Branches Selected as Miami HEAT Learn & Play Center

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Name of Branches Site to Become Trish and Dan Bell Family Branches Center

We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to support an organization like Branches that so effectively and lovingly provides life-changing opportunities to so many families in our community. - Trish Bell, Chairman of Branches' Advisory Committee.

The Miami HEAT unveiled its 13th Miami HEAT Learn & Play Center today at Branches located at 11500 N.W. 12th Avenue in Miami. HEAT players Michael Beasley and Greg Oden led a host of dignitaries alongside presenting sponsor and longtime HEAT community partner Florida Blue to unveil the newly renovated reading room and computer lab. The space was outfitted with new paint, wall graphics, Samsung Galaxy tablets, and furniture. This unveiling is part of the franchise’s ongoing commitment to improving the South Florida community.

The press conference kicked off the event followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. At the press conference, the name of the Branches site in North Miami was unveiled as the Trish and Dan Bell Family Branches Center – Lakeview Campus. Just last month, Branches also unveiled the Trish and Dan Bell Family Branches Center – Florida City Campus at its Groundbreaking Ceremony. Afterward, HEAT players, Branches Board Members and sponsors interacted with the Branches students in the new HEAT Learn & Play Center.

The following guests attended the unveiling:
Trish and Dan Bell – Branches’ Advisory Committee Chairs
Rod Bell – Branches’ Board Chair
Brent McLaughlin – Branches’ Executive Director
Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor, Russell Benford                                    
Jean Monestime, Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 2
Michael McCullough, Executive Vice President & CMO, The HEAT Group
Michael Baiamonte, Miami HEAT In-Game Announcer (Emcee)
The Miami HEAT Dancers & Burnie
Patrick J. Geraghty - Chairman and CEO, Florida Blue
Penny Shaffer, South Florida Market President, Florida Blue

Trish and Dan Bell have been anonymously supporting Branches since 2005 through generous matching grants and an endowment for summer camp scholarships provided to children. Combined, they have contributed or pledged nearly $7,000,000 to the organization to date. During this timeframe, Branches has scaled operations from one site and less than 1,000 served to four sites throughout Miami-Dade County serving over 11,000 children, youth and adults each year. The organization has grown to 60 employees and is supported by over 150 active volunteers. Branches has a 100% high school graduation rate among its students who have stayed in the Branches program through high school, and it currently has 19 of its students in college, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. Branches is grateful for the generous support that Trish and Dan Bell have provided over the last many years, which currently includes two new matching grants of up to $530,000 to complete the Branches Capital Campaign, and up to $900,000 for the annual operational campaign.

The impact of the Bells’ support was conveyed by Brent McLaughlin, Branches Executive Director, “The Bells first encouraged us to dream of the possibilities and then enabled us to achieve the vision through game-changing and unprecedented support of the organization through several matching grants. They have been and continue to be a blessing for so many. We are forever grateful!”

Significant support for Branches has also been provided by several major foundations and key partners, including the Batchelor Foundation, Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade, Citi Foundation, Himan Brown Charitable Trust, Patrick P. Lee Foundation, Helen’s Hope Foundation, Ocean Reef Community Foundation, Peacock Foundation, and United Way of Miami-Dade as well as numerous individuals.

To support Branches and make a gift to either the Building Up Branches Capital Campaign or the annual operational campaign, please contact Isabelle Pike at or 305-442-8306 x1002.

About Branches
For 40 years, Branches (formerly South Florida Urban Ministries) has made a positive impact in the community by delivering on its mission to serve, educate and inspire people through student, family and financial stability services. Branches provides long-term, holistic services for motivated individuals and families. We help people grow deeper and climb higher in life by building a foundation through education so they can achieve their goals and fulfill their potential.

About the Bells
Since making Miami their home in 1977, Trish and Dan Bell have been deeply engaged in supporting the Miami-Dade community with their leadership and philanthropy. They currently serve together as Co-Chairs of the Board of Trustees of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science; as founding members of the Advisory Committee of Branches; and as Trustees of the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home. Trish is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Chapman Partnership. In addition to Branches, the Bells are also major philanthropic supporters of the Frost Science Museum, Chapman Partnership, and the Children’s Home as well as numerous local social service and cultural organizations. Now retired, Dan co-founded Kos Pharmaceuticals in Miami in 1988 and led the company, as CEO then Chairman, until its sale in 2006. Their son Rod Bell, is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Branches and a partner in the national law firm of Holland & Knight. Recently Rod was awarded the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce NOVO award for Outstanding Board Leader for his service as Chair of the Branches Board of Trustees.

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Isabelle Pike
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