Tag Archive | "special olympics"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

All-STAR Buddies hold basketball event

Posted on 25 April 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The City of Deerfield Beach Parks & Recreation Department’s All-STAR Buddies program in partnership with the Special Olympics recently hosted the inaugural “Choose to Include” Basketball Event at the Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex.

Kenny Lawrence, who runs the special needs All-STAR Buddies programs for the City of Deerfield Beach, said the one-day event empowered athletes of all ages and abilities to engage in a fun, safe environment with an emphasis on sportsmanship. Approximately 150 people throughout the county attended the event.

Throughout the day, special needs athletes were helped by Buddies in the games and, at the conclusion, every special player received a Special Olympics Florida T-shirt and a medal.

With the central theme of breaking down social barriers for individuals with special needs, the event included basketball games, a family festival, along with a dance.

“The concept of unified programming allows for individuals who don’t have a disability compete alongside those who do,” Lawrence pointed out. “This concept helps promote unity and acceptance which is what the city’s program, All-STAR Buddies, was based around.”

The city also presented Buddy Benches at this event. The Buddy Benches were created as a part of an anti-bully movement the city has adopted. 

“Children from each of the city’s aftercare programs decorated these benches,” Lawrence said. “The benches will eventually be installed throughout the city and neighboring schools, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The bench being installed at Stoneman Douglas was created as a memorial bench in honor of the 17 who lost their lives last year.” 

“I created the idea of this event as a way to share with the community a program that I fell in love with while working with the Special Olympics over the last 12 years,” Lawrence said. “Outside of being a head coach for the Special Olympics, I am also a unified player on a basketball and volleyball team. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity over the years to work side by side by my idols and wanted to share this experience with everyone.”

Among those who attended the event was Lawrence’s close friend, Kevin Sutton, host of the Kevin Sutton Show for ESPN sports talk radio out of Orlando. Sutton and his family made the trip down from Orlando to spend the day with the kids and announce the basketball games.

Lawrence said the program known as All-STAR Buddies started August 2018.

“The program was created to be an all inclusive program designed to promote inclusion and acceptance for all participants,” he said. “The program allows for everyone to join regardless of having a disability or not and provides a safe non-judgmental environment that encourages socialization and understanding.”

Here’s a list of the programs All-STAR Buddies currently offers and their locations: basketball (Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex), soccer (Middle School Athletics Complex), track (Middle School Athletics Complex), kickball (Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex), photography (Hillsboro Community Center), fishing (Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier), art (Highlands Community Center), music (Teen Center), bowling (Strikes in Boca) and clay animation (Hillsboro Community Center).

Clay Animation is a class that brings clay to life using older cartoon techniques in creating videos out of individual still frames using cameras.

The city also offers S.T.R.E.A.M. (Constitution Park). This class offers a different themed project each week based off of the class’s abbreviated name. Week 1 – Science, Week 2 – Technology, Week 3 – Recreation, Week 4 – Engineering, Week 5 – Art, Week 6 – Math.

“These are six-week programs that run throughout the year,” Lawrence said. “Each class is based out of a different location throughout the city. It was designed this way to provide the All-STAR Buddy programming throughout the city.”

Currently, the city is working on its summer camp programs which start June 10 and will run through Aug. 2. This summer’s All-STAR Buddy summer camp program will run Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“This will be the first time the city has offered a full camp for individuals with special needs,” Lawrence added. “As for future programming, we are planning on adding several new programs to the year as well, including future ‘Choose To Include’ events.”

For more information on the Buddies programs, contact Lawrence via e-mail at klawrence@deerfield-beach.com.

Comments Off on All-STAR Buddies hold basketball event

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BUSINESS BEAT: Companies that care: Giving back locally

Posted on 13 September 2018 by LeslieM

By Karen Lustgarten

Hundreds of companies headquartered in our readership area generously give back to their communities, making them better places to live and work. Here’s a peek at three in different cities representing different industries with a commitment to different causes.

