John Arasi –
Champion of the Community Spirit Award
Vega – Champion of the Human Spirit
Zakheim, M.D. – Founder's Award
On Thursday, April 11, the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami will host the 2013 Heart & Star Award Dinner at Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest. John Arasi, Briana Vega and Richard Zakheim, M.D. will be honored at this prestigious signature event. Arasi will be receiving the Champion of the Community Spirit Award for his philanthropic and community leadership; Vega, the Champion of the Human Spirit Award for her work as a cancer survivor – the first child to ever receive a Champion honor – and Zakheim, the Founder's Award, for outstanding volunteer leadership. Over 400 business and philanthropic leaders from the Greater Miami area will be in attendance for the event.
"John, Briana and Richard are extremely deserving honorees who have done so much for cancer awareness, our medical community and for Miami-Dade County in general. We are grateful and proud to have them as our Heart & Star Honorees as well as supporters and advocates of the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami," says Danielle Spiegelman, Executive Director of the organization. "They have each performed extraordinary acts of kindness and have selflessly worked to inspire hope and action."
will receive the Champion of the Community
Spirit Award in recognition of his
charitable leadership and his ability to unite others
motivating them to focus on a greater good for our
community. Involved in a wide range of community
activities such as DaVita Kidney Trust, the American
Cancer Society's Relay for Life of East Kendall, and the
Gateway Community Outreach of Deerfield Beach, Arasi is
currently the Vice Chairman of the CSCGM Board of
Directors and the Chairman of our annual Tee Off Fore
Wellness Golf & Tennis Tournament.
John founded Sharp General
Contractors (SGC) in 1999 and today it is one of
Florida's leading commercial contracting companies.
Specializing in medical facilities and dialysis centers,
he was introduced to the CSCGM through this important
work. John's steadfast dedication to helping others, and
the humble and elegant way in which he makes magic
happen for the many – or just the one – further
illustrates that he is the model candidate for the
Champion of Community Spirit
John is the father of two grown children. He and his wife, Carmen Pintado-Arasi, Esq., work and live in Ft. Lauderdale.
will receive the Champion of Human Spirit
Award as a tribute to being a cancer
survivor and a beacon of light and hope for others faced
with the illness. Briana is the first child to ever
receive a Champion Award.
Vega is being recognized for
doing extraordinary acts to create awareness, hope and
education about pediatric oncology while she herself is
battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A fifth grader
who was diagnosed just a few weeks after her tenth
birthday in February of 2012, Briana left Howard Drive
Elementary to start treatment at Miami Children's
Since then, she has become a
true inspiration to all who meet her. Briana was a
keynote speaker at the 2012 Miami Children's Hospital
Diamond Ball; has been featured on network television,
and in newspapers. Yet, with all of that amazing fanfare
in less than 10 months, her most courageous endeavor was
that of reaching out to the other children and families
at her school, Howard Drive Elementary. It has been her
mission, and that of her family, to bravely share her
cancer experience with them. Briana and her friends
organize toy drives, do fundraisers and she attends
special class parties. Briana believes that cancer does
affect more than just the patient and she has used her
illness as a way to educate her personal community.
Briana lives with her parents, Joyce and Humberto and her brother Javier in Palmetto Bay.
The 2013 Founder's Award
Recipient is Dr. Richard Zakheim. Zakheim moved to Miami
in 1977 and founded the Pediatric Cardiology Department
at Miami Children's Hospital (MCH). In 2006 he also
founded the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic at
MCH. Consequently, Dr. Zakheim, and the staff he
recruited, have led the pediatric cardiology division at
MCH to become a world leader in the care of children
with congenital heart disorders. They have treated more
children with heart defects than any hospital in Florida
with clinical results that have been internationally
In 1999 he and his wife Pam
founded The Wellness Community-Greater Miami, now known
as the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami (CSCGM).
From the onset, Dr. Zakheim brought wisdom, guidance,
and a commitment to provide services that meet the
highest clinical standards. The programs offered at
CSCGM enjoy the confidence of the large medical oncology
treatment community in Miami-Dade. The majority of those
who attend the FREE support, education and healthy
lifestyle services offered are referred by their doctors
Dr. Zakheim received his
medical degree from Albert Einstein Medical School in
New York and trained in pediatric cardiology at Boston
Children's Hospital. He is the father of two grown
children and has four grandchildren.
Mistress of Ceremonies for the 2013 Heart & Star Award Dinner will be Emmy Award-winning CBS4 Reporter and Weekend Anchor, Cynthia Demos.
The Heart & Star Award Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 11th, at Temple Beth Am, The Richard & Janet Yulman Campus, located at 5950 N. Kendall Drive, Miami, FL 33156. For more information click below or call the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami at 305-668-5900.