Michael's Magic Camp:
The Fund sponsors Michael’s Magic Camp every summer at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center in Key Biscayne, Florida. Roughly 40 inner city youth participate each year in this educational, life-enhancing two week adventure. Through enriching hands-on activities, the camp teaches these youngsters how to protect, preserve and respect South Florida’s fragile environment.
Through trained counselors and naturalists, the children learn about sea creatures and plants, marine mammals, and birds of South Florida. They participate in seagrass adventures, hammock hikes, mangrove slogs, nature scavenger hunts, sea turtle sightings, arts and crafts, and even their own talent show. In addition to a boat tour of Biscayne Bay and trips to state parks in the Key Biscayne area, the campers are stimulated by lecturers and story tellers. Workshops on conflict resolution, leadership, teamwork, and communication are common themes. 2005 Michael's Magic Camp Pictures.
Through a partnership with Project Cradle, a pediatric AIDS organization with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the Fund has enabled 100 HIV positive children to experience recreation and fun at the beaches of Cape Florida State Park. Many of these youngsters live at or below the federal poverty line. The Fund gives them an opportunity to swim, build sandcastles, play games and learn about South Florida.
Butterfly and Moth Preservation:
The Fund has partnered with Crandon Park’s Biscayne Nature Center to return certain species of butterflies and moths to South Florida, beginning with Key Biscayne. A native plant corridor is being designed and implemented, enabling once endangered moths and butterflies to travel throughout the island. The corridor will be implemented in four phases that enable butterflies and moths to travel through the island of Key Biscayne and back.
The Michael Scholz Memorial Charitable Fund is supporting the phase that involves educating the children of Key Biscayne about this project. The Fund will work with schools and families, providing advise and assistance on plants to purchase and plant. A goal is to reforest Key Biscayne with butterflies and moths that once inhabited this island by the summer of 2006.
The Fund hopes to expose youth with socio-economic, physical or mental challenges to this project and eventually expand it to other South Florida communities. In doing such, children will become more environmentally aware and appreciative of their surroundings.
The Fund is a financial contributor to the John E. Pearson Launch Boat being built by Shake-A-Leg Miami. The boat will provide physically disabled youth with access to Biscayne Bay and its beautiful eco-islands. It is also a legacy honoring John Pearson, a lover of nature who met an untimely death in 2004.
Hurricane Katrina Donation:
The Fund made a significant contribution to victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The donation was forwarded to community foundations in Louisiana and Mississippi that need assistance in providing for the long-term needs of affected residents.
Goulds Baseball Team:
In the winter of 2004, the Fund sponsored the "Gould's Rams," a youth-league baseball team located in the Goulds neighborhood of South Miami-Dade. In Michael’s memory, new baseball uniforms were purchased for the entire team, which consisted of 14 players between the ages 15-17 years old. The Gould's neighborhood is located in an impoverished area of Miami-Dade County and, as a result, the Rams have a difficult time raising the funds necessary to support and equip their sports teams. The Fund intends to participate in rewarding efforts like this in the future.