened global anticipation is growing in South Florida as they wait for two of the biggest sporting event to take place. With a reputation for producing quality sporting events in South Florida, Tournament of Champions, Inc.  will present their Sixteenth Annual Nike All-Star Football Game (Dade vs Broward) at North Miami Athletic Stadium (2555 NE 151 Street, North Miami, FL) on Thursday, January 6, 2011, at 7:30pm. This is the fourteenth year that Nike has partnered with TOC Inc. as a title sponsor. The Miami Children's Hospital is medical sponsor for the game. Publix Supermarket is the presenting sponsor. The game includes some of South Florida’s most elite players ( Dade vs Broward) competing for the coveted notoriety title, bragging rights and scholarships. Admission to the game is $10. 

On Friday, January 7 & 8 2011, the anticipated TOC Inc.‘s  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Basketball Classic at Blanch Ely High School (1600 South Andrews Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, FL). This is Ninteen (19) of Florida’s top teams and hoop stars competing for bragging rights and scholarships. The Classic first session are on January 7 at 5pm, 7pm and 9pm, second session starts Saturday January 8 at 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, Third session starts 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 9:00pm. The games are $10 each session or $25 for all day pass. VIP tickets are $15 per session and $40 for an all day pass. 

TOC Inc. is also partnering with the City of Pompano Beach to host a free books and basketball camp for 100 community youths January 8 at Mitchell Moore Park from 10am-12noon. The camp will be facilitated by NBA legend Wali Jones.  Coach Kevin Sutton, of national powerhouse Montverde High School in Orlando will conduct team practice and instructions to the youths on basketball fundamentals.  

TOC, Inc. is a sports management company whose core community philosophy is demonstrated in their outreach initiatives that also include their annual South Florida Student Athlete Academic Human Development Symposium and annual basketball clinic in Jamaica . Partial proceeds for the sports festival will be donated to the Dade County Football Coaches Association to support high school football coaches and athletic training. Student scholarships will also be awarded to the 100 Black Men of South Florida, Inc. 

“This is an excellent opportunity for the elite players of South Florida to showcase their talents and skills. TOC Inc. will continue to foster the academic and athletic growth of  our community’s young aspiring athletes. We hope the players will take this experience through their college careers and beyond”, states Wesley Frater, Founder & Executive Director of Tournament of Champions, Inc.

“We are delighted to be a part of the Nike South Florida All Star Football Game and the Tournament of Champions. Miami Children’s Hospital will be the provider of sports medicine services for the athletes participating in the game. We are pleased to be able to offer quality care to these talented young athletes and students as an extension of our commitment to children throughout the region, “states Stephen Swirsky, DO, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Physician at Miami Children’s Hospital.

"Publix is committed to supporting youth activities, specifically those that promote active lifestyles and develop character," said Kim Jaeger, Publix's Miami media and community relations manager. "We are thrilled to be a presenting sponsor of the All-Star game again this year, an event that does both while bringing our South Florida communities together in support of these young athletes."

Additional sponsors include: Powerade and the US Army.


Drumline Live @ The Arsht


A heart-pounding theatrical stage show featuring 40 band members
from historically black colleges and universities across the nation in a magical celebration of the beat!

January 16, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Tickets $40 to $65
John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall

MIAMI, FL – Now celebrating its Fifth Anniversary Season, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County proudly presents the energetic musical phenomenon, DRUMLINE LIVE. Based on the 2002 blockbuster film, Drumline, DRUMLINE LIVE will high-step into Miami for one night only on January 16, 2011 at 7 p.m., filling the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall with original compositions and soul-infused interpretations of top 40 hits.

Tickets to DRUMLINE LIVE are on sale now. Tickets range from $40 to $65 and may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at

With the imaginative combination of sounds from musical greats from Michael Jackson to Earth, Wind, and Fire to on stage battles and Motown favorites, the band delights and amazes with classic as well as their own original compositions. DRUMLINE LIVE brings the drum-pounding, percussion-blasting, high-stepping tradition of the marching band onto the stage for an intensely energetic performance sure to have audiences stomping their feet and clapping their hands. Sizzling choreography and daredevil athletic feats take the syncopated magic of marching band tradition straight to the stage!

“We hope Miami is ready to get out of their seats and move to the beat, as DRUMline Live brings its infectious, irrepressible sound to the Knight Concert Hall,” said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “This performance honors the great musical tradition of marching bands, born on college campuses, and now exploding on stage for all of South Florida to enjoy.”

