19 Oct NBA LEGEND ALONZO MOURNING REDEFINES COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WITH $2 MILLION DONATION FROM MIAMI HEAT OWNER MICKY AIRSON AND $2 MILLION DONATION FROM MIKE FERNANDEZ FOR THE OVERTOWN YOUTH CENTER’S CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
MIAMI, FL – October 19, 2017 – “Our world is changing and so are our communities; thereby creating new challenges as well as greater responsibilities, so my work is far from over,” said NBA legend and philanthropist Alonzo Mourning on his decision to rebuild the Overtown Youth Center (OYC). Mourning is redefining community development with the launch of his Capital Campaign. The Campaign is an initiative to raise $15M to demolish and rebuild the Overtown Youth Center to a state of the art Youth Center servicing not just the Overtown community but reaching other communities such as Little Havana, Little Haiti, Wynwood, Allapattah, and as far North as Miami Gardens.
The capital campaign has received support with generous donations. Miami Heat owner Micky Arison and wife Madeleine Arison announced their donated of $2 million to the Capital Campaign. Miguel B. Fernandez, a healthcare businessman, is the Chairman of the OYC Capital Campaign and has committed $2 million to the campaign. To date, the campaign has secured a majority of private funds to redefine community development. The innovation of the use of private funds for a community facility serves several purposes. The overall timetable decreases due to the reduction of red tape associated with the acquisition of majority governmental funds. Creative freedom and the ability to cross municipal service boundaries are also added incentives in the use of majority private funds.
The Capital Campaign launched at the Overtown Youth Center during a press conference on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 with Mourning Family Foundation President Bill Diggs and Overtown Youth Director Tina Brown. Several local dignitaries attended to support the Capital Campaign initiative. Miami-Dade County Commissioner, Audrey Edmonson, City of Miami Commissioner, Francis Suarez, City Of Miami Commissioner and Southeast Overtown West Park CRA Director, Keon Hardemon, Miami-Dade Public Schools Board Member, Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Gordon Eric Knowles, Overtown Youth Center Director, Tina Brown, as well as County and City legislative staffers Misty Brown, Cedric McMinn, and Franchezka Rosso.
Alonzo Mourning reflected on the journey of how the Mourning Foundation was created. “Playing basketball just a few blocks away from the most impoverished community in all of Miami Dade County, I realized that I could make an impact and so we have to set out on this journey to do just that.“ The current facility serves roughly 300 youth in the Overtown area exclusively. The new facility will boasts four stories and will renovate the fine arts building and gymnasium. This reconstruction will allow OYC to serve as the largest economic empowerment center providing a holistic approach to eliminating barriers to success for children, families, and the community at large.
This will also expand programmatic services to over 5,000 youth and families over the next five years throughout economically disadvantaged communities. OYC will expand services in the area of employment services, vocational training opportunities, alternative educational solutions, collaborative programming, and innovative family service solutions. Mourning is committed to alter the trajectory of the inner-city youth and pleads for the support of others. To give to the Mourning Family Foundation’s Capital Campaign you can log onto www.mourningfamilyfoundation.org or by phone text EDUCATION to 27722
Our main GOAL is to be an integral part of the community that promotes lifelong learning and success for our inner-city youth and citizens. Our VISION is to expose youth to numerous resources and opportunities that will aid in their educational and social development so they will ultimately become positive contributing citizens (PCCs). Our MISSION is to inspire and empower youth and families by fostering hope through enrichment services.
ABOUT THE MOURNING FAMILY FOUNDATION:
The Mourning Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by Tracy and Alonzo Mourning that focuses on youth development through advocacy, education and enrichment. Since 1997, the Mourning Family Foundation has served thousands of children and their families by raising over $25 million to support various youth development programs, including the Overtown Youth Center and Honey Shine programs. By providing educational and extracurricular activities, MFF has helped to change the trajectory for hundreds of young people from South Florida’s disenfranchised communities.