Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade hosted its 12th Annual “Claws for Kids” presented by the Carmen Rebozo Foundation in memory of Judy Kramer at Joe’s Stone Crabs in Miami Beach on May 2. South Florida’s top community leaders, philanthropists and influencers were among the 266 guests who enjoyed delicious stone crabs and other signature menu items without the wait.
The event raised over $200,000 for Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s many positive programs and services at its six Clubs and sites combined, including its after school programs, homework assistance, computer training, social skills, dance, arts & crafts, professional mentoring and summer and athletic programs.
Five-time Emmy award-winning journalist and WSVN Channel 7 news personality Belkys Nerey was the Master of Ceremonies alongside Kostia Violin, who provided the entertainment. Supporters had the opportunity to win raffle prizes such as fine wines and liquors, restaurant and hotel gift cards and more. Guests also participated in Sponsor-a-Child where they pledged to donate to make a positive impact in the life of a child.
Mother and daughter duo, Lisa Mendelson and Lindsey Mendelson Pearson, graciously co-chaired this year’s event once again. Olga Guilarte was the Special Event Chair. “Claws for Kids” is held in memory of Judy Kramer, a longtime Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade Board member, who helped create the event and chaired it since its inception until her passing in February 2021.
This year’s event honored Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson with the 2023 “From the Heart Award.” Through her unwavering dedication and caring stewardship to Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, Congresswoman Wilson has made a positive impact on the lives of the Clubs’ youth members. Most recently, she generously provided $6.4 million in federal funding to support the Clubs’ expansion with the opening of its sixth Club, the Dr. Frederica S. Wilson Club at Skyway Elementary School, as well as building facilities and funding programs at the Gwen Cherry Club and Northwest Club.
Congresswoman Wilson proudly represents Florida’s 24th Congressional District, one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse districts in the nation and includes parts of northwest Miami-Dade and southern Broward counties. Congresswoman Wilson was formerly an educator, elementary school principal, community leader, school board member, state legislator and founder of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, awarding millions of dollars in college scholarships to help hundreds of young men achieve their dream of earning a college degree or post-secondary certification. Through her relentless advocacy, Congresswoman Wilson has earned a reputation as a “Voice for the Voiceless.” Her tenure in Congress, now in its seventh term, also has been marked by her signature spirit of unrelenting advocacy on behalf of the less fortunate.
“We are tremendously grateful for the unwavering support from all those who joined us for the 12th Annual ‘Claws for Kids’ to commemorate the life of Judy Kramer while enjoying Joe’s famous stone crabs. The successful event helped us continue to raise funds to serve the Clubs’ many positive programs, support the Capital Campaign to completely rebuild the Northwest Club into a state-of-the-art facility and expand the new sixth Club,” said Alex Rodriguez-Roig, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. “It was an honor to present Congresswoman Wilson with our 2023 ‘From the Heart’ award for her generous donation to fund the organization’s expansion to add a sixth Club and her ongoing commitment to making a difference in the lives of Miami-Dade area youth for generations to come.”
The Claws for Kids host committee included Bob Cuevas, Jackie Gonzalez, Lily Pardo, Rae Stein and Virginia Vich.
The 2023 Presenting Sponsor was the Carmen Rebozo Foundation. The Premier Claw Sponsors are Lisa and Victor Mendelson, Lindsey Mendelson Pearson and Ryan Pearson. The Jumbo Claw Sponsors were The Bernhardt Family, Margaret and Clint Gulley, The Miller Saointz Family and Ocean Bank. The Large Claw Sponsors were Allison and Andy Stuart, Bermont Gold, Eller-ITO, FPL and WSVN Channel 7. The wine and champagne were underwritten by the Bernhardt Family and AV was underwritten and provided by AV Concepts.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade
Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has been serving youth in the community since 1946. What once was a single building and site for boys has grown to six Clubs and sites combined serving thousands of boys and girls year-round, providing programs in the areas of character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, cultural arts and sports, fitness and recreation. Club staffing, initiatives, and programs are designed to inspire and enable area youth and provide them with the resources to succeed and share in the American Dream. For more information, please visit www.bgcmia.org, www.facebook.com/BoysGirlsClubsMiamiDade, www.instagram.com/bgcmiamidade, www.twitter.com/BGCMia, www.youtube.com/user/BGCMiamiDade, or call 305.446.9910.
About Joe’s Stone Crab
Joe’s Stone Crab, which celebrated its 107th anniversary in 2020, was established when Joseph Weiss came to Miami for a change of climate to help his asthma. Weiss opened a lunch stand, originally offering fish and fries, on Miami Beach, which eventually evolved into today’s establishment. It is located at 11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, visit www.joesstonecrab.com.