More than 400 Greater Miami business and philanthropic leaders gathered at the Coral Gables Country Club recently for the 2014 Heart & Star Award dinner to honor Arthur Hertz and Candy and Rodger Popkin. The event raised $210,000.
Hosted by the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami (CSCGM), Hertz received the Champion of the Community Spirit Award for his outstanding philanthropic and community leadership; the Popkins were given the Champions of the Human Spirit Award as a cancer survivor and caregiver.
“Arthur, Candy and Rodger are deserving honorees who have done so much for cancer awareness, our medical community, our youth and for Miami-Dade County in general,” said executive director Danielle Spiegelman. “We are grateful and proud to have them as our Heart & Star honorees, as well as supporters and advocates of the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami.”
For more than 12 years, CSCGM has helped people impacted by cancer improve quality of life by providing free educational and emotional support. Since inception, the mission has been to help with researchbased psycho-social services. Since 2002, CSCGM has helped more than 23,000 patients and family members.
Hertz was given the 2014 Champion of the Community Spirit Award for his tireless efforts to unite others towards a greater good for the community. He has created a better life for the people of Miami with more than 60 years of service. Some of the organizations he has been involved with are: the University of Miami Board of Trustees, UM Hospital Board of Governors, American Jewish Committee, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Orange Bowl Committee, UM Alumni Association, Dade County Public Health Trust and the Jackson Memorial Hospital Foundation. Hertz has had an extraordinary impact on the Miami- Dade community and his decades of dedication to helping others makes him a model recipient for the award.
Candy and Rodger Popkin each received the Champion of the Human Spirit Award. Rodger was honored as a cancer survivor and Candy as a caregiver. In 2012, Rodger was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
That summer, he received many rounds of chemotherapy in North Carolina with Candy by his side, all while transitioning ownership of Blue Star Camps to the third generation of owner operators. In October 2012, he underwent a stem cell transplant at the UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is now cancer free and requires no follow-up treatment.
The Popkins have used this cancer experience to advance awareness and advocacy for those working to support the unique needs of cancer patients and families. Rodger has served as a national ACAboard member and president and is the recipient of the organization’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, as well as the Association of Independent Camps’ highest honor, the Speedy Altman Award. Candy and Rodger are also the recipients of the Eleanor Ells and Golden Quill Awards.
A brief and touching tribute was given for the 2013 Champion of the Human Spirit Award, Briana Vega, who recently died after a two-year battle with leukemia. CBS4 news anchor Cynthia Demos served as mistress of ceremonies for the event. Committee leadership included Carmen and John Arasi, Chanin and Adam Carlin, Maria Padron, Carmen and Arnie Perez, Aida and Joseph Roisman, Lourdes Rosales, Debra and Jeff Schottenstein, Edie and Firth Spiegel, Carole Wright, Joyce and Humberto Vega, and Pam and Dick Zakheim.
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