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Centro Mater - A Champion for Children

The Children’s Trust Champions for Children Awards Ceremony took place on June 13th at Parrot Jungle where Centro Mater's After-school Program was recognized as Program of the Year.

Judge Jeri Beth Cohen, singer and musician Michelle Forman from Guitars over Guns, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital School Health Services and The Easter Seals Culinary Arts Program were also honored.

Dr. Abilio Rodriguez, Centro Mater's Executive Director, thanked parent company, Catholic Health Services, and the Centro Mater Foundation for their unconditional support. He also dedicated the award to all Centro Mater staff and thanked The Children's Trust Contract Managers, Josefina Green and Marisela D'Windt, for their guidance over the years.


Dr. Abilio Rodriguez, Centro Mater's Executive Director, and other honorees at the awards.        

Senator Jason Pizzo Reads to Centro Mater Children

Centro Mater had the honor of welcoming State of Florida Senator Jason Pizzo to the East center in Little Havana. Accompanied by representatives from the Early Learning Coalition and The Children Movement of Florida, Senator Pizzo was able to witness the quality of service Centro Mater provides to the community and the important role early education programs of excellence, such as ours, play in the life of those most in need. We thank the Early Learning Coalition and the Children’s Movement for the opportunity to showcase our program and mission.

BEA Architects Raised $80K for Centro Mater Families

The 6th Annual BEA and Action Rentals Golf Tournament raised $80,000 for Centro Mater children and families. The golf tournament took place at the Melreese Country Club with a full course. Present that day were the Miami HEAT dancers and Burnie, courtesy of the Miami HEAT. The tournament was followed by a dinner reception with a silent auction where the check was given to the foundation. This is the sixth year Bruno Ramos from BEA Architects and Steve Ramos from Action Rentals come together to raise funds to provide summer scholarships for the children of Centro Mater. These funds will provide 80 full-summer scholarships to children whose parents cannot afford the high fees associated with private summer camps. 

Thank you to the Top Sponsors below and all others who made it possible: 

Platinum $10K+ Gold $5K+ Silver $2500K+
JLG SKYJACK Wacker Neuson
Sazon Goya   Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits
    Kenworth SF
    ISS Security
    Capillus, LLC


Bruno Ramos with recognition from Centro Mater. 


Centro Mater Children Put on a Show

City of Miami District 3 Commissioner, Joe Carollo, was recognized last week during a theatrical performance at Centro Mater for his support to the organization. Also present was Archbishop of Miami, Thomas G. Wenski, who presented Commissioner Carollo with an appreciation award on behalf of the Centro Mater administration.The event was also occasion to recognize an exceptional teacher, Clara Gesni, who is soon to retire after over 30 years of service to the children and families served by the organization. Gesni received a Certificate of Merit from the City of Miami, presented by Commissioner Carollo and Archbishop Wenski. The generous and continued support of our community makes our mission possible every day. Thank you!

Program Director, Madelyn R. Llanes, with honored teacher of 32 years, Clara Gesni, and husband Roberto Gesni.

Members of Teatro Ingenio and Centro Mater students perform for the community.

A Noche Super Buena

On December 19th & 20th, Centro Mater Foundation hosted its sixth annual Noche Super Buena events at the Little Havana and Hialeah Gardens sites. Thanks to the generosity of local families, serving as Merry Makers, and corporate sponsors, one hundred of our neediest families received an array of goods to ensure a happy and fulfilled Noche Buena. Each family received a bag of dry and canned goods, donated by Goya Foods which included a pork loin generously donated by Lourdes Machado and family. Families were also gifted a toaster oven, blankets, towels, grocery carts, $100 gift cards and small pine trees donated by Costa Farms Each child attending the event also received a toy from Mercantil Commercebank . Special thanks to Victor Aldrich who has been our Santa for the past six years during this event, almost always landing on his birthday. Also, special thanks to City of Miami Fire Rescue Dept and City of Hialeah Fire Department for coming to support us with entertainment for our little ones. We are forever grateful to all Merry Maker families who donated their treasure and time for this one-of-a-kind event for Centro Mater. It is truly and honor and privilege to have done it once again this year and we cannot wait for next year's! 

City of Hialeah Fire Department brought games and entertainment for the whole family.

Each child received a gift and took a family picture with Santa Claus (Victor Aldrich).