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Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 1:30 am

Fundraiser Helps Raise Money for Beloved Principal and Coach Who Lost Both Legs After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver

Everyone in South Dade remembers when an out of control (suspected) drunk driver nearly ended the life of South Dade High School Principal Javi Perez on a tragic evening back on April 26th of last year, Perez and other parents were watching their children in a championship little league game at Tamiami Park when an SUV came racing towards them.

The woman behind the wheel later measured nearly three times the legal blood alcohol limit is still awaiting trial. Perez was trapped under the SUV and later both of his legs were removed. He remained in a coma for days as his family waited and prayed.

The outcome of that tragic accident was felt by everyone, particularly those that know the man that was transforming South Dade High into a top tier school again.

But it’s been said that every dark cloud has a silver lining. The outpouring of support for this leader of young people and father and husband was the incredible inspiration he has delivered to us all. You only need to shake his hand or feel his warm embrace or see his blinding smile to understand that, while he recovers, this man is just getting started on his journey to make this a better place. While he overcomes the hand that life has dealt him, he inspires by example.

This past Saturday if you drove past Redland Country Club you might have thought there was something being given for free based on the jam-packed parking lot. And you would have been right because inspiration was being delivered to all that were fortunate to be there.

The first #JaviStrong Golf Tournament was held.

When the event was first announced, it sold out almost instantly. In fact, the course ran out of golf carts and was forced to turn away some.

Golf Carts lined up to start the tournament

Over 100 golfers and friends raised $10,000 to help Perez meet his monumental medical bills and add to the fund that will pay for his new legs.

Those legs that will enable him to once again run and compete in races, play with his kids and climb the stairs at South Dade High will come in at over $160,000.

The next shceduled event to raise money to help pay the mounting bills is the 2nd Annual JaviStrong 5K Run/Walk/Roll on Saturday, June 3rd at Amelia Earhart Park.

Steps towards recovery take on new meaning when you have to learn to walk again.

Anyone that has come across this remarkable man, go away suspecting he will be walking and running again.


If you want to help and can’t attend, anyone can make donations - -via or 

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