Community celebrates Family Day with camaraderie, music, food and prizes

By Jeff Toby….

The crowd had a great time.

More than 80 parents, kids, grandparents and others enjoyed a meal together at the Gibson-Bethel Community Center on Family Day, Monday, Sept. 27. Part of a national Family Day Celebration, the event was sponsored by the South Miami Drug- Free Coalition, South Miami Weed & Seed, Informed Families, The Non-Violence Project and the City of South Miami Parks and Recreation Department. An annual event, Family Day is designed to remind parents of the importance of eating together as a family. Research shows that children who dine often with their parents or grandparents are far less likely to use alcohol or drugs. Families attending the Community Center event enjoyed Power Pizza, Chipotle burritos and Publix desserts as well as music, giveaways, door prizes and great conversation.

Bringing together business, health care, government, parents, youth, prevention providers, law enforcement, educators and others to reduce alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use, the South Miami Drug-Free Coalition is sponsored by Informed Families, a nonprofit organization founded in 1982 with the mission of helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug-free (

Focusing on parents, Informed Families educates, involves and empowers parents to work together to set boundaries and monitor their children’s behavior to prevent underage drinking, substance abuse and other harmful behaviors.

South Miami Weed and Seed is a community- based, multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention and neighborhood restoration. It brings together federal, state and local crime-fighting agencies, social service providers, representatives of the public and private sectors, prosecutors, business owners and neighborhoods in a collaborative effort to create safe environments, free of crime and drug use (

The Non-Violence Project was founded in 1996 with a mission to utilize nonviolent education and advocate for policy change to prevent youth violence. The organization has impacted the lives of 700,000 youth and their families over the years through a variety of in-school and after-school programs at no charge to participants (

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