JM Family Enterprises, Deerfield Beach

For more than 30 years, children and families in Deerfield Beach have been the recipients of many corporate giving programs financed by JM Family Enterprises, the privately-owned diversified automotive company founded by Jim Moran. Seeing a need in the neighborhood, JM Family built and funds a Boys & Girls Club with staffed after school programs, along with a forthcoming teen center to provide activities and education addressing teen needs.

Down the street is the Youth Automotive Training Center that JM built to help young people learn everything about the automotive industry — business, selling, fixing and maintaining cars. Here school drop-outs can receive their GED, life skills, job skills training and job placement upon graduation. Several have been hired at JM Lexus.

Along with other community partners, last year JM Family helped build a KaBOOM! playground in a day at the Hillsboro Community Center. The company hosts an annual Teachers Tote Supplies Giveaway there. Teachers from local schools pick up tote bags filled with school supplies they need. JM also ships reams of paper to their schools. In addition, they give away supplies at a BSO event for Back to School.

Said Kim Bentley, assistant vice president of Corporate Philanthropy, “We are continuing Jim Moran’s philosophy about sharing time, talent and resources.”

Bluegreen Vacations Corporation, Boca Raton

A timeshare properties company headquartered in Boca Raton, Bluegreen is a division of parent company BBX Capital, which has supported Florida charities since 1994 with direct funding, in-kind donations and paid employee-volunteer hours.

Bluegreen extends its “share happiness” motto to local charities helping children and families, and education causes, says Lois Marino, director of Community Engagement for BBX Capital & Retail Brand. For example: How do students in grades K-12 learn about survival business skills and workforce readiness? Bluegreen is a major donor to the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s Golden Bell Education Foundation, a non-profit that administers educational programs promoting business skills and workforce readiness in the Boca Raton public schools.

Where can families dealing with a crisis or serious illness get a break? At a retreat. Bluegreen partners with the non-profit Deliver the Dream to provide three-day/two-night accommodations at its timeshare properties for families and volunteers participating in the non-profit’s retreat program.

Other community non-profits Bluegreen and BBX Capital have longtime commitments to include Junior Achievement, Boca Helping Hands, Cystic Fibrosis and JDRF. (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).

Share Happiness” is not just Bluegreen’s motto, says Marino, “It is in the DNA of our commitment to social responsibility and philanthropy, too.”

Danto Builders, Ft. Lauderdale

For Craig and Debbie Danto, their company giving program for people with special abilities is personal. Debbie’s grandfather founded an organization in Ohio to help his son with Down’s Syndrome partake in work, sports and social skills development.

I remember how much joy my uncle got out of it,” said Debbie. “He was so innocent and sweet, such a loving, beautiful person who enjoyed all the activities.”

Her parents continued the program as it grew and now Debbie and her husband, who’s nephew also has Down’s Syndrome, are carrying on the family tradition and legacy locally. The couple are honorary board members of Special Olympics, and board members of the Florida Design and Construction Professionals. Danto proposed to the professional organization that members approve a fundraiser for Special Olympics.

Oct. 2 will mark the 5th Annual Florida Design & Construction Professionals/Danto Builders Special Olympics Big Bad BBQ. The all-you-can-eat fundraiser with 600 attending, including Special Olympians, is held at the Danto Builder’s parking lot from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Everything is donated or sponsored by local businesses: food, wine, beverages, grills, music, door prizes, auction items. Last year, the event raised $35,000 for 6,100 Special Olympics athletes and 23 year-round sports programs. The goal this year is $50,000, says Danto. A local family’s legacy grows on.

Karen Lustgarten is president of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video, PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She founded a newspaper in Washington, DC, was a syndicated columnist and a best-selling author. www.multimediaworks.com

Comments Off on BUSINESS BEAT: Companies that care: Giving back locally

Tags: , , ,

Pompano girl wins medal in Special Olympics

Posted on 20 June 2012 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach’s Christa Osmond, 17, earned a gold medal at the Florida Special Olympics State Equestrian Sports Championships held in Tampa recently at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

Osmond, who received a gold medal in dressage and a silver medal in the barrels event, was one of five athletes, all students in the therapeutic horseback riding program at Horses and the Handicapped of South Florida, based in Coconut Creek, to return home with a medal.

