Rotarians promote South Miami Festival – and Fest!

By Gloria Burns….

South Miami Rotary Board members admire Manatee artwork.

The Rotary Club of South Miami helped promote the Manatee Fest by inviting founder Heather Bettner to participate in the 27th Annual South Miami Rotary Art Festival. Doreen Reitnauer, South Miami Rotary president, was delighted that both Festival and ‘Fest’ coincided so well.

Rotarian Charles Ruiz de Castilla comments that the Manatee Fest display and sculpture enhances the Art Festival, helping create greater public awareness of this wonderful public art event. Of course, all concerned appreciate the continued support of First National Bank of South Miami and South Miami Hospital, major sponsors for the Art Festival and premier sponsors of Manatee Fest.

With South Miami and Coconut Grove Art Festivals behind us, “Carnaval on the Mile” in Coral Gables will provide another great weekend of outdoor merriment. On March 5 and 6, Miracle Mile will be hopping with live entertainment, vendors of all kinds and the promise of good times for all. Restaurants along the Mile are also preparing for the weekend with plans for additional menu items and special prices. From 11 a.m. to closing during Carnaval days, Angelique Euro Café’s “Little Miracle Bar” will pour $3 drafts of the ‘Best of Belgium’: Stella Artois, Hoegarden, and Leffe, In addition, Chef LeRoy Bautista (20 years on the New Orleans restaurant scene) will serve Naw’lins-styled recipes, straight from the Big Easy.

On March 8, Angelique will have live jazz at 6:30 p.m.along with a special “Fat Tuesday” menu including items like Shrimp Bearnaise and Court Bouillon. Those coming for dinner dressed in gold, purple or green will receive a Hurricane cocktail or New Orleans-based Abita Amber on the house. (“Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez,” or, as we know it, ‘let the good times roll’! For details, visit www.angeliqueeurocafe or tel. 305-529-9922.

In other news, Gulliver student Dillon Patel and members of the Interact Club at Gulliver Prep are planning the school’s largest charity event, the 2011 Interact Fashion Show Benefit to be held at 7 p.m., March 3 at Gulliver Prep School, 6575 N. Kendall Drive. With more than 70 volunteers and participation from eight local stores, the show is entirely run by students and promises to be another success. Last year, $5000 was raised with $100 as the single largest donation. All proceeds benefit the Community Partnership for Homeless, American Cancer Society, and Special Olympics.

Interact Club members like Patel contribute time and energy the year-around from spending Halloween at the local homeless shelter to coordinating a 5K run for the Special Olympics and participating at Relays for Life and visiting with cancer survivors. A truly a dedicated group of young people (and, hopefully, future Rotarians), they offer pre-sale tickets at $10 ($14 at the door). For more information, e-mail or tel. Dillon at 305-878-0573.

On other Rotary-related activities, South Miami Rotarians whose members just orchestrated another great art festival will hold future weekly meetings every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in South Miami. Visiting Rotarians are welcome to attend.

Among the guest speakers at the South Miami Club: Subrata Basu, soon leaving his job with Miami Dade County to take his first Peace Corps assignment in Belize. Basu’s announcement was a surprise to many as he addressed an inspiring decision to join the Peace Corps effort.

Further south, the Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland Pinecrest meets every Monday at 7:30 a.m. at Dadeland Marriott with Certified Financial Planner Rick Tonkinson due March 7 to advise on “Common Sense Approach to Finances for 2011,” followed March 14 by Marcos Regalado who will discuss, “Human Rights Issues Today”.

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

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