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Contact: Laura Green
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Ochlocknee, GA: Dixie Lee Hedrington knows first-hand about the power of the arts to enhance the well-being of special needs children and adults. Since 2010 she’s been providing an enriching arts, entertainment and community relationship building program in Lauderhill, Florida expressly designed to support people with disabilities. In 2017 Hedrington was awarded the Motivational Mover of the Year Award & 2016 she was awarded the African-American Achievement Award in Broward County, Florida. It was there she met Terry Scott, Thomasville city council member, who encouraged her to consider Thomasville her home and a place to cultivate her pioneering arts programs.
It didn’t take long for Hedrington to fall in love with Thomasville. Her vision for these programs will soon find a new home on Hedrington’s newly acquired 7-acre campus in Ochlocknee when Friends & Stars, Inc., a nonprofit, becomes a cultural destination for the Thomas County community. Hedrington has plans to incorporate the pecan producing trees into her programs as well as a community garden which will include 3 zones: 1) Pirate Ship, 2) Africa and 3) Caribbean. Garden beds will be elevated thanks to master carpenter, Burl Dees, to accommodate wheelchair access to gardening.
Hedrington says, “I’m looking forward to being a part of such a vibrant community and creating a cultural arts destination for individuals with different and varied abilities.”
Hedrington begins her work focused on students with disabilities this Fall in partnership with the Thomasville Center for the Arts and Specialty Programming for Thomasville City Schools. The new Ochlocknee location of Friends & Stars campus will open in the spring and offer art classes in the educational center (homeschools, private schools and the general public) for those with special needs students.
Huge Boost For Art Program From Local Donor and NBAVeteran
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April06,2016–/PressAdvantage/–MARGATE,Fla.–KennyChatmanalongwithretiredNBAstarKeyonDoolingrecentlyvisitedtheFriends and Stars program in Lauderhill to inspire the young disabled artists and make a donation of $2000 dollars to help complete the project that was slated for installation at Art Serve in Fort Lauderdale. Keyon Dooling is a native of Fort Lauderdale and grew up playing at the local parks and has strong ties to the community and is dedicated to supporting the youth of South Florida. Friends and Stars is an 501C nonprofit and provides a creative outlet for special needs children and adults in Broward County and the program survives primarily on private donations of cash andsupplies.
DixieLeeHedrington-Miller,left,andRodney Baltimore CherylMizell,left,andGilbertLancelotRaiford
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Inspiring Their Community
Four extraordinary residents from the tri-county area will receive their earthly reward later this month when they are recognized as the 2016 African America Achievers.
Jaret L. Davis, Dixie Lee Hedrington-Miller, Gilbert Lancelot Raiford, Ph.D., and Ricky Wiggins will be honored on Wednesday, April 20, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. The event, sponsored by JM Family Enterprises and its automobile distributorships Southeast Toyota and JM Lexus, starts at 6:30 p.m.