News & Events
CCDH CONGRATULATES NEW PRESIDENT & CEO OF THE CHILDREN'S TRUST
Charles M. Auslander, attorney and long-time child advocate, has been appointed President and CEO of The Children's Trust after serving as its Chief Programs and Operations Officer for the past 7 years.
"We could not have made a better choice," said Maria Alonso, Chair of The Children's Trust Board of Directors. "The entire Board is confident in Charles' leadership and professionalism to steer The Children's Trust in its next decade as a key funder of children's services in Miami-Dade County and a leader in statewide public policy relating to children and families."
WELLS FARGO SELECTS CCDH AS 2013 PARTNER
CCDH was selected by Wells Fargo as its community partner to receive a $1,000.00 grant, establishing an ongoing partnership. Pictured are Widmark Fonseca, Store Manager, Wells Fargo-Red Road Branch and Helene Good, CCDH President & CEO.
Thank you Wells Fargo!
BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD FOUNDATION SUPPORTS CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES
CCDH is the proud recipient of a $7,500 Quality of Life grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation. Funds will support the health and well being of children and adults with disabilities. Grateful thanks to the Foundation!
CCDH DONORS PARTICIPATE IN GIVE MIAMI DAY
On 12/12/12 CCDH participated in Give Miami Day hosted by The Miami Foundation. This single day of community-wide charitable giving raised $900 for CCDH. Thanks to CCDH’s generous donors, the Miami Foundation and the Knight Foundation, who provided a cash match for all donations.
COLE, SCOTT, KISSANE PA becomes a CCDH Corporate Champion
Pictured: Partner,Trelvis D. Randolph, Esq. presents check to Helene J. Good, President and CEO Cole, Scott, Kissane PA is a full-service law firm with offices throughout Florida. Mr. Randolph specializes in litigation. The company is proud that its “reason for being is to help our clients achieve the resolutions they desire in the most honest, cost-effective and expedient fashion possible.” With a strong commitment to community service, CSK partner and long-time CCDH supporter Trelvis Randolph notes that, “We believe that it is both an ethical responsibility as attorneys and a moral obligation as human beings to give back to the communities in which we live and work."
THE CHILDREN’S TRUST SELECTS CCDH
to continue as its resource network for the special needs of children with disabilities
CCDH is proud to announce that The Children’s Trust has chosen it to continue operating the All Children Together (ACT) resource network. We are grateful for the recognition of our work during the past 7 years, and appreciate that it has been possible because of The Children’s Trust’s unwavering commitment that the programs it funds fully include children with disabilities. Learn more about training and capacity building activities promoting inclusion at http://ccdh.org/act/about_act. To watch a discussion about the project, view the May 12th broadcast of “Our Children”, by clicking here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKb_zzpCYlA
HEALTH FOUNDATION OF SOUTH FLORIDA FUNDS NEW INFORMATION SYSTEM
The Health Foundation of South Florida recently approved CCDH’s application for funding to upgrade its data base to better track and report on client and agency goals and outcomes. CCDH thanks the Health Foundation for its support of our work on behalf of children and adults with developmental and other disabilities. Over the years, it has supported CCDH’s growth and infrastructure with previous grants for strategic planning and technology upgrade
CCDH Guest Apperance on “OUR CHILDREN” TV Show...
CCDH President & CEO, Helene Good, discussed the All Children Together (ACT) Resource Network on the May 12 edition of "Our Children" - on Channel 7 - WSVN. Other topics included preventing the "summer slide" and how to access The Children's Trust-funded summer programs. The show can be viewed from The Children’s Trust website at: http://www.thechildrenstrust.org/our-children-tv-talk-show
1st Annual Inclusion In ACTion Awards
On Wednesday, February 29th, CCDH and its All Together (ACT) Resource Network for the special needs of children with disabilities and their families held its first annual Inclusion In ACTion Awards. The event recognized seven agencies that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to inclusion, and an additional 37 Trust-funded programs working as Individual Program Inclusion Plan partners. Modesto Abety-Gutierrez, President and CEO of The Children’s Trust, was the guest speaker for the event and presented the agencies with personalized awards.
Congratulations to the seven agencies that received a much deserved award.
To view event photos, visit CCDH’s new Facebook page
University Christian Children’s Center........Impacting Young Lives Award
Children’s Hour Early Childhood Program....................Open Arms Award
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden............................The Blooming Award
Shake a Leg, Miami....................................... Staying the Course Award
North Shore Park and Youth Center........................ Rookie of the Award
Family & Children Faith Coalition...................... Leading the Way Award
Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts Academy.........Mind, Body and Spirit Award
8th Annual CCDH Poker Tournament
Sunday, February 5, 2012
In 2004, after spending 22 weeks in a wheelchair recovering from surgery, Michael Gray, a Palmetto Middle School student, started a poker tournament to raise money for wheelchair repairs. Three years ago, when he went off to college, the reigns were handed over to the Morrison brothers (Brian, 13 and Jay, 11) and they haven't looked back. This year, Jared Heller (age 14) joined them. Jared, heavily involved with B'nai B'rith Youth Organization (BBYO), brought dozens of his friends to the event.
