For Immediate Release
October 09, 2013
Contact Information

Florida Memorial University
(305) 626-3600

(BPRW) Florida Memorial University Celebrates an Evening with Miami Heat Champion Dwyane Wade and Raises More than $280,000 in Scholarships

(BLACK PR WIRE) (October 9, 2013) – It was truly a championship night as Florida Memorial University (FMU) celebrated its 12th Annual Scholarship Gala on September 27th. More than 600 guests enjoyed an evening with three-time champion Dwyane Wade of the Miami HEAT and Wade’s World Foundation. Mr. Wade addressed the audience concerning his upbringing, stating that he “didn’t reach high enough.” FMU also experienced a championship, as the university exceeded its fundraising goal by more than $30,000, raising over $280,000 including both cash and in-kind contributions. Proceeds from this event will be used to provide scholarships for FMU students.

The event, which took place at the Bonaventure Resort and Spa in Weston, Florida, recognized and honored several outstanding community and business leaders who have had a significant impact in helping to advance the mission of the university. This year’s slate of honorees included:

The Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust, recognized as the Carrie P. Meek Philanthropist of the Year for its generous contributions to help FMU purchase its first airplane. Aviation is a flagship program at FMU and the plane is used to help aviation students get the practical, hands-on training they need to become pilots. George Weaver received the award on behalf of the Trust.

Thompson Hospitality, Inc. was named Corporation of the Year for its partnership with the university and its ongoing financial, in-kind, and volunteer support to FMU. Mr. Warren Thompson, President and CEO received the award on behalf of Thompson Hospitality.

Commissioner Barbara Jordan received the Community Leader of the Year Award for her tireless efforts and leadership in supporting FMU. Her efforts have made it possible for FMU to receive a $5 million grant from the county to design and build a new Wellness and Athletic Center; slated to come online in 2015.

Alumna Evelyn Bethune of Tampa received the Alumni of the Year Award in recognition of her ongoing leadership as President of the Tampa chapter of the FMU National Alumni Association and her efforts in the recruitment of students to FMU.
The Links, Inc. of Dade County, FL received the Volunteer of the Year Award for their ongoing commitment to mentoring FMU students and providing financial support.

Reverend Wayne Lomax, Pastor of The New Fountain of Life Church in Miami Gardens, was named the Trustee of the Year for his dedication and commitment to advancing the mission of FMU.

This event would not have been possible without the generous support of numerous sponsors who have demonstrated a commitment to helping FMU students achieve their dream of a college education. FMU expresses sincere appreciation to the Founder (Lead) Sponsors Dr. Gerald and Mrs. Mary Glass and D. Stephenson Construction, Inc.; Platinum Sponsor The Miami Times; Gold Sponsors Complete Financial Services, Nyarko Architectural Company/Rosser International, and Sant La Hatian Neighborhood Center. The Silver Sponsors include: American Airlines, AT&T of Florida, Baptist Health South Florida, Becker & Poliakoff, Burger King, Port Miami, Ryder Corporation, Stephen Greenberg & Associates, Inc., Sonshine Communications, Thompson Hospitality Inc., and Waste Management, Inc. FMU also expresses its appreciation to many others who sponsored tables, provided in-kind contributions for the Silent Auction or donated items and services to promote the event.

FMU also recognizes the contributions and efforts of the volunteers including over 40 FMU students, the FMU Ambassador Chorale directed by Professor Mel White, and Jazz Band led by Professor and Musician Melton Mustafa.

Other volunteers included Honorary Host Senator Oscar Braynon, the event co-chairs Ms. Yolanda Cash Jackson, Esquire and Shareholder with Becker and Poliakoff, and Mr. Ricardo Forbes, Corporate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer with Baptist Health South Florida.

The Volunteer Fundraising Committee members include: Ms. Michele Dreseris Carribean Today Newspaper, Mr. Jose Fuentes, Becker & Poliakoff P.A., Ms. Christie Grays, Baptist Health South Florida, Ms. Ramona Phillips Hall, Phillips Consulting Group, Mr. Marcell Haywood, Dirt Pros, Inc., Ms. Gepsie Metellus, Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center, Mrs. Bernadette Morris, Sonshine Communications, Ms. Olga Ramudo, Express Travel, Ms. Victoria Villalba, Victoria & Associates Career Services, Inc., Ms. Cynthia Curry, FMU and Dr. Adriene B. Wright, FMU.

The FMU Planning Committee led by Dr. Wright, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, includes: Mr. Keith Allen, Dr. Dawn Batson, Mrs. Yvonne Bendross, Dr. Martha Dawson, Mr. Rodney Dickey, Ms. Shannon Dixon, Mr. J. Walter Hale, Ms. Athena Jackson, Mrs. Dolores Lewis, Mr. Melton Mustafa, Mrs. Joan Redd, Mr. Lorenzo Reed, Ms. Cassandra Ameena Shaheed, and Mr. Ed Williams.

This event is one of the FMU’s key fundraisers held annually to support the general scholarship fund. Over 90 percent of FMU students receive some form of financial assistance and over 65 percent are first-generation college students. Proceeds from this event will be used to provide scholarship support to students, which is necessary to help them complete their education.

For more information on Florida Memorial University, visit their website at or call (305) 626-3600.