Jammin’ at Joey’s with Myra Wexler . Installment #4

Constance Margulies, Karla Dascal & Mike Stewart

Constance Collins Margulies

Arriving at Joey’s for my fourth installment, I was happy to welcome Constance Collins Margulies, founder of The Lotus House Shelter, a non-profit located in Overtown. Constance was accompanied by her dad, Mike Collins.

“Where Hope Blossoms” is the tag line for The Lotus House. Simple words that say so much about what Constance and The Lotus House are on a mission to accomplish. With obvious pride, she enlightened us about the progression of the shelter, now in its fifth year. During this period, more than 400 women have graduated and today these graduates are living and working in the community as productive, good citizens – shining examples of how it’s never too late to have a new beginning.

April 10th at noon, the shelter will be offering a gourmet lunch, prepared and served by the most recent graduates of their Food Preparation Job Training Program. Now, with the skills necessary for employment in restaurants and kitchens, Lotus House is seeking local restaurants and related food industry businesses to step up to the plate and hire these women.

The Lotus House thrift shop is located at 203 NW 36th Street, at the corner of NW 2nd Avenue. It’s open Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and accepts donations of gently used clothing, beds, furniture, etc. Merchandise may be dropped off during working hours, or call Ciara at 305-576-4112 to arrange a pick up.

Earlier in the week I met a passionate, engaging young couple at a MOCA event – Mike Stewart, originally from the Seattle area, now a Miami resident and his friend, Vanessa Estrada, originally from Colombia and currently an architect with Burton Hersh in Coral Gables.

Heavenly Staircase (1 of 3) by Tina Salvesen

Mike is the founder of the non-profit Hijos+Bluedo. His story begins in 2006 when he was living in Buenos Aires. One minute he was looking in the mirror shaving, and two weeks later he awoke from a coma, defying all logic. He had severe carbon monoxide poisoning.

While in recovery, Mike made a promise that he was going to return to Argentina and make the country a better place, by building schools and creating manufacturing jobs for the country’s indigent.

“If you feel the world is not as perfect as it should be, then you must take the greatest weapon ever invented of technology and use it to service society,” he said.

Mike’s book, “The Modern Charity, Hijos+Bluedo” available at Amazon.com, is testimony to the mission he has created for himself and others.

Karla Dascal joined us at The Table. She is best known for her signature flower arrangements and her luxury event planning business. Karla is so young to have been in business these past 18 years and is very successful at what she does. Her numerous clients are willing to attest to the dramatic, design driven, outstanding events she has created for them.

The business is housed in an exceptional space done by architect, Rene Gonzalez. Her design background is evidenced in every detail – from the handmade lighting fixture at the entrance to the adjacent wall covered in a collage of textured white paper, the space is draped and transformed into whatever theme and feeling she is looking to convey for each event staged there.

"The Sacred Space"

One of the rooms has a state-of-the-art cushioned floor where one can partake in a “prayer dance” on Sunday mornings. This is an example of her passion in creating “The Sacred Space.”

Karla has transformed herself over the past several years. Committed to a healthy life style, she is in the process of creating “the epicenter of all things holistic” at The Scared Space.

Ivo, the very talented chef at Joey’s prepared a delicious, simple feast for The Table, which was enjoyed by the other attendees including luxury home developer Glenna Norton, artist Tina Salvesen, sculptor Becki Boni Litman and Karla’s sister, art dealer Liz Dascal from Liz Contemporary Art.

Stimulating and engaging conversations enhanced by the sharing of delicious, beautiful food @Joey’s, made for a most satisfying and enjoyable afternoon.

My next installment is scheduled for Friday, April 30th, from noon to 2 p.m., and will be devoted to promoting local Miami/Wynwood artists. Stay tuned and remember that Jammin at Joey’s takes place the last Friday of each month. Hope to see you there.

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