Spring begins and special events bloom everywhere

Gulliver’s Tropicana Nights wowed the more than 350 guests on March 8, with an evening at the downtown Hyatt, transformed into the Tropicana Club.

From high top bongo tables and bamboo centerpieces to the incredible sounds of the Carlos Oliva y Los Sobrinos del Juez band, the night also featured a surprise musical delight from South Florida’s own Jon Secada. To top it off, MetroZoo’s Ron Magill ran the live auction. Proceeds from the event organized by school’s parent’ association helped raise in excess of $50,000.

Clockwise: Pictured (l-r) are Rita and Ron McGill, and Ted Milford.

Sponsors helping make the affair a success included Fairholme, Hyatt Regency Downtown, Vilar Cigars, Secada Productions, and Bacardi. Credit should also be shared with the school’s corporate partners, who continually support Gulliver’s efforts: AVCOM Avionics & Instruments, Band of America, Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union, Jewel Tones, Squire Sanders Legal Counsel Worldwide, U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management, and Williamson Cadillac HUMMER.

Gulliver Schools is a 501(c) (3) private, not-for-profit, independent, coeducational, nonsectarian day school with the mission of providing a superior college-preparatory education to students whose needs encompass a wide range of natural abilities.

The Junior Orange Bowl Committee held its annual installation dinner at Miami Springs Country Club on Tuesday, March 25, as the organization installed as its President, Miami Springs City Manager Jim Borgmann; Marti Bueso, President Elect; Richard Naue, Vice President; Brian Seits, Vice President; Enid Miguez, Secretary; Don Slesnick III, Treasurer; Corinne Steinbauer, Immediate Past President; and Directors Sally Baumgartner, Dallas Brown, Charles Knight, and Chuck Little, who was also a past president. Coral Gables Mayor Don Slesnick, a past president of the JOBC, officiated over the installation of the board as well as over the induction of new members: Buddy Dowlen. Randall Groh, Zeke Guilford, Maday Kennedy, Rita Oates, Cecilia Slesnick and John Sorgie. New Associates inducted included David Adelson, Josephine Burke, Robert Bueso, Tim Dunfey, Elissa Gerzog, Gina Guilford, Elizabeth Hightower, Kathleen Kauffman, Tiffany Kennedy, Peter Liu, Melissa Seits, Gloria Stephens, Gloria Stephens, and Peter Tolmach

Pictured (l-r) are Dr. Mandy Offerle, Glenda Crawford, and Gloria Bracciano.

At this annual dinner which also served to recognized event chairs and sponsors, the JOBC announced the winner of the Jim Charlton Volunteer of the Year, Dallas Brown. A member of the JOBC for the past 7 years, Brown has tackled several events and has always been ready to either lead or lend a helping hand as needed. Receiving a standing ovation, he was definitely a crowd favorite and most deserving of this honor.

Among the many enjoying a lovely reception and buffet dinner at the Country Club’s beautifully renovated clubhouse were Miami Springs Mayor Bill Bain and several other past presidents including Mort Guilford, Jeannett Slesnick, Linda Dunn Brown, Rex Russo, and Renee Reichling.

With Spring comes an abundance of great social affairs and luncheons. On Friday, May 16, the American Heart Association will hold its 2008 Go Red for Women Luncheon, at The Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Avenue in Coral Gables. The event begins in the morning at 9:30 a.m. with educational session and an interactive exhibit area followed by a Heart Healthy Lunch with guest speakers at noon.

Dallas Brown receives Jim Charlton Volunteer of the Year Award from 2007-8 President Corinne Steinbauer at Jr. Orange Bowls’ Annual Installation Dinner.

Luncheon sponsors are University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute, and AvMed Health Plans. Go Red for Women is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and Merck. Tickets for the Go Red for Women Luncheon are $100. For information, contact your American Heart Association at 305-856-1449.

More than 30 University of Miami Sport Administration grad students will present the 3rd annual S.P.O.R.T. Golf Classic presented by Metta Financial on Friday, April 25, at the Palmetto Golf Course at 9300 S.W. 152nd Street, Miami. A portion of this year’s proceeds will benefit The Florida Marlins Community Foundation, a non profit that promotes educational, athletic, health, social and community service programs in the South Florida youth. The tournament begins at 9 a.m. and is followed by a silent auction. Individual tickets are $65, $240 for foursomes and $280 for a foursome and a tee-box. For tickets, call Jessica Lortie at 954-558-7202.

Iridesse Pearls boutique in Aventura Mall hosted a beautiful luncheon for the honorees of the 2008 Spectrum Awards of the American Red Cross on Thursday, March 13. Mona Adams, Chairman the Board of the local Red Cross, was delighted to work with Iridesse’s boutique to create the necklace to be used as an auction item at the 2008 Spectrum Awards Luncheon on April 15, at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove at 11 a.m. Individual tickets to the luncheon start at $125. For more information, please call Gloria Danovitz at 305-644-1200 ext. 111 or visit www.miamiredcross.org/spectrum.

Miami Springs Mayor Bill Bain with 2008-9 President and Miami Springs City Manger Jim Borgmann at JOBC Installation Dinner.

The Spectrum Awards recognize women for exemplifying the humanitarian principles of the American Red Cross: Humanity, Impartiality, Independence, Unity, Neutrality, Universality, and Voluntary Service. The awards also salute women of diverse ages and cultural backgrounds who are making significant contributions to the quality of life in our community.

The awards are named for Sara Hopkins Woodruff, businesswoman and philanthropist whose family sponsors the Spectrum Awards in her memory. On the topic of auctions, you will not want to miss the 17th Annual Reach for the Stars Gala Auction. Presented by Actors’ Playhouse and Lexus of Kendall, this exciting annual event takes place on Saturday, April 12, at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on over $250,000 worth of live and silent auction items while enjoying dinner provided by 30 of Coral Gables’ finest restaurants and an open Bacardi bar. Held at Actors’ Playhouse at the historic Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, South Florida’s own Bob Soper, formerly of WFOR Channel 4 TV, will make his 17th celebrity appearance as the guest auctioneer. Proceeds from this year’s event will support the capital improvements of the historic Miracle Theatre and the operating costs of Actors’ Playhouse Spectacular 2008-2009 Season.

Reservations for this black-tie-optional event on April 12 are $100 per person and include gourmet dining, open Bacardi bar, and the opportunity to bid on live and silent auction items. To preview auction items or make your reservation, visit our web site at www.actorsplayhouse.org. Reservations may also be made through the Box Office at 305-444-9293.

Finally, here is a date to save, May 10. On that date the Rotary Club of Coral Gables will be holding its major fundraiser, a Dinner/Dance at the Country Club of Coral Gables. The affair will feature the band, Manhatten Music and proceeds will benefit the Rotary Club of Coral Gables Charitable Fund, from which its many Community and International Service projects are supported. More information on this event will be included soon. Currently, more information may be obtained by contacting the Club President David Mitchell at MITCHELLESQ@aol.com. Until next week, keep making each day count.

Keeping up with what’s happening in our community is quite a challenge and I am certain there are many activities I miss. If you would like to submit information for this column, send news via e-mail to


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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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