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Meet our soles of the year

Sue’s huge heart for pets only got bigger when she met Trio, a three-legged, four-week-old pit bull. Inspired by the people who revived this critically injured stray pup in their home, Sue promised to always do right by her newly adopted best friend. Today, her non-profit, Trio Animal Foundation, funds the medical treatment of homeless animals.
The Trio Animal Foundation raises funds to help shelters and individuals pay the medical bills of homeless pets in dire need of medical attention. So far they’ve helped more than 2,000 homeless animals receive treatment, offering them a fresh start in life through adoption from a reputable rescue.
Teaching drama at a senior center in 1978, Stuart saw something more powerful than applause at the end of his performances. He saw a bridge between generations. Inspired to give more seniors a similar platform for creative expression, he founded Stagebridge to help make the last years of their lives the time of their lives.
Stagebridge offers seniors over 27 classes a week, including storytelling, playwriting, tap dancing, and singing. From those classes, 5 to 6 troupes, along with storytellers, perform in the Oakland community, including public schools and other senior centers. Their work is helping shift attitudes of aging toward a model of continuous growth, lifelong learning and creative expansion.
Jeff Kagan first fell in love with ice hockey at 24. At the time he was in the closet, but after discovering the Toronto Gay Hockey Association, he and his teammate, Jeff Minck, were inspired to bring that same open-mindedness to New York rinks. To help bring an end to local stereotypes in their city, they co-founded the NYC Gay Hockey Association in 1999.
Comprised of 7 teams and more than 100 players, the NYC Gay Hockey Association offers the gay community a chance to be a part of a sport that has traditionally not been as accepting. Their mix of gay and straight players is helping to change stereotypes and foster a new era that welcomes hockey lovers of all orientations.
Ever Chavez came to the U.S. as an accomplished producer from a world-renowned theater in Cuba. But it was the cultural diversity of Miami that would create the perfect storm to put his talents to new use. Today, his non-profit, FUNDarte, comes to the aid of emerging artists in South Florida by producing, presenting, and promoting their work to local communities.
Speaking to Miami’s diverse cultures with an emphasis on Hispanic arts and culture, this non-profit produces music, theater, dance, film and visual arts. They not only nurture the creativity of emerging artists, they encourage intercultural exchanges that expand and enrich the whole community’s social perspective.
For as long as she can remember, Lynn has had an affinity for animals. Her desire to help them began as child when she felt compelled to rescue earthworms who’d been washed up after heavy rains. So after years of searching for an ideal way to assist animals, Lynn founded Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation in 1977. There, she protects and cares for injured wildlife, from baby birds and squirrels who have fallen from trees to adult deer and raccoons who have been hit by cars.
The 212-acre Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation now rescues approximately 7,000 wild animals each year—over 150,000 since inception—and is home to over 600 permanent resident animals. Their staff of 25 works diligently to save, care for and rehabilitate everyone including native raccoons, opossums, bobcats, and birds as well as non-native primates and other wildlife rescued from the wild animal “pet” trade.
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