‘Wild About Kids’ gala to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade serves over 8,000 youth annually throughout its five clubs in the areas of Gwen Cherry Clubs, Kendall, South Beach, Southwest Coconut Grove and Northwest.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, Boys & Girls Clubs will recognize community figures Rodrigo Arboleda, Melissa Medina and Eris Thomas for their many contributions that help pave the way for the future of Miami’s youth. The three recipients will be honored at the charity’s annual “Wild About Kid’s” gala and after-party to be held at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne.

The “Wild About Kids” gala is the marquis annual event hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade that raises funds in support of its local youth programs providing both after-school and summer camp throughout the year.

This year’s gala is chaired by community leaders Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado and Elizabeth Patino. Both attorneys by trade, they also are actively involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs witnessing first-hand the impact the programs have on local youth. As chairs, their responsibilities will include putting together a strong gala committee, raising awareness about the clubs and securing high-level sponsors.

“We are so grateful to Gabriela and Elizabeth for their unwavering passion and support driving this year’s efforts, solidifying our gala as the must-attend event of the season supporting our growing organization,” said Alex Rodriguez- Roig, Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Dade president. “It is equally important to recognize Rodrigo, Melissa and Eris for their ongoing work and contributions that aid in sustaining and advocating for youth programs.”

Rodrigo Arboleda will be recognized with the “From the Heart” award serving as chair and CEO of the One Laptop Per Child Association, a non-profit entity that has revolutionized education and empowered creative thinking for children worldwide. Arboleda takes pride in helping underprivileged children by providing them with the tools and skills they need to achieve their future aspirations, a shared mission of the clubs. His work has increased access to resources for children vital to their growth and success.

Melissa Medina, president of the Medina Family Foundation and vice president of Business Development for eMerge Americas, will be honored with the “Community Builder” award. Medina is a trendsetter among those giving back locally in the South Florida community, leading ongoing efforts to fund local initiatives and enrich the development and well-being of youth countywide.

To round out the list of 2015 honorees, Eris Thomas, CEO of Coral Gables Executive Physicians, will receive this year’s “Charles ‘Bebe’ Rebozo Humanitarian” award, the most cherished by the club recognizing an individual or family who has shown overwhelming support, leadership and dedication to the organization and its children.

Through her active participation and seat on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami- Dade Executive Board, Thomas plays an integral role in the success of the local clubs, not only by means of funds raised, but also by continuous relationship building and word-of-mouth awareness on the clubs behalf.

Together with her husband, Dr. Robert Thomas, the couple hosts an annual “thank you” reception for their clients of which 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to Boys & Girls Club of Miami- Dade. Last year, the couple chaired the 2014 “Wild About Kids” gala which raised over $310,000 for the clubs.

In anticipation of the event, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade invite the community to learn more about its mission, cause and vast impact its programs have on the future of local youth. This year’s “Wild About Kids” gala will be a night to remember including youth performances, silent auction items and surprise guests all followed by an after-party until 2 a.m. For sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, in-kind donations and tickets for this year’s event, individuals and companies can contact the director of Special Events & Development, Kati Foley, at 305-446-9910, ext. 30, or by email at kfoley@bgcmia.org.

For more information About The Boys & Girls Clubs, visit www.bgcmia.org.

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