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The Cushman School

An Identity Linked to Excellence


Published Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Unite Miami Shores has awarded $70,000 in grants to 16 community organizations that provide programs to educate, culturally stimulate and support inclusive practices that include all the residents of Miami Shores and neighboring communities. (
As the demographics of the Village of Miami Shores became more diverse in ethnicity, income, age, and sexual orientation, Unite Miami Shores was founded in 2014 by a group of residents with the goal of building bridges and celebrating the cultural, service and educational organizations that support all of its residents. The source of the organization’s funds is the annual Unity Ball held in November 7, 2015, with 100% of the net proceeds raised at the event going to benefit local community organizations.
The vast majority of funding has been awarded to organizations that serve the entire community, with a significant portion going to programs that are either presented by, or a program of, the Village of Miami Shores. More than $20,000 has been awarded to Village programs or services, including Brockway Memorial Library, Miami Shores Village Recreation Department, Miami Shores Village Fine Arts Board, and Doctors Charter School.
“In this, our second year, we are so proud to support those who do so much to enhance the quality of life in Miami Shores,” said Giselle Kovac, founding Board member of Unite Miami Shores. ”Our village may be small in numbers – just over 10,000 residents – but the passion and spirit of Unite Miami Shores is a testament to the commitment of our residents to support our diverse population.”
To administer the grants, Unite Miami Shores has forged a relationship with the Miami Foundation, a highly respected, 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  The Miami Foundation grants more than $10 Million to local charitable organizations each year to help build a stronger Miami. This alliance ensures that all monies raised, along with annual grant funding, are fiscally transparent and distributed responsibly.
The Miami Foundation will administer the grants to the following:

  • Barry University
  • Brockway Memorial Library
  • D.C. Hawkes
  • Doctors Charter School
  • Greater Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce
  • Heidi Hewes Miami Shores Chapter Woman's Cancer Association of the University of Miami
  • Miami Shores Community Church
  • Miami Shores Village Fine Arts Boards
  • Miami Shores Village Recreation Dept.
  • Miami Theater Center
  • North Miami Foundation for Senior Services
  • O Cinema at Miami Theater Center
  • Pass It On Ministries
  • Project YES
  • Saint Martha's Concert
  • Saving SAGE Animal Rescue Foundation
  • The Cushman School

Grant priorities include Educational Programs, Cultural Arts, Equality and Diversity, Service Organizations, Civic and Social Clubs Miami Shores Village Recreational and Special Events.
The Unite Miami Shores Grant Committee is comprised of Susan Ackley, Sean Brady, Rasha Cameau, Karla Duran, Lance Harke, Sophia Howard, Giselle Kovac, Dennis Leyva and Stephen Mumby. 
For additional information about Unite Miami Shores, including information about the next grant cycle, go to or contact Giselle Kovac at or Dennis Leyva at
Mission Statement: Unite Miami Shores
Unite Miami Shores strives to establish our community as one that respects the diversity of human expression and identity, and creates opportunity for all citizens. In accordance with current social justice movements, UMS is committed to facilitating our residents in establishing unity and equality, and positively impacting policies and activities that ensure that the rights of all residents are honored.