2000 Participants Took Steps Against Drunk Driving for Annual Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale on April 26, 2015

More than $185,000 Raised; Donations Still Being Accepted

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – (April 30, 2015) – On the morning of Sunday, April 26, 2015, over 2000 South Floridians of all ages and fitness levels gathered at Huizenga Plaza under the bright lights of the Bank of America building for the fifth annual Walk like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K. The Bank of America building showed its support for the cause by using red lights.

Although the runners with the fastest times were awarded, the whole South Florida community won a victory in the campaign against drunk driving by spreading awareness and raising more than $185,000, which will be used to fund local awareness and education programs. Donations can be made through June 1, 2015 at www.walklikemadd.org/fortlauderdale.

Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash is MADD’s annual signature walk, which takes place in over 60 cities in the U.S., including Fort Lauderdale. Since it was established in 2011, Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K has raised more than $600,000 to date for MADD Broward & Palm Beach.

Former WTVJ-NBC 6 anchor and longtime MADD supporter Tony Segreto emceed the event, which featured VIP supporters and speakers including the event’s Honorary Chairman Colonel Alvin Pollock, City of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, and Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca. Local singing sensation Julia Dale took to the stage to perform the National Anthem and the popular tribute band 2 of Us got the crowd moving with a playlist of Beatles’ classics. Many participants wore team shirts depicting images of victims of drunk driving and carried signs asking for justice and awareness.

Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash 5K Fort Lauderdale Chairperson Heather Geronemus shared with participants her touching story about her personal connection with MADD. Her father, Dr. Robert Perry Geronemus, was struck and killed by a drunk driver in 2009.

“I’m incredibly proud that MADD Broward has become one of the largest and fastest growing MADD 5Ks in the country. What was once a community of primarily victims has grown to become a community of thousands of supporters, sponsors, fundraisers and volunteers who are there to take care of people they don’t even know,” says Geronemus. “This is a 100 percent preventable crime and we will continue to fight to create a community where people can live safely.”

Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash 5K sponsors included title sponsor Ultimate Software, presenting sponsor Westway Towing, La Croix, ADT Always Cares, Yellow Cab, SunTrust, Festival Flea Market, Walmart and Broward Sheriff’s Office.

About MADD
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every nine minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. In South Florida, the chapter’s annual Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash have raised more than $250,000 in three years (2011–2013). MADD’s Broward and Palm Beach chapters facilitate dozens of free events each year to educate youth and parents on the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

City of Pembroke Pines Breaks Ground on $60 Million Civic Center

Mayor Frank C. Ortis, City Officials, & Design/Build team of Cartaya & Associates/Stiles Construction “Dig” into the Future on May 4, 2015


On Monday, May 4, 2015 City of Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank C. Ortis, Vice Mayor Iris A. Siple, City Commissioners Angelo Castillo, Jay Schwartz, Carl Shechter, and City Manager Charles F. Dodge will break ground on the future site of the Pembroke Pines Civic Center, a 60 million dollar complex located in the city’s mid-town district.

As the second-largest city in Broward County, Pembroke Pines has invested in the planning and development of the complex for more than a decade to infuse the city with an urban energy. The multi-purpose complex will include commercial, cultural, and residential components that will serve as the centerpiece for City Center. The expansive center will feature entertainment venues, apartments, office/ retail space, restaurants, and a hotel on the 80 acre site near the intersection of Pines Boulevard and Palm Avenue.

Civic Center design plans include a new city hall, a 3,500-seat state-of-the art performance/ conference space, a stand-alone Commission Chambers, and the Frank C. Ortis Art Gallery and Exhibit Hall at City Center. The 11,000 square-foot, two story art gallery was named after Mayor Ortis in honor of his commitment to the cultural arts.

Pembroke Pines was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant for $50,000, and a $462,000 Tourist Development Tax Grant to develop and implement the inaugural event and building of the public plaza at Civic Center. The outdoor space which connects the facility with the surrounding communities will be used for multi-disciplinary performances and community engagement events.

“We are overjoyed that we can start building the future of Pembroke Pines,” said Mayor Ortis, who has served as mayor since 2004. “This is a great city to live and work in. The Civic Center will not only provide city services to our residents, but will also introduce exciting cultural and entertainment opportunities to the community-at-large.”


Monday, May 4, 2015
10–11:30 a.m.


10100 Pines Boulevard
Pembroke Pines, FL 33026


About City of Pembroke Pines

Named “One of the Best Cities to Live in America,” Pembroke Pines is home to over 160,000 residents. Its 28 landscaped parks throughout neighborhoods and public places enhance the City’s natural beauty. Pembroke Pines was named “2014’s Best Place for Hispanic Entrepreneurship” by WalletHub, and was ranked by Money magazine as #32 in the top 50 “Best Places to Live” 2014. Pembroke Pines is the only city in Florida included on the list.

Incorporated in 1960, Pembroke Pines is the recipient of many awards including “All-America City,” and is widely recognized for its commitment to arts and culture, outstanding schools, and the level of services it provides to the multi-generational and culturally diverse community. The city is forward thinking in an ever-changing world. For more information, call (954) 435-6500 or visit www.ppines.com.

Special Needs Group Donates Electric Wheelchair to ARC Broward Client

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. April 14, 2015 Continuing its dedication to serving the local community, Special Needs Group® (SNG) www.specialneedsgroup.com, the leading global provider of mobility and special needs equipment, has donated a Pride Mobility Jazzy Select® 6 power chair to Kerlene Petit-Homme, a client of ARC Broward. ARC Broward is a nationally accredited not-for-profit organization providing services to children and adults with autism, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities, as well as those with various other life challenges.

Petit-Homme is a 33-year-old resident of Sunrise and has been using a wheelchair since 2009. With a spirit of independence and determination, she made the decision to improve her life by raising money for her own power chair by selling her artwork for $5. Her ultimate goal was to improve her self-esteem and epitomize the ARC Broward mantra of “Enriching my Life.”

On Tuesday, April 14, SNG President and CEO Andrew J. Garnett surprised Petit-Homme with her own power chair at ARC Broward’s Sunrise location.

“We are very honored to have the opportunity to help Kerlene achieve her dreams of a more active lifestyle,” said Garnett. “As soon as we heard her story, we knew we could help create a fairytale ending for her. It is our mission to deliver an accessible world to everyone, regardless of their limitations.”

With SNG’s generous donation of the Pride Mobility Jazzy Select 6 power chair (retail price of $5,725), Petit-Homme will be able to continue her job as a computer data entry clerk and enjoy her role as the president of the Client Advocacy Team at ARC Broward. In addition to creating art, she enjoys spending time with the children at ARC Broward’s preschool.

About Special Needs Group, Inc.
Special Needs Group, Inc. is the leading global provider of wheelchair rentals, scooter rentals, oxygen rentals and other special needs equipment rentals. It also offers a broad range of special needs equipment for purchase. Recommended by the world’s major cruise lines for superior service and value, Special Needs Group also services guests visiting hotels, resorts, theme parks and convention centers. Special Needs Group is the only mobility and oxygen equipment supplier that is approved to deliver to all major cruise lines. Special Needs Group is the travel industry’s only total special needs travel solution. Special Needs Group provides service in 135 cities located in 30 countries. It is located at 302 NW 1st Street, Dania Beach, FL 33004. For more information, visit www.specialneedsgroup.com or call 1-800-513-4515.