Teams prepare for the big challenge

By John Edward Smith….

South Miami Mayor Philip K. Stoddard (right) is joined at the practice lane by former mayor & chamber president Mary Scott Russell and Maria Stout-Tate, Director of South Miami Park & Recreation Department.

Sponsors and teams gathered at Splitsville for the King Pins Challenge Pre-Event Party on Sunday, February 20. And just four weeks hence, on Sunday, March 20, thirteen teams will be competing for the King Pins Challenge Trophy awarded to the team that raises the most funds for the South Miami Drug-Free Coalition.

The King Pins Challenge brings together our civic and business leaders, law enforcement and area high school students for an afternoon of family fun and entertainment. Miami Heat’s Tim Hardaway and his wife Yolanda will serve as Honorary King Pins Co-Chairs for this third annual event.

Funds raised at the King Pins Challenge go to benefit the work of the South Miami Drug-Free Coalition, which is sponsored by Informed Families. Coalition director Margaret Sotham thanked those attending stating that she is “very proud of the South Miami community and its leadership for taking on the King Pins Challenge, and the challenge to make our community a safer place to raise our children. The money raised will support efforts to reduce access to alcohol and other drugs, raise awareness in the community and change behaviors so that fewer kids are using these dangerous substances.”

In speaking to the group, Tim Hardaway noted “together, we can continue to develop programs and support community-based organizations that address the educational, health and socio-economic needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities.”

The King Pins Challenge is presented by Splitsville and SoMiMAG, and sponsored in part by Johnny Rockets, South Miami Hospital, Red/Sunset Merchants Association, First National Bank of South Miami, County Commissioner Carlos A. Gimenez, Police Benevolent Association, South Miami Rotary, Community Newspapers and The Shops at Sunset Place. Additional sponsorship opportunities exist: please contact the South Miami Drug Free Coalition at 305.856.4037.

The community is invited to join in the fun of “The Challenge” on Sunday, March 20, hosted at Splitsville in The Shops at Sunset Place. Spectator tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased online at or by phone at 305.856.4037. Tickets include the buffet and non-alcoholic beverages.

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