Father’s Day Feature
Meet Six Men Dedicated to Philanthropy
Phil Collins representing the Little Dreams Foundation
Children name/ages: Mathew Collins, 15; Nicholas Collins, 19; Lilly Collins, 31; Simon Collins, 43; Joely Collins, 47
Favorite dad activity: Watching soccer games with the boys and having dinner at home all together.
Philanthropic work: I am the proud co-founder of the Orianne and Phil Collins Little Dreams Foundation (LDF), a nonprofit organization that helps children with limited means (ages 6-17) with a passion for music, art, or sports to pursue their dreams. This year marks 20 years since we started LDF and I’ve had the honor of hand-picking hundreds of talented youth, watching them grow from their initial audition and performing alongside them. Our alumni have gone on to pursue amazing accomplishments from attending Berklee College of Music to receiving a golden buzzer on America’s Got Talent, and competing in prominent soccer leagues.
Oti Roberts representing the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
Children name/ages: Julian, 13; Kemi, 10; Dara:, 4.
Day job: Private Banker
Favorite dad activity: Soccer with my girls, basketball with my son. Visits to Frost Science Museum and tropical parks.
What I’m passing down about philanthropy: To think about, and act upon ways to better the lives of the less fortunate. To help others benefit from improved access to education and resources.
Jonathan Babicka representing Little Lighthouse Foundation
Children name/ages: Layla Babicka, 6; Prentice Babicka, 2.5.
Day job: Executive Director of The Little Lighthouse Foundation and Host of Do Good Feel Good (“DGFG”) LiVE
Favorite dad activity: I created baBEACHka– beach family fitness- with my kids and wife, Missy! Videos on Instagram at @baBEACHka. I run them to the beach in my double jogger stroller a few days a week in the morning to bond, connect to nature and get in a great workout. However, Layla would argue that my favorite activity is “snuggling”. I have to agree. 😊
What I’m passing down about philanthropy: I speak to them openly. I open their eyes to the world by taking them to LLF programs, reading to them and educating them at home, and sharing with them my experiences. I am teaching them to understand that there are many children and families all over the world that are in need and what it means to be grateful and what it means to give back through their actions and being kind and compassionate to all.
Robert Elias representing Ronald McDonald House Charities
Children name/ages: Lewis Elias, 16; Peyton Elias, 20.
Day job: Managing Principal at The Elias Law Firm, PLLC
Favorite dad activity: Truthfully, I enjoy every activity and all time spent with my children. My favorites include travel, sports/sporting events, the arts, and fun restaurants with my kids.
What I’m passing down about philanthropy: Miami has a world-class philanthropic community. I am predominantly drawn to outstanding organizations that benefit children such as Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish (where I served as Chairman of the Board) and Big Brothers/Big Sisters (where my brother and sister-in-law are active). Regardless of your particular philanthropic interest, concentrate your efforts (based on your time, talents, and resources) to make the greatest impact to benefit those select organizations. I am confident that my kids will use their unique gifts to positively impact the causes for which they are passionate.
Bob Bernstein Representing Guitars Over Guns
Children name/ages: Son Chad, 36; daughter-in-law Becky, 36; grandson Jax, 5; grandaughters Layla, 3, Avery, 5 mos, Cora, 5 mos; son Max, 34; daugher-in-law Kimmy, 32; granddaughter-to-be, due August.
Day job: Co-Founder, Chairman, Guitars Over Guns; Founder/CEO, Prism Global Advisors; Consultant to retirement and healthcare fin-tech platforms; Board of Trustees, Fay Financial, Inc., Chicago; PFM Investment Advisors in Philadelphia; RS Advisors in Boston and an Expert Witness on fiduciary practices.
Favorite dad activity: Watching students and alumni of Guitars Over Guns perform in front of a live audience or TV camera and prove to themselves they can overcome all those butterflies and self-doubts and do ANYTHING after that.
What I’m passing down about philanthropy: Family legacy starts with promoting passion within your kids and giving them the tools to turn those passions into a vocation. When those dreams are fully and unconditionally supported, where failure gets celebrated as a natural stepping stone to success, this paves the way for self-driven excellence, personal fulfillment and a natural drive to give back. That’s the virtuous circle we all need to encourage. It lies at the core of Guitars Over Guns.
James E. Morgan III representing Branches
Children name/ages: Elizabeth Lyles Morgan (“Lyles”,) 31; Ellen Franklin Morgan (“Franklin”,) 28.
Favorite dad activity: Family Yoga – Since I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 12 years ago, my wife, Missy, my daughters and I have all become yoga fanatics and love it when the four of us can practice together. My daughter, Franklin, even became a certified yoga instructor in her spare time.
What I’m passing down about philanthropy: No matter how difficult times might be, we can never forget that we are truly blessed, and we must always be mindful of the needs of others. My children have come to embrace that sense of responsibility, largely through experiences that they have had through Branches since they were very young. One of our family traditions is to help Branches prepare and deliver more than 5,000 meals to our local community each year on Thanksgiving Day. We have come together as a family every Thanksgiving since Branches began the program more than 15 years ago and my daughters, although they now live hundreds of miles from home, look forward every year to travelling back to Miami to serve on Thanksgiving morning.
Brett Graff is SocialMiami.com’s managing editor and has been a journalist covering money, people and power for over 20 years. Graff contributes to national media outlets including Reuters, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, and the PBS show, Nightly Business Report. A former U.S. government economist, her nationally syndicated column The Home Economist is first published in The Miami Herald and then on the Tribune Content Agency, where it’s available to over 400 publications nationwide. She is broadcast weekly on two iHeartRadio news shows and is the author of “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending & Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids,” a parenting guide for people who might be tempted to buy their children the very obstacles they’re trying to avoid.