First Tee Golf Mentoring Program

First Tee Golf Mentoring Program

Last Saturday, December 12th, 2015, the First Tee of Broward held an Open House at Weston Hills Country Club to provide families with an overview of their Golf Program. This NEW Program, which kicks off January 9th, is a nine week activity designed by First Tee of Broward and tailored for older teens and young adults with Autism and other related developmental disabilities. Cristina Miranda, founder of The HDS Foundation, has been working with the First Tee of Broward and the Golf Professionals at WHCC to launch this program locally.

The First Tee teaches Nine Core Values using Golf as the platform. These young players will be engaged in activities to teach and reinforce Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy and Judgement, all values they can use throughout the entirety of their lives. Golf professional Dustin Stearns met the new players and immediately got them engaged.  These teens and young adults had a wonderful day and bonding experience, having made plans to get together to meet at the movies at the close of the day. Families and other supporters were able to see firsthand what this program is all about.

Underwritten by The HDS Foundation and Global Business Brokers, this program hopefully will be the first of many. “Each day, our community is becoming more aware of opportunities such as this one. These types of activities offer this population not only like skills mentoring, but social activities that allow them to create new friendships. We want the community at large to embrace and support these types of events. It’s amazing to see the impact it has on the lives of so many.”

This program is offered at no cost to the players, and space is limited. For more information, please contact

Dan Marino Walkabout Autism

Dan Marino Walkabout Autism

The CHBS ESE Department and the HDS Foundation are once again teaming up to raise funds through involvement in the 2016 Dan Marino Walkabout Autism. This community event is unique because through it, the Marino Foundation awards K-12 School Teams a 25% grant of the total funds raised by the team for the respective school’s ESE Department. This is significant because it has allowed Cypress Bay’s, and a number of other school’s, ESE Department to purchase iPads, computers, software and different supplies needed to supplement the needs of the ESE Program at the Bay. The increase in supplies as a result of this event have greatly aided in the learning and understanding of the students tied to the ESE Department.

Team Cypress Bay has embarked on a campaign to promote this fundraiser throughout the school and community. The focus of the campaign is to have students join Team Cypress, rather than breaking up into different teams, so that the school can get the benefit of the funds they raise, as non-school groups do not get the benefit of the direct Grant.

The HDS Foundation staff visited the class this week, where students were creating large banner posters to hang around school. Additionally, smaller flyers were printed to circulate throughout different clubs and teachers at the school to get the word out. The Theme is #WeAreCypressBay, and the focus is to create one team. The school’s TV Production crew “After Shock” came to the classroom and interviewed different students and the teachers. Student Team Captain Katherine Miranda-Gilson, who has been the top fund-raiser for this event in years past, is focused on making this the best year yet for the walk. As a senior, she hopes to leave this legacy and spread awareness about this great organization.

The Team Cypress Bay Page can be found at


JAFCO 2015 In My Shoes Lunch

JAFCO 2015 In My Shoes Lunch

JAFCO’s Children’s Ability Center kicked off the season with its most successful fundraiser, the 5th Annual In My Shoes luncheon at Boca West Country Club on October 2, 2015. With 750 people in attendance, the organization raised close to $200,000. 100% of those proceeds will directly support family enrichment and respite programs offered at JAFCO’s Children’s Ability Center for families and children with developmental disabilities. The HDS Foundation was honored to attend this year’s In Your Shoes recognition lunch, as it is hugely impactful on the lives of many in that it immensely aids in the funding of helpful and necessary programs. Meagan Bouscher-Miranda, Board Member, and Anthony Caruso attended this year’s event as representatives of HDS.

The program this year focused on introducing to families and extended families, who have a developmentally disabled child relative, what exactly it is like walking in said child’s shoes. In other words, the event paid homage to and acknowledged the struggles endured by developmentally disabled children.  It was a meaningful and heartfelt, as well as an incredibly educational experience for all.  Those in attendance participated in the event’s traditional ribbon ceremony, in which the guests hold onto a yellow ribbon around the tables and stand in support of any guests who have children or other relatives with developmental disabilities. In addition, the guests watched a video about the center that opened just over one year ago. Next year’s In My Shoes luncheon is already scheduled for September 23, 2016. The committee will begin planning in late February, 2016.

2015 Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism Fundraiser

2015 Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism Fundraiser

2015 Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism Fundraiser

HDS once again joined the Cypress Bay High School Lightning Team to raise funds in support of the Dan Marino Walkabout Autism event, January 24th, 2015.  HDS has participated in this fundraiser since the very 1st DMF Walk-About-Autism.  For the past couple of years, HDS  merged its team with the Cypress Bay High School “Team Lightning”, in order to make an even greater contribution.

HDS has as established relationship with the school via the CBHS’ ESE Programs, and has mentored special needs students at the HDS workplace The school’s ESE department is eligible to receive 25% of the funds raised as a direct grant, making the effort even more special, allowing them to acquire much needed equipment and supplies.  Katherine Gilson-Miranda,  is the daughter of Cristina Miranda, founder of The HDS Foundation, Inc., and also a student at Cypress Bay.  This year not only did our Team win the top K-12 Public School in Broward County Top Place raising $13, 883.04, but Kate also was the top fundraiser in the entire event, individually raising $11,958.00.  Kudos to all of our Team members, family and friends who support this walk each year!  And thanks to all of the people who

Dan Marino Foundation Recognition Dinner

Meagan Bouscher-Miranda, HDS Foundation Program Manager, attended the DMF Recognition Dinner, held at the Hampton Inn, Fort Lauderdale.  All the job coaches, interns, and job sites were praised for their efforts in helping the interns achieve their summer program goals.  The event honored all of the hard work and dedication in allowing children and young adults with Autism to be more self sufficient, and to develop skills to help them in the work force and for the future. The students had an opportunity to speak about their personal experiences and give acknowledgement and praise for the help they have gotten along the way. The event sponsored by the Dan Marino Foundation was a huge success.

2013 Cheer Buddies Banquet

The Cypress Bay Cheer Squad and the Cheer Buddies held their yearly baquet at Weston Hills Country Club. They celebrated their accomplishments and said goodbye to the Senior class, awards were given out and comical “Superlatives.” All the students had a wonderful time and dressed to impress. We cannot wait to see the squad for the up and coming year. Thanks for the great memories team!



Autism Day: The Marlins VS The Phillies

The HDS family visited the Marlins Park on Sunday, April 14th to watch the hometown Marlins take on the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Marlins went above and beyond to focus the game on Autism awareness. They had volunteer recognization during the game, an Autism kiosk at the pregame, and portions of the proceeds benefited the Marlins Foundation and local Autsim groups. They had an Autism Resource Fair in the West Plaza and children were able to run the bases after the game.It is great when our hometown teams get involved in great causes! Lets Go Fish!

Dan Marino WalkAbout Autism Walk at Sunlife Stadium

HDS joined Team Cypress Bay for the annual WalkAbout event at Sunlife Stadium. The actual event is held on the football field and the experience is like no other. This annual event raises more than $500,000 every year and all that money stays here in South Florida through the help of the Dan Marino Foundation. The best part is that 25% of the money Cypress raised goes right back to the school to help support the special needs programming and services. All the kids had a wonderful time and through the combination of great students, parents, teachers, and volunteers it was a very successful day! Go Lightning.