Making the trip to Tampa, along with student athletes, were coaches Alison Plaza, Horses and the Handicapped’s program director; Katie Baker, volunteer manager and riding i n s t r u c t o r ; and Mandy DeBord, executive director of Horses and the Handicapped of South Florida. Also making the trip were four horses: Jose, Hallory, Fred and Fire.

“We very proud of all our s t u d e n t a t h l e t e s w h o worked very hard to prepare for the state equestrian championships,” DeBord said. “They showed dedication and determination and were very impressive.”

The trip for the team was made possible through the support of veterinarian Dr. Jerry Rudnick and several volunteers. For more information about Horses and the Handicapped of S o u t h F l o r i d a , v i s i t www.handhmagic.org.


Sunshine Senior Softball League seeks players

The Sunshine Senior Softball League of Pompano Beach seeks players 55 years of age and older to participate in their Spring/Summer League. Games are on Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at Pompano 4-Field Complex on NE 10 Street in Pompano. Applications and information are available online at www.leaguelineup.com/sssfl or by calling Bart Grillo at 954-421-6892.


Soccer Camp

Simply Soccer will hold three additional summer camps in the city of Pompano. The dates are June 25- June 29, July 23-27 and August 13-17. Registration will be held at the Pompano Beach Civic Center. The soccer camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-14, of all skill levels, who will be taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting. There are three sessions each day, from 9 a.m.to 3 p.m. ($100 weekly); extended hours camp is available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $125 each week; a Tiny Tot program is offered for kids ages 5 and 6

from 9 a.m. to noon for $55 weekly. Campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. For more information,

call the city of Pompano Parks and Recreation Department at 954-786-4119 or 954-786-4111.

Comments Off on Pompano girl wins medal in Special Olympics

Tags: , , , ,

Special Olympics Torch run comes thru Lighthouse Point, Deerfield today

Posted on 07 April 2011 by LeslieM

Join Special Olympics athletes and approximately 300 law enforcement officers from agencies throughout Broward County as they take part in a 32-mile countywide torch relay to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics. The Special Olympians will run with the Olympic torch at the beginning and at the end of run and will then celebrate the completion of the run with a fun picnic at Dan Witt Park, located at 4521 NE 22nd Avenue in Lighthouse Point

The Broward Law Enforcement Torch Run is part of a 1,400-mile statewide relay that will culminate at the opening ceremonies of the Florida Special Olympics Summer Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista on May 13, 2011.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office is also asking for support and sponsorship from local businesses and organizations. All contributions will go directly to Special Olympics programs in Broward County. The goal this year is $75,000. Anyone interested in making a charitable donation is asked to contact Ms. Linda Mills at Special Olympics Broward at (954) 262-2150. For additional information concerning the run, please call Broward County Torch Run Coordinator, BSO Lt. Colonel Tim Gillette at (954) 321-4895.

8:30 am Start at A1A and Miami-Dade/Broward County line in Hallandale Beach

9:00 am A1A and Hollywood Boulevard

9:30 am A1A and Dania Beach Boulevard

10:10 am Federal Highway and Eller Drive (North of Griffin)

10:30 am 17th Street Causeway west of bridge

11:00 am A1A and Terramar

11:20 am Federal Highway and 13th Street

11:40 am Federal Highway and Oakland Park Boulevard

12:00 pm Federal Highway and NE 55th Street (North of Commercial)

12:15 pm McNab Road (SE 15th Street) and Federal Highway

12:30 pm Atlantic Boulevard and Federal Highway

12:45 pm Federal Highway and NE 24th Street

1:00 pm Federal Highway and NE 39th Street

1:20 pm Federal Highway and SE 10th Street

1:45 pm Broward/Palm Beach County line (followed by picnic at Dan Witt Park in Light House Point)

Comments Off on Special Olympics Torch run comes thru Lighthouse Point, Deerfield today

Advertise Here
Advertise Here