United Way celebrates 90 years, honors community volunteers

Hundreds of volunteers, supporters and partner agencies celebrated 90 years of United Way of Miami-Dade at its annual meeting and volunteer awards ceremony in June.

Four community leaders and one outstanding young person whose works have had real and lasting impact in the community were honored, and new officers, directors and trustees were elected during the meeting. The event took place at the Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom.

Founded in 1924 as the Miami Community Chest, United Way has evolved, always representing Miamians coming together to care for one another: whether responding in the aftermath of the 1926 hurricane, helping with the war effort in the 1940s, funding programs to assist newly arrived Cuban immigrants in the 1960s, funding health and non-violence programs in the 1980s, coordinating services in the wake of Hurricane Andrew, being at the forefront of the early education movement of the past decade or helping people pave a path to financial stability through the recession of the late 2000s.

“Since 1924, our United Way story is very much the story of Miami,” said Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade. “Throughout history, every contributor, volunteer and advocate has played a key role in shaping our work and our community, and it is our honor to recognize Peter, Vanessa, Cheryl, Diana and Carolina for their dedication to making Miami a better place.”

This year’s honorees included Peter J. Dolara, a recognized aviation, travel and tourism professional; Vanessa Mills, an outstanding voice for people living with HIV/AIDS and co-founder of Empower U; Cheryl Little, Esq., a tireless advocate for immigrant rights; Diana Ragbeer, a passionate advocate for children and director of public policy and communications for The Children’s Trust, and Carolina Gonzalez, an outstanding young woman who has taken a stance and is making a difference for “dreamers.”

To learn more, give, advocate or volunteer, visit www.unitedwaymiami.org.

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