The 2+ hour mock Texas Hold 'Em Tourney, held at Bet Shira Congregation on Sunday February 5, 2012, started with ten tables and progressively whittled down to one table with the best players. The winner, Palmetto Senior High School 9th grader, Tony Cai, took home the donated grand prize of a 32" flat-screen HDTV. During the event, there were raffles for dozens of prizes and a silent auction. Pizza, snacks and beverages were served, as were smiles and a good time.
The event drew people age 7-75. Jared Heller used Facebook, email and text messaging to promote the poker tournament. He was delighted to say that, "friends and family sent in donations even if they were unable to attend." He was "excited and happy that it turned out so well." Brian Morrison was pleased with the great turnout and amazing community support. Jay Morrison took great pride in setting up for the event and being part of announcing the raffle winners.
All three boys worked hard to get donations for the event. As usual, local businesses were glad to participate. Wagons West, Original Lots of Lox, Ruben's Cuban, House of Bagels, Alf's Golf Shop, Tutti Frutti, Subway, Anacapri, Oye Cuban Grill, Kings Bay Athletics, M Cycle Gym, Wayside Market and SoMi Fitness all chipped in.
Each year, the poker tournament sends its proceeds to the Community Committee for Developmental Handicaps (CCDH), who in turn use the money to fix wheelchairs for those who can't afford it. This year's event attracted more than 100 people and raised nearly $5000.
FALLS DENTAL CARE GROUP BRINGS SMILES
For the sixth consecutive year, the Falls Dental Care made the holidays a happier time for children and families to whom CCDH provides supports and services. Drs. Linda Yusman-Wirth, Beatriz Fraga-Davidson, and Marina Blay and their staff made holiday wishes come true for 20 families. Employees purchased a personalized gift for the child they chose from the list CCDH provided. CCDH thanks Falls Dental!
HISPANIC ART EXPRESSION
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez (left), Georgette Nahon, Community Liaison to Com. Martinez (right), and CCDH staff member Irene Ballart attended the the Hispanic Art Expressions 2011 Gallery night held on December 9, 2011.
2011 BREAKFAST FOR CHAMPIONS
CCDH recognized 17 honorees for their achievements at
CCDH's Annual Breakfast for Champions on October 18. Nearly 200 people shared the excitement and pride of this day.Each Champion was nominated by the CCDH member agency from which he or she receives supports and services. Recognition included a presentation about their accomplishments, a personalized medal, a financial award and other gifts.CCDH is grateful for the generosity of our Corporate Sponsors and donors. Congratulations, Champions!
CCDH HAS A NEW HOME . . .
CCDH is pleased to announce that it has relocated its offices to:
7990 SW 117 AVENUE
MIAMI, FLORIDA 33183
All other contact information remains the same. Please make a note of our new address.
A BLOOMING PARTNERSHIP WITH CCDH
Over the past several months, Fairchild has developed an important partnership with CCDH (formerly the Community Committee for Developmental Handicaps). This organization is a local coalition of community service providers, families, advocate and other public, private and governmental organizations. They work together to plan, provide and coordinate services to individuals with disabilities and those individuals' families. Through CCDH, members of Fairchild's education and visitor services teams have attended multiple training sessions on ways to better accommodate guests with special needs. Additionally, CCDH is providing ongoing consultation for education activities and program materials, and has even provided funding for supplies that will help us accommodate more students with varying abilities. For more information on CCDH, visit www.ccdh.org.
POKER EVENT RAISES $5,000 FOR KIDS WITH DISABILITIES.
The annual tournament was founded seven years ago by a 12-year-old for a community service project.
By Michelle Hammontree-Garcia
Special to The Miami Herald
Call, fold or kick.
These are decisions one makes when playing Texas Hold’em poker. The game may evoke images of men in a smoky room, drinking whisky and clutching cards with one goal in mind: winning the pot.
But this wasn’t the case Sunday during the seventh annual poker tournament for charity in Pinecrest’s Bet Shira congregation, which raised close to $5,000 for the Community Committee for Developmental Handicaps. Children as young as six years old played with their parents and grandparents.
Also making the multi-generational event memorable was the passing of the baton from the tournament’s founder, Michael Grey, 19, to Jay and Brian Morrison, who are 10 and 12.
