News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
January 21, 2015
Media Contact:
Lauren Breckenridge
breckl@miamidade.gov
305-755-7973

Edith Torres
etorres@miamidade.gov
305-755-7862

Volunteers and Sponsors United to Commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. through Service Projects


(MIAMI, January 21, 2015) - The life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement inspired more than 500 volunteers to participate in the MLK Day of Service, on Saturday, January 17, at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Gwen Cherry Parks. The event was hosted by Miami-Dade Parks and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, in partnership with AARP, Cabot Creamery, Miami Dolphins Special Teams Driven by Chevy, Florida International University, and the Miami Dade College Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy.

After sign-in and breakfast provided by TDL International and Sweepy Snacks, Florida International University, in honor of its 50th anniversary, encouraged its faculty and students to take part in its 50-Community Service Hours incentive, setting the tone for the day reminding all in attendance of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous quote, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”.

Volunteers completed various beautification projects, including painting, planting, and cleaning, making a difference in two community parks.

Recreation centers in each park received a one-room makeover, courtesy of The Miami Dolphins Special Teams driven by Chevy. Volunteers painted the spaces in Miami Dolphins’ colors and added Dolphins-themed furnishings and decorative pieces, brightening the rooms for the children enrolled in the park’s after-school program.

The event concluded with a reflective ceremony featuring School Board Member and Civil Rights Activist, Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, former recipient of the Civil Rights Advocacy Award, presented by the Florida Commission on Human Relations.  In addition, Cabot Creamery made its first South Florida appearance with its “The Farmers’ Gratitude Grille,” that tours the nation providing lunches to thank volunteers for their service to the community.

“The 1200 farm families who own Cabot Creamery Cooperative are proud to support Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces, and all of the wonderful volunteers on this very special Martin Luther King Day of Service. We believe volunteerism makes us a better nation and we’re pleased to provide healthy meals to all the volunteers on this special occasion through our Farmers’ Gratitude Grille,” said Roberta MacDonald, Cabot Senior Vice President of Marketing.

For information on future volunteer projects at parks across the county, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Angie Gomez at 305-961-2781 or e-mail at angieg@miamidade.gov.

About The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade
The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, housed in Miami-Dade County’s Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces Department, is a 501 (c) 3 organization charged with fostering the recreational, educational, environmental and cultural life for the citizens of our community by enhancing, supporting and promoting programs within County Parks. The Foundation seeks to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of outstanding year-round park and recreation programs for citizens of all ages and abilities. For more information on the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, please visit www.liveaparklife.org.

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 34.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

About Cabot Creamery Cooperative
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Widely known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar,” Cabot is owned by the 1200 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. For more information on Cabot, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop.  Cabot Creamery Cooperative is the world’s first cheese maker and dairy cooperative to achieve B Corporation Certification, a validation of its attention to environmental and social impacts on stakeholders.

About Florida International University’s Center for Leadership and Service
Florida International University’s Center for Leadership and Service provides students with developmental and experiential opportunities that foster leadership and community involvement, grounded in values and moral purpose. Through leadership education, service learning, advocacy, and volunteerism, students will become active global citizens on campus, in their respective communities, and in the workplace.

About Miami Dolphins Special Teams
In 2010, South Florida ranked dead last in the nation in percentage of volunteers and volunteer hours per. To combat this problem, the organization created the Special Teams Program, Driven by Chevy, a volunteer group that offers hands-on services to communities and families in need, to partner with existing organizations on worthwhile social, civic and charitable programs and to support community efforts in times of emergency. For more information about Special Teams, please visit miamidolphins.com/specialteams or call 305-943-7900.

About Miami Dade College Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy
Miami Dade College’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy engages thousands of students in the community through service-learning. Days of service like the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is an extended opportunity and experience for the students to foster civic responsibility and conscious beyond the classroom setting.