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Miami – June 2011

The latest Carver Ranches “extreme makeover” punch list

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

We’re less than two weeks away from our upcoming Carver Ranches service project in Ft. Lauderdale.  Something you don’t want to miss.  The ‘extreme makeover’ begins with prep days on Thursday, June 9th and Friday, June 10th.

Here’s the current ‘punch list’.

–    Updating junior and senior study rooms; installing new furniture, new cubbies and seating; refurbishing the club’s TV & gaming area; plus building out lots of storage.

–    Updating the club’s library which will include installation of new computers, desks, tables and shelves.

–    Reorganizing the art room; adding new tables, chairs, desks, and shelving.

–    Creating a College Corner Room – an educational area for older children preparing for college – which will include installation of new computers, desks, and tables.

–    Refurbishing the outdoor basketball area including building benches, painting and installing new hoops and poles.

–    Renovating the outside canopy area including the building of picnic tables, benches and storage.

And then there’s the massive ‘paint-by-numbers’ mural project designed by Zimmerman.

So much to do for such a deserving group of children and a great community.

Which project are you most looking forward to?

What is Carver Ranches?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

To find out, we asked Dr. Gay Outler, president of the Carver Ranches Boys & Girls Club.

The answer?

Carver Ranches was named after George Washington Carver.  The community’s beginnings go back to former military veterans who were given stipends to buy homes after their service.   Originally largely African American, Carvers Ranch is now much more racially diverse.  It has always been a tight-knit community despite its economic challenges.  Carvers Ranch has been the home for many a successful South Florida lawyer, doctor, religious and political leader who are known to speak proudly of the community and continually reinvest in it.  One example is something called the “Mecca Celebration” – an annual reunion of a community of African American preachers who grew up in Carver Ranches and now have growing churches around the state and country.  Last year they donated ten laptop computers to the Boys & Girls Club.

The Carver Ranches Boys & Girls Club is the only club in Florida that serves two counties – both Broward and Dade.  According to Dr. Gay Outler, president of the local club, the Carver Ranches Boys & Girls Club is a vital lifeline for many in the community – particularly single working mothers who need a clean, safe, and fun place to study and play after school.  Dr. Outler says the club has a “beacon for over 25 years showing children the ‘right’ way to go.”  A particular focus is getting children to “accept themselves” and build self confidence and sense of purpose so they can avoid temptations and trouble in the high school years.

“Our children are so proud and so thankful,” Dr. Outler said about the upcoming service project.  “When we heard the news about OmnicomCares and what they wanted to do, we just sat in amazement,” she said adding, “We’re so thankful and all the children are walking around with their heads up high and so proud that their school was chosen.”

The service project is just around the corner, Saturday, June 11th.  There’s still time to sign up and help.

“So often we feel forgotten,” said Dr. Outler.  “It is such a blessing to know that someone cares.”

OmnicomCares, Zimmerman, and the Big Paint-by-Numbers Project

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Let me tell you about a very important partner in our upcoming OmnicomCares service project next month in Broward County,  Zimmerman Advertising.

What’s so special about Zimmerman?  Well, they’re wonderfully innovative, incredibly passionate, and, of course, cool.  But they are also one of those agencies on a mission.  An agency that walks (or in this case bikes) the talk.  And they’ve been an essential partner in helping plan, organize, and support the Carver Ranches Boys & Girls Club project taking place June 11th.

Let’s start from the bottom up.  That is, the upcoming OmnicomCares Carver Ranches Boys & Girls Club project June 11th.

Once they found out about it, the folks at Zimmerman were all over it … helping with planning, procurement, logistics, promotion – ‘you name it!’ – with a special nod toward their particular skill set – creativity.

One of the many things Zimmerman is doing is the design of a giant mural that will grace the bare, gray, stark wall of the Boys & Girls Club main hallway.  Zimmerman creatives Max Barrios and Milan Di Vito are leading the design team.  As part of the creative process they, along with others at Zimmerman, spent hours researching the community and talking with the boys and girls, about themselves, their lives, their community, and the club.  By all accounts these are very, very special young men and women.  And mural design will reflect not only the local community culture but also the children’s hopes and dreams for their future.

We can’t wait to see it.  But that’s not all.

The project will be South Florida’s largest ‘paint-by-number’ canvas.  That’s right, the Zimmerman team will sketch out the design on the wall, and on Saturday, June 11th, volunteers will fill in each section and parcel according to numbered colors.

Creativity, fun, artistic expression (and mild chaos) is a sure bet.

But there’s more about Zimmerman that you should know.

Check out zMotion.  It began over six years ago when Jordan Zimmerman, Pat Patregnani, and Mike Schweiger of Zimmerman Advertising were looking for ideas to inspire and rally their associates. They learned about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and their annual charity bike tour, and thus the concept of inspiring each other to train for and attend various charity bike rides

Thus was born zMotion. In the six years since founded, the zMotion Club has participated and supported countless charitable rides and is involved with philanthropic organizations throughout South Florida.  Since its inception, zMotion has raised and provided services of more than $3.0 million for a variety of causes and developed a team of over 800+ club riders who share a common love for cycling.  zMotion has become a visible force in the South Florida cycling community

Oh.  And they are a very cool advertising firm as well.  Their specialty is something called ‘brandtailing‘.  They say it is the blood that run through their veins.  Maybe that’s where they’ve got the red branding.

Zimmerman Advertising will have over 50 volunteers on Saturday so they’ll be hard to miss.  Be sure to take time to shake some hands and say thanks.

OmnicomCares Miami 2011

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

This June the spirit of OmnicomCares is coming to Miami!  The service project for this year’s  Annual North American Financial Leadership Conference will focus on renovating a local Boys & Girls Club in Broward County.  The annual service project, started in 2007, is part of Omnicom’s ongoing commitment to help local communities provide safe, clean, and fun places for children to learn and play.

The service project this year will be held on Saturday, June 11th at the Carver Ranches Club.  A “prep” session will be held on Thursday and Friday June 9th and 10th.  Over 200 Omnicom volunteers from all over the globe will be part of the event.

The Carver Ranches Club opened in 1995 with the goal of helping children “achieve academic success, develop good character and citizenship, and adopt healthy lifestyles.”

The Club sits in one of the most economically depressed neighborhoods of Broward County, Florida.  According to the U.S. Dept of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency, the Carver Ranches Club serves a neighborhood with one of the worst scores for poverty and single female-headed households in Florida.

The plan is to completely rehabilitate the Club’s library, art room, study, and recreational areas.  Each will be completely re-furbished to make the Center more welcoming for children.  Volunteers will clean up and remove old items, build new furniture, install new computers and gaming consoles among other activities designed to beautify the Center.  Outside the facility we will renovate a large tent area so children can have easy access to shade in the Florida summer heat.  We will also build shade structures and ‘fun areas’ where children can play outside.