Elected leaders, educators and business leaders from the greater Aventura community recently enjoyed a presentation from David Lawrence, Jr., the former Miami Herald publisher and now a leading advocate for early childhood education. Lawrence shared his memoir, A Dedicated Life: Journalism, Justice and a Chance for Every Child, at LEVEL THREE venue, while also discussing the need to prepare children for school and life.
Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman introduced Lawrence, saying, “It’s not often you can introduce your real-life hero, and my real-life hero is Dave Lawrence! He has been a force for good since he arrived. Since he retired from the Miami Herald, he has spent his life giving back to children. He has made all our lives a better place and enriched all of us with his integrity and work ethic.
Dave Lawrence is one of the most special human beings I know.”
After more than 35 years in journalism, Lawrence identified a need in the area of early childhood development and retired in 1999 to become the founder of the Children’s Movement of Florida. In 2002, he led the campaign for The Children’s Trust and continues to be a driving force for the organization, which partners with the community to plan, advocate for and fund strategic investments that improve the lives of Miami-Dade children and their families.
Lawrence’s new memoir recounts his award-winning journalism career and his “newly energized purposefulness; that every child have a real chance to succeed.”
“Dave Lawrence is a true visionary and it was a privilege to host him at LEVEL THREE,” said Anabel Llopis, Senior Director of Sales & Marketing for Aventura Mall. “His life has been a fascinating journey and his dedication to such a vital cause inspires us all.”
Aventura Commissioners Dr. Linda Marks and Gladys Mezrahi and former Aventura Vice Mayor Billy Joel were present, joining a select group of business and educational leaders from throughout South Florida.
Added Lisa Blair, President of the Miami-Dade Family Learning Partnership, “The impact Dave Lawrence has had on the early education landscape in Florida is immeasurable. This year, the inaugural VPK class is graduating high school. Dave’s vision, mission and leadership have paved the way providing a strong start for all Florida children.”
Event partners included Aventura Mall, LEVEL THREE, The Children’s Movement of Florida, Miami-Dade Family Learning Partnership and the Aventura Marketing Council/Chamber of Commerce.