Grey started the tournament as a community service project for his bar mitzvah in 2004. He chose to donate the funds from the charity tournament to the committee, which uses the funds to help disabled children repair and update their wheelchairs, because when he was 11 he spent close to a year in a wheelchair after reconstructive foot surgery.
In order to ride a Miami Dade school bus, wheel chairs must fit guidelines that require a certain size of chair, specific brakes and harnesses. Also, batteries need to be replaced every six months or so and can cost up to $600.
“Wheelchairs are like shoes. You grow out of them,” said Grey. “I wanted to make sure these children could attend school. It is a question of mobility and having the opportunity to attend class like anyone else.”
The Morrison boys stepped up to the plate as the organizers of the tournament when they heard Grey was off to the University of Florida to study accounting.
“We love poker and just wanted to help make a difference for less fortunate kids. I also hope others will learn from what we are doing and do the same,” said Brian, who attends George Washington Carver Middle School and is in the Spanish IB program.
Jay and Brian learned how to play poker when they were 4 and 5 years old from their grandfather, Eddie “Papa” Ginsburg. After finishing law school, Ginsburg played poker with his friends every Wednesday night for 40 years, so when he retired, playing poker with the boys was only natural.
“It’s an intellectual challenge for the boys and frankly, just a lot of fun,” said Ginsburg, who lives in Palmetto Bay. “They learned arithmetic early on. It teaches them to be serious about their decisions and how to foresee what cards other players may have.
”Close by the boy’s grandmother, Rita Ginsburg, added: “Jay taught me how to play.”
Cathy Berkowitz, the community liaison for community committee, is proud of Grey and how he turned a bar mitzvah project into an ongoing event that has helped countless disabled children attend school.
“He didn’t have to do it the second year and he didn’t have to find a family to keep the tournament going, after he left to college,” said Berkowitz. “Our organization wouldn’t be able to this without Michael. His tenacity is impressive.”
To date the tournaments have raised close to $20,000 for the CCDH.
Jennifer Press, a newbie to poker, attended the event with her son Joey Kravetz, 10, and daughter Rachael Kravetz, 11.
While playing next to Joey, Press said “I came to do a good deed, a mitzvah.” Rachael didn’t play but along with other girls her age, passed out refreshments, pizza and poker chips.
“It feels good to help less fortunate people. I am very lucky to be able to attend school and have nice things,” said Rachael, who is in the sixth grade at Gulliver Academy. “I know that one day you can have everything and the next you may lose it all. Kinda like poker.
CCDH STAFF MEMBER HONORED AS TOP PARTNER IN POLICYMAKING
Irene Ballart, CCDH’s Senior Family Support Coordinator, is a 2010 graduate of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s PARTNERS IN POLICYMAKING
Irene’s fellow graduates voted to award her the Alan C. Wesley Award in honor of “exemplary partnering and leadership”. “Participating in the Partners program was a wonderful opportunity for me,” said Ballart. “It gave me the opportunity to see how all the advocacy work I have done over my daughter’s lifetime fits into the bigger picture.” Irene’s daughter, Christine, has spina bifida. Having fought to insure her inclusion in public school classes, Chrissy is now a 23 year old student attending Miami-Dade College. Congratulations, Irene!
CCDH President and CEO, Helene J. Good, was awarded the Wilkie Ferguson Lifetime Achievement Award at the September meeting of the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (Florida ARF). The award is named in memory of the Honorable Wilkie D. Ferguson, a former United States District Court Judge. During the 1990’s, Judge Ferguson presided over landmark cases affirming the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities to receive needed services under the federal Medicaid program. “Judge Ferguson saw these class action law suits as a matter of civil rights for individuals with disabilities,” said Good. “His rulings not only helped thousands of Floridians, but became precedent-setting decisions that were used in similar suits throughout the United States. It is a truly humbling experience to be chosen for this award by the Florida ARF Council of Chairs – many of the members of which are the agency directors who had the courage to fight the State of Florida, two Governors, and an unresponsive bureaucracy."
Helene Good Honored by Family Central
Ms. Helene Good, CCDH's President and CEO was honored May 24th by Family Central.
Ms. Good received an advocacy award for those
committed to "changing children's lives for a lifetime". CCDH and Family Central have partnered on projects focusing on inclusion. Through its Trust-funded ACT (All Children Together) Project, CCDH has provided Family Central's Home Visitor and Center Based early education programs with staff training, technical assistance, and adaptive materials and supplies. The two organizations have also collaborated on a grant application. Keeping advocacy all in the family, we learned that Family Central's President, Barbara Weinstein, is the sister of our own long-time advocate and Board Member, Larry Forman.