Community Involvement

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 On December 23, 2016, Rick, Margarita, and Steven created the Tonkinson Foundation as an

enhancement to their commitment to the community. 

 

 

Rick and Margarita Tonkinson

 

Rick has a philosophy of “tithing” back to the community that is shared by the family.

A pivotal experience for Rick was his time spent as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia in 1976, and he has been giving back to the community for more than 40 years.

 

Civic Action

Back in 1984, Rick represented Mayor Clark on the Biscayne Bay Management Committee and worked with the commissioner, Harvey Rubin. The committee purchased the Deering Estate for $17 million in order to turn it into the very popular park it is today. The same Committee purchased the mangroves along the perimeter of Biscayne Bay to prevent it from turning into what Brickell Avenue looks like today.

Rick represented the Governor of Florida as a board of director on the Florida Endowment Fund for Higher Education, which is a $17 million endowment that awards full 4-year scholarships for African Americans to study for their PhDs. Rick represented both Bob Martinez (Republican) and Lawton Chiles (Democrat) on this board.

 

Education

Rick and Margarita have a passion for education and have provided numerous scholarships to students that attend the Miami and Coral Gables high schools, Florida International University (FIU), and the University of Miami (UM). Rick has been a mentor for university graduate students. He is a guest speaker on topics such as entrepreneurship, running a successful family business, and ethics. Rick volunteered for eight years as an instructor on business plans and finance at the SCORE (SBA) seminars.

 

Arts

A major donor to the theater, the FIU theater lobby and the Knight Concert Hall Second Floor Promenade at the Arsht Performing Arts Center are named in honor of Rick and Margarita Tonkinson.

 

Board Member

Rick serves as a board member for the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and the Miami Music Association (MMA) for the Cleveland Orchestra Miami. He is chairman of the board for the FIU College of Architecture and the Arts (CARTA), which is heavily involved in the reopening of the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Margarita serves as a member for the Rotary Club of Coral Gables Scholarship Committee as well as a member of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle.

 

Charitable Organizations

Rick and Margarita support 46 charities that include the following: