Parkland Cares

The executive team at Debt.com launches a crisis-counseling initiative for MSD students and families

By Kevin Kaminski

Like so many others around the country, Howard Dvorkin watched the events of Feb. 14 unfold with equal parts shock, anger and despair. It wasn’t just that he and wife Gwen had deep roots in Parkland, ones that, for Dvorkin, stretched over some three decades. Or that several equestrians from Marjory Stoneman Douglas rode their horses at his Pine Hollow Farm.

In the aftermath of the deadliest high school shooting in U.S.  history, the chairman of Debt.com and investor in SFBW’s parent company and other businesses recognized that, for some members of the community, the worst was yet to come.

“There are so many people who have been emotionally impacted, and they may need to talk to somebody,” Dvorkin says.

“Once the cameras are off, once the reporters are gone, once the police are gone, you still have a lot of hurt to deal with. Long-term hurt. And if that’s not addressed, it will destroy people’s lives.”

It’s with that in mind that the executive team at Debt.com, including company president Don Silvestri, has partnered with some of the area’s top mental health providers to establish Parkland Cares—a centralized resource service and fundraising platform for those in need of immediate and long-term crisis counseling.

At press time, the organization’s website (parklandcares.org) featured connections to Henderson Behavioral Health, Broward County’s largest mental health provider; the Bougainvilla House Family Therapy Center; Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County; the Bobby Resciniti Healing Hearts Foundation; and two programs at Nova Southeastern University (the Trauma Resolution and Integration Program and the Child and Adolescent Traumatic Stress Program). The organization’s advisory board—which includes the Dvorkins, Silvestri and wife Alissa, Debi and Andrew Weisman, Stacey and Michael Udine, and other community leaders—will continue to evaluate potential mental health partners for Parkland Cares.

For Dvorkin, understanding and coping with the effects of trauma is personal. A week before his bar mitzvah, his father suffered a massive heart attack at the foot of Dvorkin’s bed.

“He died in my arms when I was 13,” Dvorkin says. “Back then, they didn’t send us to therapy. I can’t recall one conversation with anyone in the 1970s—including my mother, who was a great mother. We just didn’t talk about it. You were expected to toughen up and just go.

“When I was a teenager, I was set on a path of self-destruction; the people I was hanging out with were the worst people. Some are dead now; some are incarcerated. There was so much rage in my body. Thankfully, I was strong enough to pull myself away from it. But it wasn’t until I was in my early 40s that I finally spoke about all this. … My only ambition here is to help students and families with the long-term traumatic stress that will affect them.”

In addition to the website and its resources, Parkland Cares plans raises funds through challenges and events, the proceeds of which will go directly toward counseling efforts for those in need. ♦


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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.