For a Higher Cause

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JW Marriott Marquis Miami and Miami Children’s Initiative Partner to host “Over the Edge” fundraising event–Participating philanthropists to rappel down Miami’s centerpiece hotel

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Anne LeBlanc and UM Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc.

Strapped in harnesses, Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc and his wife, Anne Marie, rappelled from the 19th floor of the JW Marriott Marquis in downtown Miami on August 17 in the name of charity. Local politicians and community leaders were among the dozens of people who participated in the two-day “Over the Edge” philanthropic event benefiting the Miami Children’s Initiative, a foundation aimed at improving the lives of children and families in Liberty City.

To view a video of the Over the Edge Miami event, please click here.

“My wife and I were delighted to be invited to rappel down the Marriott Marquis for the Miami Children’s Initiative,” said LeBlanc. “We both feel it is important for University of Miami leadership to support our community, and we were especially pleased to be part of the ‘Over the Edge’ event to raise money for the children of Liberty City. We thank our several sponsors for helping the children and also for the unforgettable experience of standing on a ledge 20 stories up and just leaning back.”

Among the others who went “Over the Edge” was Greenberg Traurig’s Miami Co-Managing Shareholder Jaret L. Davis, who volunteers for numerous philanthropic organizations and serves on the board of directors for Miami Children’s Hospital, City Year – Miami, SEED Foundation, and Friends of Little River.

“Over the Edge Miami was an innovative, exciting, and fun way to show our commitment to the children of Liberty City,” said Davis, who graduated magna cum laude in 1999 from the University of Miami’s School of Law.

Others included jazz sensation and University of Miami alumna Nicole Henry, Miami-Dade Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho, Children’s Trust CEO Modesto Abety-Gutierrez; and Miami-Dade Commissioner José “Pepe” Díaz.

In all, 75 people went “Over the Edge” from the 19th-floor pool deck of the JW Marriot Marquis, strapping on harnessing and getting a crash course on how to operate the simple but safe rappelling system before making their descent.

UM was one of the event’s sponsors.

Founded in 2008, the Miami Children’s Initiative is modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone, a community-based organization serving more than 17,000 children living in a 100-block area of Harlem.



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