Jr. Orange Bowl turns back time with Miami Vice gala

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The Conrad Miami Hotel, 1395 Brickell Ave., was host to a Miami Vice throwback night, as guests celebrated the Junior Orange Bowl at the organization’s second annual gala.

A pre-gala reception began the night with sponsors, honorees, and Junior Orange Bowl members gathering at LVL25 in the Conrad. Pre-gala reception guests were treated to spectacular views of Miami as the night’s honorees were given awards for their outstanding contributions to the Junior Orange Bowl and the community.

The gala honorees included John and Pam Admire, Miami’s Community Newspapers and The City of Miami Springs.

Activities included a silent auction and all proceeds from the gala will help support the different programs of the Junior Orange Bowl. The Junior Orange Bowl provides opportunities for children to showcase their talents through 15 academic, athletic, and cultural arts events that annually attract participation of 7,500 youth.

The night also featured many shining star moments, as members of the crowd pledged their donations in support of the generous offer made by Stephen Cypen to match donations dollar for dollar up to a cumulative amount of $10,000 through the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation.

Michelle Benitez-Bermudez served as chair of the Junior Orange Bowl gala for the second year.

“The excitement and support for this year’s gala was incredible,” Benitez-Bermudez said. “We have received a tremendous response from our community in support of our great mission and our children, and we will continue to work hard to raise funds and build programs that will benefit our community.”

Miami Vice gala sponsors included the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Bacardi USA, Miami’s Community Newspapers, Ojala Wine, Bank of America, Avant Gardens, Sain Orr Royak Deforest Steadman Foundation, Waste Management, Passione & Fragoli, among many others.

Charles Knight was sworn in as the 46th president of the Junior Orange Bowl by Coral Gables Commissioner Jeannett Slesnick, a Junior Orange Bowl past president. Knight, area manager of External Affairs for Florida Power & Light, has served on the board of directors and in various leadership roles within the Junior Orange Bowl as well as chairing the inaugural Family Day community event.

Fellow board members for the 2016-17 season will include president-elect Michelle Benitez-Bermudez, vice president Adhys Obeso, vice president Isa Goenaga, treasurer Frandley DeFilie, secretary Sam Burritt, Vivian Isla-Rey, and Ana Rivera, as well as Kathleen Slesnick Kauffman as immediate past president.

The Junior Orange Bowl is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has a 66-year tradition of hosting kids, some of whom have gone on to become some of the most well known stars in their fields including Tiger Woods (golf), Chris Evert (tennis), Andre Agassi (tennis), and many more. The Junior Orange Bowl also hosts the annual parade through downtown Coral Gables, a community celebration held each year on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

For more information, call 305-662-1210 or visit the website at www.jrorangebowl.org.

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