By Christopher J. Russo, Former City Manager
(Friday, March 31, 2017) – The City Commission, since incorporation has always had senior programs listed as a priority. What started simply as group tours to shows in the beginning, 20 years later has flourished into a wealth of opportunities for our seniors to participate regularly in programs that provide education, arts and culture, athletics and yes, even twice monthly bingo! There are AARP driving courses, medical and political lectures, daytime movie and pickle ball, as well as dinner dances, concerts and still twice monthly trips and tours.
Always searching to do more, in December, the City Commission approved a $10,000 donation to Marian Towers, a not-for-profit HUD subsidized elderly housing apartment building located right in the center of Sunny Isles Beach. Mayor Scholl, Commissioners Gatto and Svechin and City Manager Christopher Russo were welcomed by Luis Herrera, Social Services Coordinator, and Ada Hernandez, the Marian Towers Property Manager, to a February resident party for the check presentation.
Sunny Isles Beach Mayor George “Bud” Scholl commented, “We are so pleased to see the support that Marian Towers extends to our senior residents. In turn, we are pleased to provide this donation on behalf of the City to assist with these important initiatives.” The City will be working with the property management to provide improved programming including computer training and other collaborations to benefit the more that 250 senior residents of our City. When asked how the donation will benefit the residents, Ada Hernandez and Juana D. Mejia, V.P. of Housing Development & Operations / Catholic Housing Management explained, “We are using the donation to purchase a projector for movie nights and to set up a computer in the common area, to enable residents who do not have online access to learn and have better communication with their relatives, the Social Security Administration and other entities.”
Ada emphasized that this donation does not merely benefit the residents of Marian Towers. Their friends, who are all neighbors and Sunny Isles Beach residents, are always welcome to join in their programs. Luis and Ada are very grateful for this donation which will directly benefit our residents.
Recognizing that ‘seniors’ are an evolving demographic where younger, more active retirees’ are soon to be our new target audience in this programming block, the City will be looking at new and fresh opportunities to offer them.
The best way to know what is happening so that you don’t miss out is to stay informed. The City offers several communication outlets including SIBTV on Atlantic Broadband Channel 107-5 or AT&T U-verse Channel 99; here on our website, sibfl.net, or on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, find us @CityofSIB. You can also sign up for email alerts for events, traffic, programs and meetings here.