Books and Books hosted the Junior Orange Bowl Creative Writing Award ceremony on January 3. This competition, sponsored by the South Florida Writers Association (SFWA), uncovers some uniquely talented young writers and this year’s competition, chaired again by Connie Goodman Milone, was no exception. Family, friends, teachers, KOBC members and local writers enjoyed refreshments before sitting down for the best part of the program.
The 2009 first place winner, Wendy Serra, read her essay, “Silent Night,” aloud to an audience that was captivated by the maturity and beauty of her piece. Serra was awarded several gifts including a $100 check from the SFWA.
Serra, a student at Miami Lakes Middle School, was encouraged to enter the competition by her teacher, Tracie Pullum, who was also recognized and awarded some gifts of thanks.
Other winners receiving recognition and checks were Alexis Lauda, of St. Timothy Parish School, who won second place; and Emily Raitan, of Rabbi Alexander S. Gross Hebrew Academy, who won third place.
This annual competition is opened to eight grade middle school students from Miami Dade County. Look for the winning essay on the JOBC web site and in SFWA’s Author’s Voice.
The week prior to this event, the Junior Orange Bowl was busy wrapping up its International Golf Invitational and producing its 60th Annual JOBC Parade, “Moon Over Miami.” While volunteers handed out helium filled balloons thanking Miami Children’s Hospital for its support to the crowd, VIP’s enjoyed a lovely reception at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables.
After enjoying a beautiful buffet provided by the Hyatt, the crowd was transported, courtesy of Super Shuttle, to the grandstand area across from City Hall where they enjoyed one of South Florida’s best parades featuring the youth of the world. While Obie, the Orange Bowl Mascot, was the Grand Marshal, the parade was also honored to have Channel 10’s Laurie Jennings as its Honorary Grand Marshal. Jennings rode in a convertible with her twin boys dressed in Santa hats and they could not have been more adorable.
In other news, Coral Gables Rotarians kicked off the New Year with their traditional Moose Milk Party at the lovely home of Bob and Cindy Trescott. While Bob Trescott and fellow Rotarian Sally Baumgartner prepared the Moose Milk, a concoction of ice cream and gin, members arrived with all sorts of great covered dishes that made for a fabulous buffet and great way to kick off the New Year.
Among the many attending the affair were Yoli and Fred Woodbridge. Jo Burke, Coral Gables Commissioner Ralph Cabrera and Jodi Cabrera, Bruce and Janie Kerestes, Manny Mares, Lynn Mitchell, Lan and Marie Rose Nghiem-Phu, Bill and Rita Oates,Dr. Patricia Padrinas, David Ortiz, Elizabeth Silverman, Chris Zoller and John Burns, to mention a few.
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 your news via e-mail to