DRUMLINE LIVE is composed of 40 band members including one drum major, 33 percussion and wind players, 5 dancers, and one host, all from America’s historically black colleges and universities. Performances range from vividly choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences. The live stage show encompasses a rainbow of sound – from funk to R&B to oldies – this marching band amazes with sheer sonic adventure.

Don P. Roberts, creator and musical director of DRUMLINE LIVE, was inspired to produce the theatrical adaptation after serving as Executive Band Consultant for the hit movie Drumline. Under Roberts’ direction, his 300 member band played the role of the Atlanta A&K marching band in the film. As a result of Roberts coaching, training, original compositions, and choreography Drumline was nominated for Most Outstanding Motion Picture by the NAACP, and garnered the American Choreography Award. A graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), Roberts served as drum major, student conductor, and student arranger. FAMU is known as the university where the marching band traditional originated more than 50 years ago, and has long been regarded as having the nation’s preeminent marching band. Roberts currently serves as the Instrumental Music Coordinator for the Dekalb County School System in Georgia. He also serves as President of Halftime Live, which provided the drumline for the Atlanta Falcons in 2006 and for the Atlanta Hawks in 2007 and 2008.

Location:Miami, FL

Miami-Dade Commission cancels meeting to set recall election because of lack of quorom

The Miami Herald:

A special meeting of the Miami-Dade County Commission to set a recall election for Mayor Carlos Alvarez was cancelled Wednesday for lack of a quorum.

Six of 13 commissioners appeared on the dais, one short of the minimum required. They were: Chairman Dennis Moss and Commissioners Joe Martinez, Barbara Jordan, Bruno Barreiro, Lynda Bell and Natacha Seijas.


Read the entire story at The Miami Herald.


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Allapattah Christmas tradition comes to an end

The Miami Herald:
One last Christmas for Mr. and Mrs. Claus

For 33 Christmas Eves, a cozy home on 47th Terrace has been the center of the universe for children from Liberty City and nearby neighborhoods, a place to fill their bags with free toys and their stomachs with tasty treats.

After more than three decades of extraordinary generosity, Larry and Ernestine Williams held their final Christmas Eve extravaganza Friday night, again putting smiles on dozens of children's faces.

Read entire story at The Miami Herald.


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Mary Williams Woodard Legacy Kwanzaa Celebration

163919_1714405187421_1456932545_1761965_3252011_nLeft to right: Chief Nathaniel Styles; Nivia Woodard; Dr. Art Woodard; Vanessa Woodard Byers
Photo by Donnalyn Anthony

It was a standing room only crowd at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center on Sunday, December 26 at the Mary Williams Woodard Legacy Kwanzaa Celebration presented by the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association and Community Builders Holistic Development Corporation. This is the twenty-first year the alumni chapter has presented this community event and the thirteenth year in partnership with Community Builders with Chief Nathaniel Styles serving as master of ceremonies.

The Elders for this year’s celebration were: Her Royal Grace Iya Orite Olasowo-Adefunmi; Queen Mother Boatenma (Constance Tallaha Ekon ); Queen Mother Delma J. Rodriguez; Rep. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, School Board Member District 2; Mr. William “DC” Clark; Mrs. Alvalia Ellis; Dr. George Ellis; Professor Joseph McNair; Ms. Karen Tynes and Ms. Altine X. Elders are designated as such not because of age but contributions to the uplift of the community.

There were wonderful performances by the children who are participants in the after school performing arts programs at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center; spoken word by Shamele Jenkins; vocalist Jawana Lockett. The highlight of the evening was a spectacular dance by international performing artist Prince Emmanuel Abiodun Aderele, courtesy of Osun’s Village Miami.

In practicing the principles of Kwanzaa, the Miami-Dade Chapter has collected more than $500 to pay for students in the Arts program at the Center. Romania Wilson is president of the Miami-Dade Chapter.


5 Dead In Fla. Motel Were Like Brothers


Five young men who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a South Florida motel room were constant companions who acted like brothers and even went shoe shopping together before Christmas so they all would have the same pair, relatives said Tuesday.

They were celebrating a birthday Sunday night when they were overcome by carbon monoxide from a car they left running in a garage under their Hialeah motel room, police said. The teens' friends told police that the car was having engine trouble, and they had probably left it running so that they wouldn't get stuck with a car that wouldn't start, police spokesman Carl Zogby said.

