belkys_bday_cake_web.jpgSpecial to South Florida Times

MIAMI ­— Students from the Overtown Youth Center in a Miami neighborhood used song and dance to take guests around the world and back at It’s All Overtown, “One Night…One World,” an annual fundraiser hosted by Alonzo and Tracy Wilson Mourning, patrons of the center.

More than 400 people gathered at Key Biscayne’s waterfront Rusty Pelican restaurant July 19 to show their support for the center, which Alonzo Mourning and real-estate developer Martin Z. Marguiles co-founded in 2003.

With WSVN television news anchor Belkys Nerey as mistress of ceremonies, guests were treated to a multicultural-themed night filled with delectable food, sizzling performances, a silent auction, personalized thank-you notes from the Mournings and a special performance by Grammy nominee Melanie Fiona.

OYC students did everything from serving as the band of the evening to performing well-coordinated dance numbers, strutting in elaborate costumes infused with Indian, African, Latin, Caribbean and American styles.

“It’s so great to see so many people out supporting,” Tracy Mourning said. “It’s amazing. Alonzo and I receive a lot of accolades for the work that we do but we truly know that it’s not by ourselves. It’s with our total community’s support and this is just a beautiful example of that.”

Kandisha Rodgers, an 18-year-old junior at Booker T. Washington High School in Overtown, who holds the title of OYC Queen, echoed that sentiment. She attended the center since she was in the second grade and said she was impressed with the dedication of the Mournings, OYC staff and supporters.

“Seeing all of these people put so much work into this event and donate so much money to OYC is wonderful. I feel like Alonzo and Tracy Mourning are the greatest people on earth,” Rodgers said.

Among the notable attendees were Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Children’s Trust CEO Modesty Abety and Miami-Dade County District 3 Commissioner Audrey Edmonson.

Photo: Belkys Nerey