Farewell dinner and students recognition top April events

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More than 115 people gathered for a farewell dinner at Tropical Chinese to honor and say goodbye to a great friend, Director General Philip Wang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami. As Philip’s favorite restaurant, Tropical Chinese was an appropriate location for this occasion. Philip has been called back to Taiwan after many years of service to our community as a Rotarian and representative of his country. He will be greatly missed but expects to return again in the near future. Friends not only enjoyed an impressive menu and an opportunity to wish Philip well and reminisce, with a video produced by his staff that was certainly entertaining and a beautiful tribute to this great diplomat.

The Independent Schools of South Florida held its 28th Annual Star Luncheon at the Doubletree MACC Hotel on April 18, attended by some 55 of its member schools honoring outstanding students with medals and certificates. Among the notable schools in the Pinecrest area were Gulliver Schools and Temple Beth Am. Gulliver’s star students recognized at the luncheon were Daniel Bayer, Archer Bellas, Nicole Herrera, Cassandra Kraft and Victoria Cristina Lainez while Temple Beth Am star students were Chase Dubovy, Brianna Fields and Asher Gelfman. Kudos to the organizers ISSF President Cheryl Rogers, ISSF Executive Director Dr. Teri Logan, Alicia Casanova, and many others who volunteered to help with this massive event attended by close to 800 people.

The GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club, whose members come from all over South Florida, continues supporting this organization of accredited independent schools hosting their spelling and geography bees year after year at their historic clubhouse in Coral Gables. On hand representing the club with this writer and accepting a sponsor recognition was 2016-18 CGWC President Deborah Van Stone, who also represents so well Gulliver Schools. This was one of Debi’s last events as club president prior to handing the gavel over to 2018-2020 President Arely Ruiz.

In other student news, Junior Orange Bowl President Frandley DeFilie recently presented a total of $5,000 in scholarships to six students at the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Scholar-Athlete Luncheon. At the luncheon, one male and one female student from each of the 38 public schools in Miami-Dade County were honored for their achievements in athletics and in the classroom. South Miami Senior High School’s Cindy Santana was one of those students presented with scholarship awards from the Junior Orange Bowl. Other scholarship award winners from Miami-Dade high schools included Destiny Cepero, Hialeah Gardens; Jonathan Feliciano, Hialeah-Miami Lakes; Mia Thomas, Southwest; Levis Aguila Jr., Hialeah Gardens; and Edward Luca, Alonzo & Tracy Mourning High School. Congratulations to all.

In other action, A Safe Haven for Newborns held its Annual Golf Tournament on April 27, at Trump National Resort, a long time host for this fundraiser. Players enjoyed a boxed lunch and drinks before tackling the course on a drizzly afternoon. Lots of laughs and partying transpired before sirens blasted signaling lightning strikes. It was not as bad as it seems. Most golfers had completed nine holes, enough for prizes, and all the players got a voucher to play another day. The afternoon concluded with dinner, awards, a silent auction and even a raffle, all of which raised lots of money to support the work of A Safe Haven for Newborns that has now saved the lives of 270 plus infants in the last ten years. Founder Nick Silverio thanked all who participated and sponsored the event and, in particular volunteers like Gina Perez and Marti Bueso. For information on how you can support or register, visit www.asafehavenfornewborns.org.

Finally, on May 11, Florida’s longest serving member of Congress, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, will be honored at South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Golden Eagle Award Luncheon at The Biltmore Hotel. This amazing Congresswoman has served 35 years in elected office and is an impressive role model. Chairing the event will be Felipe Basulto, Liliam Lopez and Ralph Gonzalez-Jacobo. Tickets are $95 for members and $115 for non members. To RSVP contact llopez@sflhcc.com.

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. Active in many non profits, she received numerous awards across the community. 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 she sings in the choir. She can be reached at gloria@communitynewspapers.com

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