Read about some of the most exciting new occurrences in Miami in our OPTIMAR Observer.



    Students Launch Gifts4Kids Charity



    Being in a hospital is a scary and traumatic experience, especially for kids, but two Belen Jesuit students have found a way to help, and to get our community involved in the effort to ease the daily strain hospitalized children feel.


    It all started when Belen senior Luke O’Flaherty, a volunteer at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital since his freshman year, noticed that gifts donated and stocked into the hospital toy closets during the holiday seasons, were quickly depleted. While volunteering, Luke had learned that gifts given to the children are actually, “powerful tools in hospitals as they distract children from the realities they are facing, entertain them, and also keep the stress of off the parents and nurses who are trying to help them.”





    Bringing Thanksgiving To Keys Residents Still Recovering



    This Thanksgiving, while we enjoyed our families and Thanksgiving meals, many in the Keys and even in our own neighborhood weren’t as fortunate. Post-Hurricane Irma, many families are still dealing with total destruction of their homes and lives. Armed with baskets filled with Thanksgiving supplies and turkeys from both Christ Fellowship and The Thanksgiving Baskets Fund, along with school supplies from Coral Reef Elementary PTA, we drove down to Sugarloaf School to ensure that all staff members at the school received a dinner. Sadly, at Sugarloaf School, about half of the staff lost everything to Hurricane Irma.





    The City of Miami Beach Hosts 2017 Art Week



    The core of Miami Beach’s identity has always been intrinsically linked to the arts. Beyond its internationally recognized beaches, its world-renowned museums, revered theatres and innovative programming have made the city a top travel destination for arts and culture. In 2002, Art Basel, a global show for modern and contemporary art, made its way to Miami Beach for its prominent debut. Today, the dynamic art fair has sparked a cultural movement — activating art in an array of public spaces, museums and hotels throughout the tropical metropolis every early December.




    Adopt a Shelter-Pet at the Hope Express



    Connect, adopt and fall in love with a shelter-pet from Miami-Dade County Animal Services at the Hope Express Pet Adoption at Southland Mall.

    Adoption fees are $75 for puppies under 4 months old, adoption fees are waived for dogs over 4 months old and cats/kittens. Adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, deworming, microchip and age-appropriate vaccines. Adopters will only have to pay a $30 license fee. Once your pet is adopted, bring your pet to Southland Mall’s Santa Paws event on December 19th from 6-8 p.m. at Center Court for holiday pet photos with Santa! Pets must be kept on a leash or in a carrier. Owners must clean up after their pets. Pricing for photo packages vary.




    Wynwood Oven: A new place to ‘Wyn’ and dine opens its doors



    Wynwood Oven has opened its doors in Miami’s Wynwood Art District. Conceived by Wine by the Bay owner and former Design District gallerist Stefano Campanini, Wynwood Oven will offer a wine-centric menu, pizza, food and wine pairing dinners and events.

    Inspired by the neighborhood Italian enoteca, Wynwood Oven (nicknamed “Wyn,” that plays on words wine and Wynwood) presents a casual ambiance to share and enjoy new experiences. The restaurant offers a superb and animated wine list that complements a carefully curated menu of imaginative dishes, inspired by Italian heritage. Discover the art of gastronomy through the lens of a wine-centric menu.