Students were the focus of many of these area events

Education and “Green” programs were high on the agenda this past month. The Dade Association for Academic Non- Public Schools (DAANS) held their annual student recognition luncheon on April 21 at the Doubletree Hotel. More than 800 students, educators, family and friends attended this luncheon with students from more than 75 schools. Among the major sponsors for the event was Gulliver Schools, a school with a long history of supporting education, both public and private. Among the many area schools attending were Temple Beth Am, Westminster as well as Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, whose wonderful choir provided entertainment throughout the event.

In other education/green news, 125 students from 25 South Florida public and private high schools showcased their eco-science projects, eco-friendly meals and seed germination research during the Fairchild Challenge annual Research Projects Showcase competition. The Fairchild Challenge is a South Florida-based environmental outreach program founded in 2002 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden during that offers students a showcase for their projects. Four types of projects were included in the showcase: LEED-Certified Science Classroom, Green Cuisine, Solar Inventions and Seed Germination Study.

GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club honored their outgoing President, Pam Schaefer, with a party following her final board meeting of the club year. Schaefer opted not to have the Club’s Annual President’s Reception in her honor because she wanted everyone to focus on raising money for the club’s free children’s dental clinic and was brought to tears by this loving gesture from the membership. Among the many on hand to celebrate were Pam’s husband, John Schaefer, and daughter, Sandy.

Schaefer had just returned from the Florida Federation of Women’s Club convention where, as winner of a raffle for Heifer International, she became Heifer royalty for the weekend with all the trimmings. She even perfected the royal wave.

Also honored with Schaefer was CGWC fellow club member, Mireya Kilmon, who was named FFWC Volunteer of the Year from among 14 women representing their districts in the State of Florida. Kilmon is the current American Image National queen 2009-2010 and will be the Chairperson of the 2nd Annual Arthritis Walk, at Crandon Park, on November 13.

Kristi House, an organization that provides a healing environment for all child victims of sexual abuse and their families, regardless of income, through prevention, treatment and coordination of services with our community partners, held their Breaking the Silence Luncheon. Leon Medical Centers was once again the lead sponsor for this annual affair, held this year at The Biltmore Hotel on April 23 to a packed ballroom.

Guests heard testimonials and were encouraged to help break the silence on child sexual abuse. Kristi House is also planning a Mother’s Day fundraiser on the Liberty of the Seas, to be held May 9. For information and tickets, go online to Until next week, keep making each day count.

Gloria Burns is Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Pinecrest, a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization, as well as a columnist for Community Newspapers.

Keeping abreast of community activities is a challenge. If you would like to submit information for this column, please send your 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

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