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Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, District 5, hosted an unveiling ceremony in honor of Manuel A. “El Mono” Gonzalez on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center, 1465 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33135.
Manuel A. Gonzalez, affectionately known as “El Mono,” was a pillar of the community and deeply involved with the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana. As a member for nearly 40 years, Manuel Gonzalez was the only person to serve as president of the organization for two terms and on the board of directors. Mr. Gonzalez created the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana Foundation where he raised over $3 million in scholarship funds to benefit low income Hispanic students. The scholarship fund enabled more than 300 students to attend higher education institutions.
As the site of the annual Carnival Miami and Calle Ocho Street Party, 8th Street was made famous by Mr. Gonzalez during his years of service for the Kiwanis. To honor Manuel Gonzalez’s life and contributions to the community, the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County commissions, as well as the Florida Legislature, approved the co-designation of the plaza on SW 14th Avenue and SW 8th Street as “Manuel A. Gonzalez Plaza”. The sign unveiling ceremony will be followed by a reception with family, friends, and colleagues of Mr. Gonzalez at Cubaocho Museum.
“It is a privilege to honor Mr. Gonzalez and his commitment to Little Havana families and children,” Commissioner Higgins said. “His legacy serves as a reminder of the importance of serving our community selflessly.”