Authorities identified the dead as Juchen C. Martial, 19; Peterson Nazon, 17; Jonas Antenor, 17; Jean Pierre Ferdinand, 16; and Evans Charles, 19. All lived within blocks of each other in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood.

Read entire story at NPR.

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Sneakers on a powerline and other neighborhood concerns


I bought a new camera. It’s a Nikon S8100 and I got it from Target on sale. As soon as the battery charged, I took it outside to take a few shots of the neighborhood. It has a really great zoom for a compact camera and I tried it out on a few shots. Among the shots I took was a picture out a pair of sneakers someone had thrown over a power line. No big deal I thought; just some kid’s prank. Then my niece told that meant drugs are being sold nearby. Say what?

I didn’t believe her so you know I do what most folks do nowadays; I googled the subject. Anyhoo, lo and behold, the sneakers on the power line could have a number of different meanings: marking gang territory; drugs sold in neighborhood; the death of someone; someone’s moving; school’s out for the summer or just a prank. I mean, really, who knew? Regardless the reason; they need to come down.

Then I took a good look around the neighborhood, more specifically, my street, and reflected on how it has changed and in many ways not for the better. There’s an open area across the street from my home that many people think is a park. It was once a very idyllic area even with a portion of it once being nicknamed “Hobo Land.” Now people walk or drive pass not knowing its history.

Fast forward a little more than forty years, post Hurricane Andrew, post flooding about ten years ago and several conflicts with the last owner of the property and we have a greenspace that is sometimes used by neighbors but for the most part is a nice quiet place. Folks that moved in the area in the last twenty years have absolutely no idea how some of us have fought to keep the neighborhood from being overrun with poorly built and industrial-designed low income houses and apartment buildings. That was my first lesson on the politics in awarding and using community development dollars but that’s another story for another time.

Unbeknownst to the neighbors, a plan was approved a few years ago to allow construction of a small apartment building behind a church that’s no longer used. That calls for a portion of 12th avenue to be extended, perhaps to 95th street. Needless to say, we are not happy and it is in violation of a previously agreed to covenant. There are already too may people living in the area as it is. Too many large apartment buildings and an old trailer park are a recipe for too much traffic and an increase in crime.

For whatever reason, there have been recent incidents of vehicles being abandoned or torched on our street and folks think nothing of littering the area with trash after they have eaten or done God knows what in their cars in the wee hours of the morning. It’s time for that to come to an end or at least be deal with swiftly by enforcement officials.

And another thing for some reason, there are drivers who seem to have no regard of this being a residential area. They zoom up and down the street as if it was the Indianapolis Speedway. Hopefully the traffic calming plans will be implemented soon or does a child have to get hit by a car and die before any action is taken to resolve the matter?




Artlab33 | Art Space gallery, located at 2085B NE 2nd Avenue, the only African American-owned gallery in Miami’s vibrant Wynwood art district, and the Kuumba Artists Collective of South Florida will host a closing reception for their combined “African Roots/American Fruits” and Annual Kuumba Kwanzaa art exhibitions on Thursday, December 30, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., in observance of the fifth day of the seven-day Kwanzaa holiday, in a celebration of thanks, togetherness, and purpose.

Nia (pronounced “NEE-ah”) is the Kiswahili word for Purpose, one of the Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of traditional African community values which are at the heart of the Kwanzaa observance. Nia is defined as a commitment “to make as our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to our traditional greatness.” The production, promotion, and collection of original African World works of art, as sources of beauty, inspiration, and economic growth, are considered to be major contributions to that commitment.

“African Roots/American Fruits” is a history-making exhibition of new and recent works which brought an unprecedented Black presence to Wynwood during the heady days of Art Basel in Miami, and was a hit during the subsequent Second Saturday Gallery Walk. The exhibition was enhanced by the addition of several more works, many of them in the “affordable art” category for the gift-giving season, comprising the Annual Kuumba Kwanzaa Art Exhibition.

Admission to Thursday’s Closing Reception is open and free to the public. Light refreshments will be served, and all pieces on display, representing more than a dozen artists, are for sale. For further information, please call 305-904-7620 or 786-260-2973.

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Location:Miami, FL

Is this Miami?

I woke up this morning and there was a film of ice covering the cars in my yard. It was 39 degrees and I wanted to back inside my house where it was warm. It's predicted that today's temperature will rise to 65! Wow. Look on the bright side, we could be in the northeastern states.

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