Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™ and Dedication of the Mary M. and Sash A. Spencer Campus
Grand Opening of the Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™ and Dedication of the Mary M. and Sash A. Spencer Campus
Learning Center Construction
Week of July 31, 2017
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Week of October 3, 2016 - Preparing to Pour The Foundation
Week of September 26, 2016 - Laying Down Footings and Concrete
Week of September 19, 2016 - Preparing forms for footings
Week of September 12, 2016 - Existing building pre-construction preparation
Week of September 5, 2016 - Pre-construction site preparation
MIAMI LIGHTHOUSE FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED BREAKS GROUND ON
NEW LEARNING CENTER FOR CHILDREN
Miami Lighthouse for the Blind broke ground on a new addition to its
growing campus ─ the 72,000-square-foot Lighthouse Learning Center for
Children™ ─ during a ceremony held on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. The
groundbreaking ceremony was held in collaboration with leading design and
building professionals Wolfberg Alvarez & Partners and Munilla
Construction Management. The Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™ is
being designed and constructed as a safe, child-oriented environment with
a wide array of tactile experiences through which toddlers and young
children can learn about the world around them in an engaging and fun way.
Elected officials, civic leaders and education professionals participated
in the groundbreaking ceremony, along with Miami Lighthouse Board
Directors and other supporters of Miami Lighthouse.
In addition to housing innovative intervention programs for youngsters
from birth through four years old, the Lighthouse Learning Center for
Children™ will provide the community with a first-of-its-kind
pre-kindergarten program. Blind and visually impaired children from
communities throughout Miami-Dade will attend alongside sighted classmates
from the surrounding neighborhood. Miami Lighthouse is introducing this
unique initiative, in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools
and the Early Learning Coalition, to more easily transition blind and
visually impaired students to our public schools.
Established in 1931 by Dolly Gamble under the inspiration of Helen Keller
with the help of the Miami Lions and Miami Rotary Clubs, Miami Lighthouse
is the oldest and largest private agency in Florida assisting persons of
all ages who are blind and visually impaired. In 1935, the Miami Lions
purchased a small bungalow house at 601 SW 8th Avenue, which was the
foundation for expansion to our current state-of-the-art 55,000
square-foot facility. The Miami Lions Club and its Foundation continue to
help Miami Lighthouse today and have contributed to this new expansion.
The new facility was made possible by private donations in response to a
challenge grant from a local philanthropist.
City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado; Thomas
Abraham, Anthony R. Abraham Foundation; Senator Gwen Margolis;
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Mrs. Spencer; Chairman of the Board
Ray Ramon Casas; CEO Virginia Jacko;
Representative David Richardson; Marcel Marlote, Wolfberg Alvarez &
Partners; Jorge Munilla,
Munilla Construction Management; and Richard Krasno, representing The
William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.
Jorge and Jackie Munilla with CEO Virginia
Board Director Jan Morrison, CEO Virginia
John Fumagalli, President Northern Trust.
David Lawrence, The Early Childhood
Board Director Angela Whitman; President & CEO Virginia Jacko;
and Evelio Torres, The Early Learning Coalition.
Honorary Board Director John Harriman,
Lou Nostro, Angela Whitman, Kent Benedict,
Senator Gwen Margolis with CEO Virginia Jacko.
Lion Greg Werra; Imran Ali, The Children’s
Trust; Board Director
Angela Whitman; CEO Virginia Jacko; Evelio Torres,
The Early Learning Coalition; Rotarian Oliver Ruiz and
Lion Reinaldo Valdes.
Chairman of the Miami-Dade Board of County
Commissioners Jean Monestime.
Miami Lighthouse Music Production Program
Sofia Causa-Dumay on violin with Robert Saunders,
Music Program Manager, on cello.
Summer Training and Recreation Program
sing the National Anthem.
Chairman of the Board Ramon Casas, City of
Fire Chief Eloy Garcia, CEO Virginia Jacko, City of Miami
Mayor Tomas Regalado, Ana Cristina Carrodeguas-Regalado
|and Irene White, Florida Power & Light.
Board Director Scott Richey, Rotarian
Oliver Ruiz, City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Assistant Fire
Chief Eloy Garcia.
Board Director George Foyo, Congresswoman
CEO Virginia Jacko, Mayor Tomas Regalado and Thomas Abraham, Anthony
R. Abraham Foundation.
Chairman of the Miami-Dade Board of County
Jean Monestime; Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen;
Jorge Munilla; Munilla Construction Management; Ophelia
and Juan Roca.
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Florida Heiken Program
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the beautiful work that you do with my son Erick. May God bless him."
"Miami Lighthouse for the Blind has changed the lives of my family and our daughter. Without your support and constant encouragement, raising an infant who is visually impaired would be overwhelming, scary and clouded with sadness. Instead, our family feels privileged to be able to be a part of this incredible organization, thanks to our daughter. She is currently enrolled at the school and has participated in the infant programs – the effort and individual attention you provide to the families and students goes beyond an individual job description and salary – the drive comes solely from their passion to service those who are often overlooked in our society. I cannot thank you enough for your dedication."
- Lisa Jess
Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue
Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that
has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community
Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits
having earned eleven consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity
Navigator, the nation's premier independent nonprofit
evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound
fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and
Lighthouse has earned the Gold participation level through
the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami
Lighthouse's commitment to data transparency.
Early Intervention Blind Babies Program Named the Children's Trust 2016 Program of the Year. This most prestigious award recognizes this Early Intervention Program, in particular, for including parents as teachers.
Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in
Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.
Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today
Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.
Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.
Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.
Lighthouse received United Homecare’s 2012 Thelma Gibson
Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper
Memorial Awards Ceremony.
Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business
Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the
Community Outreach category.
Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral
Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond
Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from
Health Foundation of South Florida.