Local businesses team up for The Challenge Weekend, May 4 – 5

Local businesses team up for The Challenge Weekend, May 4 - 5Shoppers and diners in South Miami will score the best bargains and the best Sunday brunches during The Challenge Weekend, to be held Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5. The weekend of events benefits the South Miami Drug- Free Coalition and includes a sidewalk sale on Saturday, a benefit brunch and a parent education program on Sunday, followed by the “crowning” weekend event – The King Pins Challenge V, an annual bowling fundraiser hosted by SPLITSVILLE and SOMI Magazine.

During The Challenge Weekend, shoppers can stroll South Miami’s Town Center to visit retail shops and boutiques on Sunset Drive, Red Road and SoMi’s tree-lined side streets to score great bargains at the SoMi Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, May 4, from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. On Sunday from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, selected area restaurants are participating in a benefit brunch. Guests wishing to support the coalition should tell their server that they are there for the benefit brunch, and a portion of their bill will be donated to the group. For a list of participating merchants and restaurants,visit www.kingpinschallenge.org and click on “The Challenge Weekend.”

Local businesses team up for The Challenge Weekend, May 4 - 5South Miami Drug-Free Coalition Director Margaret Sotham said the business community’s embrace of The Challenge Weekend is sign of their commitment to a healthy community. “It’s wonderful that our shops and restaurants are coming together to support the activities of the coalition and the mission of keeping kids safe, healthy and drug free.

As residents, property owners and businesspeople with a stake in the health of South Miami, their leadership sets a standard for others to follow.”

On Sunday afternoon, former Miami Dolphins ‘Perfect Season’ team member Eugene “Mercury” Morris will talk with parents about the challenges of raising kids, his own life experiences, and the value of his personal growth and development as a parent. A running back on the 1972 undefeated team, Morris played in three Pro Bowls and three Super Bowls, winning Super Bowls VII and VIII before serving time in prison for a cocaine conviction. Since his release, he has devoted his life to motivating kids to make healthy choices.

Morris will be interviewed by renowned local marriage and family therapist Walt Liebman, who is also the father of South Miami Vice Mayor Josh Liebman. Parents and families can hear Morris from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 5 at the Parenting Challenge Dialogue, to be held at The Shops at Sunset Place/Urban Outfitters entrance. Reservations are suggested, call 305.856.4037. In recognition of the 17-0 season, the first 17 attendees will receive a signed copy of his 1988 Book “Against the Grain.”

Local businesses team up for The Challenge Weekend, May 4 - 5

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and wife
Lourdes pose with former Miami Heat player Tim
Hardaway (center).

The Challenge Weekend grew out of The King Pins Challenge, an annual tradition in South Miami since 2009.

This bowling tournament is a family fun event that brings civic and business leaders, law enforcement, high school students and professional athletes to the 13 lanes at SPLITSVILLE to raise funds for the South Miami Drug-Free Coalition.

The coveted King Pins Challenge trophy is awarded to the team that raises the most funds. Now in its fifth year, The King Pins Challenge is the principle annual fundraising event for the coalition. Teams from Chamber South, City of South Miami, First National Bank of South Miami, South Miami Hospital, South Miami Police Department, South Miami Police Explorers, South Miami Senior High and TeamFootWorks will compete at SPLITSVILLE Luxury Lanes, which has hosted the event since its inception.

Honorary Co-Chairs for this fifth annual event are Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and wife Lourdes, and NBA Hall of Fame Finalist Tim Hardaway and wife Yolanda. They will be joined by members of the Miami Dolphins Perfect Season team, other NBA celebs and current NFL players. Event Sponsors include: Chamber South, Informed Families, Mack Cycle & Fitness, Police Benevolent Association, Shops at Sunset Place, SOMI Magazine, South Miami Hospital, South Miami Rotary, SPLITSVILLE and TeamFootWorks. Community Newspapers is media sponsor for the event.

The South Miami Drug-Free Coalition was founded in 2002 by Informed Families and a dedicated group of community members from education, business, media, health care, law enforcement, civic and volunteer organizations, parents, youth and others to create a safe, healthy and drug-free community.

The coalition has devoted more than $1 million to the community in drug-prevention resources and programs for parents and youth. Activities are based on scientifically proven strategies for reducing substance use, and include a student-led underage drinking campaign at South Miami Senior High, Project Sticker Shock to remind adults not to purchase alcohol for minors, an afterschool arts program designed to teach theatre skills while building self-esteem and resistance to peer pressure to use alcohol and drugs, and Youth Dialogue Day, when students join leaders from business and government to let their voices be heard on issues of concern to youth. Support for the coalition comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the South Miami Police Department/City of South Miami, Informed Families, Challenge Weekend sponsors and individual donors.

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