Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Groove 2010

Miami Herald:
Summer Groove kicks off with tribute to heroes big and small
By Stephanie Genuardi
Little Bryana Gomez had a present for Miami Heat greats Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning: a portrait painted by the students at the Overtown Youth Center depicting the NBA superstars. Bashfully hiding behind the canvas twice her size, Bryana couldn't seem to poke her head over the painting, which featured Mourning's arm thrown into the air in triumph.
"I wonder what it's depicting," Mourning said with a grin.
Wade had a guess.
"I think you're saying, 'Thank you, Jesus, that Dwyane's on my team,' " bringing laughter to the auditorium filled with 100 children.
Wade and Mourning were in Overtown on Tuesday to launch the five-day Zo and D. Wade's Summer Groove, which includes a youth basketball clinic, a free block party and an All-Star Game at the AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami. "Everyone in the community has something to enjoy," said Mourning. All proceeds from the events benefit Alonzo Mourning Charities and the Wade's World Foundation. The Overtown Youth Center is one of the beneficiaries of the Summer Groove, now in its 14th year.

The center, which Mourning opened in 2003, caters to children as well as to young adults, providing education and recreation. Through a partnership with Miami-Dade County schools, the center monitors students' behavior and grades, and offers tutoring when necessary, explained the center's executive director, Carla Penn. "Education's No. 1," said Penn. "We have a 100 percent high school graduation rate." Mourning added, "In an area where two out of 12 go to college, we have seven graduating seniors going to college. Those are the statistics we hang our hat on."

Summer Groove Kicks Off With Golf Tournament
Marybel Rodriguez Reporting
The 14th Annual Summer Groove kicked off Wednesday with the Summer Groove Golf Classic at the Doral Golf and Country Club. The tournament and the entire Summer Groove are getting an extra boost from the buzz surrounding the rebuilt Miami Heat roster.
"Knowing the economics here in South Florida, it's going to be a huge plus for so many," Mourning said. "A lot of people are going to benefit from this in the community. From a philanthropic standpoint, we have to utilize it. We have to continue to change more lives. D-Wade and I understand the impact this could have."

Early Wednesday morning the basketball superstar took plenty of pictures with fans taking part in the golf tournament and answered many questions from the media candidly about how he is feeling now that the dream team is a reality.
"It's very exciting to me and still surreal to everybody. I talked to Lebron yesterday and told him that I was watching ESPN and saw a crawl with his name and Heat forward that is crazy," Wade told CBS4's Marybel Rodriguez. 
He also said that he wants to make sure the fans and the city of Miami are excited about what transpired it was history in the making. D-Wade then hit the green and admitted that because he has been very busy he has had no time to practice his swing. But he did the best he could all for the children. Fortunately [for bystanders], there were no flying clubs this year.
The Summer Groove, a five-day series of charity events that Mourning now hosts in concert with Wade, has raised almost $8 million for needy children in Miami. The annual golf tournament will feature both Wade and Mourning, along with a bevy of sports and entertainment stars.
Just in the few days since LeBron James and Chris Bosh arrived in Miami, there's been a surge of interest in the Groove, which devotes much of its resources on educational programs for kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to get high school diplomas or attend college. It funds youth centers and after-school programs, directed at kids in some of Miami's poorest neighborhoods.
Even with Mourning and Wade having overwhelming popularity in South Florida, fundraising has been tough in a down economy. This year's event, however, could generate more money than ever before.
The goal for this year is to make a significant portion of what's needed for a second youth center in South Florida. One was built several years ago in Miami's Overtown neighborhood, and Mourning estimated that the start-up costs for the second facility -- which he would become refuge for hundreds of kids -- is between $6 million and $8 million.
And though the rain did interrupt the golf tournament it will not put a damper on The Summer Groove, the events will continue.
The Summer Groove will also feature a comedy show at the Hard Rock and a charity gala and auction. There is also a Youth Sports Conference Thursday at Miami Jackson Senior High School and a second at Miramar Enrichment Youth Center.
Sunday, however, is the big day. At 11 a.m., the Summer Groove Block Party kicks off outside American Airlines Arena. The annual game typically attracts many NBA All-Stars.
Mourning is hoping that the chance to see James and Wade play before the season starts could get the charity that much closer to its goals.