May 1 promises to be a magical night at Westin Colonnade


May 1 promises to be a magical night at Westin Colonnade

Seen here at Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce breakfast are (l-r) Gulliver’s Hank Langston; former chamber chair Carolina Rendeiro of Right Space; Gulliver’s John Krutulis; featured speaker Mary Kane of Sister Cities International, and new Coral Gables Commissioner Jeannett Slesnick.

Guests will be entertained and amazed by the magical wonderland transformation of the ballrooms at the Westin Colonnade on May 1, 6:30-11 p.m., for Coral Gables Rotary’s annual fundraiser.

The affair will benefit Give Kids the World Village, a 70-acre nonprofit “storybook” resort in the Orlando area serving children with life-threatening illnesses, and the many programs of the Coral Gables Rotary Foundation, from veterans and youth programs to international outreach. The Westin Colonnade is the presenting sponsor of this event and shares top billing with another major donor, CRB Geological and Environmental Services.

The Westin is a longtime supporter of Give Kids the World Village where children with life threatening illnesses share a free one week vacation with their entire families.

The village has never turned a child away, something that certainly touched the heart of Coral Gables Rotarians as well. In fact, Gulliver’s Interact Club has supported GKTW for several years with part of the proceeds from the annual fashion show.

Rotary event chair Steven Spann and Westin general manager Matt Lahiff are delighted with the many other sponsors who have already committed their support including ECS Engineered Comfort Solutions, Liquid DJ/ Illume, C & S Paint, and Waste Management, to mention a few.

Guests may come in costumes, if they like, or cocktail attire. Tickets start at $75 per person. For sponsorship information or tickets, call 305-441-8063.

In other news, Baptist Medical Plaza at 10 Giralda welcomed Coral Gables Chamber Trustees for a lovely reception on April 14. It was election eve so many attendees were making this the first of many stops to celebrate their favorite candidate.

That same week, the busy ladies of the Coral Gables Woman’s Club held a fun Bunco Night raising $230 for their children’s dental clinic. The club meets the first and third Wednesday of each month and welcomes women looking to serve the community to join their efforts.

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Coral Gables Chamber packed the house Apr. 16 at The Biltmore Hotel for a breakfast sponsored by Gulliver Schools whose students ran most of the program in fine fashion. Gulliver brought in Mary D. Kane, who became president and CEO of Sister Cities International in October 2011 and leads the membership, youth and education, development, and advocacy programs to strengthen the sister city network around the world.

Founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, this nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit serves as the national membership organization for individual sister cities, counties and states across the United States.

Kane, who obviously loves her job and its mission, explained that this network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in 545 communities with over 2,100 partnerships in 145 countries on six continents and spoke of the many benefits cities derive from these relationships.

Speaking of chambers, kudos go out to Kent Crock whose brainchild it was to create the Christian Chamber of Greater Miami. The group held its first luncheon on Apr. 15 with more than 130 people packing Devon Seafood at The Palms in Town and Country. The crowd enjoyed some great good and even better speakers including former Miami Dolphins running back Eugene Edward “Mercury” Morris, always an inspiring speaker.

Finally, congratulations go out to the Coral Gables elections: Mayor Jim Cason and Commissioners Frank Quesada and Jeannett Slesnick, who were sworn in on Apr. 17. Also being honored that day was former Gables Vice Mayor Bill Kerdyk, who served the city so well for decades.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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About the Author

Gloria Burns
A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel as well as non profit consulting and management. Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist writing Gloria’s Gab, a column that focuses on the non-profit activity. Burns was Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee for 6 years and then served as the first Executive Director of Coral Gables Community Foundation for 14 years after which she helped the emerging Community Foundation of Pinecrest. Active in many non profits, she received the 2015-16 President's Best Member Award from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman's Club, 2012-13 CGWC Leadership Award, 2012-2013 Rotarian of the Year Award as RCCG Public Relations Chair and Fund raising Co-Chair, 2011 Florida Federation of Women’s Club Volunteer of the Year for the District 11 and honored by the City of Doral as one of their first recipients for the Doralian Women's Award. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education; helps coordinate charity partners for the Westin Colonnade's Annual Give Kids the World Breakfast; serves on the board of directors of Doral Business Council; is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club; serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and is Publicity Chair; and is a member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee. Gloria is also an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where sings sings in the choir. She can be reached at

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