These past two weeks have been a shining examples in various forms of educating and entertaining others. Sometimes the only way to get a message out is to literally put it out there.
Monday April 25th was Season 6 of Dancing with The South Florida Stars, held in the Epic Theatre at The Manor Complex. Ten couples competed to win the honor of first place. The evening was quite the variety of dance routines & styles proving everyone involved worked very hard. The couple who came in first place represented Rumors Bar. Proceeds support The WirldFoundation.org (formally The Brian Neal Fitness and Health Foundation). Additionally, this evening a few special people were honored. Our own photographer extraordinaire, “Pompano Bill,” was honored for “Making a Difference,” with a beautiful award which looks like a globe, for his tremendous contribution to the world. Other recipients included Chuck Panozzo, who received the “Game Changer” award and Orlando’s Parlement House owners Don Granatstein and Susan Unger received the 2016 Florida Making a Difference Award. It was truly a fun and heartwarming night for all!
Thursday April 28th, Broward House hosted Dining Out for Life 2016 (DOFL). In 1991, Dining Out for Life was created by an ActionAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia. Dining Out For Life is now produced in 60 cities throughout the United States and Canada. More than 3,000 restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds from this one special day of dining to the licensed AIDS service agency in their city. More than $4 million dollars a year is raised to support the missions of 60 outstanding HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout North America. With the exception of the annual licensing fee of $1,150, all money raised in these cities stays locally. This year, 18 different venues across Broward County participated by donating from 25% to 100% of their proceeds. Some of the participants had multiple locations. It was my fourth year as an Ambassador. A great event with truly delicious food and drink all around! This is a great way to support a cause that hits home to so very many. If you are interested in being involved in DOLF 2017 or would like additional information, contact Broward House (954) 522-4749.
Friday evening April 29th and Saturday April 30th, United Church of Christ Fort Lauderdale hosted the UCC State Wide Spring Gathering Conference. The subject of this year’s conference topic was “The Face of Human Trafficking: It’s Happening Here.” Defined by Department of Homeland Security “Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain.” Sessions during this weekend included The Church’s Response to Human Trafficking, A Global Perspective on Human Trafficking, The Face of Sex Trafficking, The Face of LGBTQ Trafficking, The Face of Labor Trafficking and Perspectives on Trafficking in the Fields. This ever-growing subject was also in the spotlight when featured as the cover story in last week’s Florida Agenda in an informative article by Richard Hack.
Aside from being a participant in one way or another at each of these events, I wanted to yet remind everyone again how so very, very important it is for all of us as individuals or businesses in our community it is to be involved. How to make a difference? In my opinion, you have to step up!
Yes, it can be time consuming. Many times I have personally said there just isn’t enough hours in the day. If you’ve done it before, you know how taxing it can be to all involved to put oy an event of any kind together. In my opinion, You have to step up!
Yes, it can be costly. Giving (back) 25 to 100% of a day’s proceeds can have a big effect on the bottom line of small business. Even as a participant, sometimes it can take a toll on our wallets. In my opinion, you have to step up!
Yes, there are a lot of life changing things in the world that not everyone may understand until it hits home, so we have to educate. In my opinion, you have to step up!
Yes, it’s an obligation. There is not always a monetary value to it, only rewards of many kinds. If some of you didn’t do it, who would?
I trust it will be YOU! In my opinion, you have to step up!
I leave you with this: “Always assuming that someone else will step up to the plate to help will leave a lot of people feeling helpless.” – Unknown
Rev. Joel S. Slotnick is an ordained Interfaith minister and full time digital court reporter. He can be found on Facebook and followed on Twitter.