‘Party of the Century’ brings India to South Florida

More than 600 people gathered at the home of Rod Hildebrandt and Matthew Meehan on March 27th, for the “Party of the Century,” all to benefit the Sunil’s Home Orphanage in India. Name any other event that offers continuous stage shows, an opportunity to come face to face with a live Bengal Tiger, two giant camels and assorted animals plus phenomenal food, open bar, a silent and live auction, a Hookah lounge, and more. Rod and Matt worked with fellow board member Lynn Bauer in providing an affair that grows every year. Especially nice was a video presentation shown during the evening updating guests on the progress made over the years since this group of philanthropic individuals came together to support this home and save more than 60 children from life on the mean streets of India, many of whom would have been sold into prostitution or slavery

Among the many making the event possible by either donating or working at a very reduced cost were Berber Events, Indian Palate, Catering the Event by Susan Bleemer, Dance Culture Divas, New Century Dance Company, Southern Audion Visual and Alberto Romeu Photography. Emmy award winning journalist, Cynthia Demos, anchor for CBS4 News, served as emcee while Bob Soper worked with Coral Gables Chamber President Mark Trowbridge, for the live auction. Among the guests enjoying this spectacular night were John and Ada Holian; Coral Gables Commissioner Bill Kerdyk with his mother, Marlene; UM Professor Hal Wanless; Marian and Bob Fewell; Dr. Al and Libby Smith; Amadeo and Mariam Guazzini; Bob and Rosie Buchwald; Duffy and Sally Matheson; Yolanda Woodbridge; Zoltin and Christina Pinter with daughter, Victoria; Jerry Kravulich; JB Spence; Paul and Teresa Lowenthal; Hank Langston; Bob Dickinson; and Fabian Basabe, to mention some.

Looking for a special gift for a loved one, follow the lead of local financial planner Rick Tonkinson who dedicated a Euphoria punicea tree at the Fairchild Tropical and Botanic Gardens as a present to his wife, Margarita, for Valentine’s Day.

As Silver Fellow donors at Fairchild, they became aware of this wonderful Gifts that Give Back program and are now encouraging others to do the same. For more information on how you may participate and support this incredible community resource, contact Bill Shade at the Fairchild at 305-667-1651, ext. 3351.

Congratulations to Colonel Jose R. Monteagudo on his recent promotion to Colonel. Monteagudo, Vice Commander, 482nd Fighter Wing Homestead Air Force Base, assists the Commander in overall management of the installation, to include a squadron of twenty-five F16-C/D aircraft. Fellow Florida Gator, Monteagudo graduated from UF with a degree in nuclear engineering and has since furthered his education through Squadron Officers School, Air Command Staff College, Air War College and has begun an Executive MBA program at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business. As a civilian, Monteagudo flies for a major airline and holds ratings on the B-777, 757 and 767 aircraft. He is a command pilot with more than 3,500 F-16 flying hours, 3,700 total hours. In addition, he has more than 380 combat hours and 130 combat missions.

Village of Merrick Park and Women of Tomorrow are looking to make sure every girl can attend the prom regardless of their financial situation. With their Project Prom Dress, they are collecting the donation of gently worn evening gowns and accessories to help ensure no girl will miss the magic of prom night. Those wishing to donate items may do so on from Thursday, April 8th – Sunday April, 11th, 12 noon – 7 p.m., at the Village of Merrick Park, Garden level, next to Coach.

For more information, contact Jessica Finkelson at The Patton Group 305-534-0081 or JessicaF@thepattongroupinc.com. 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 gloriagalburns@aol.com .

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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. Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist writing Gloria’s Gab, a column that focuses on the non-profit activity. Burns was Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee for 6 years and then served as the first Executive Director of Coral Gables Community Foundation for 14 years after which she helped the emerging Community Foundation of Pinecrest. Active in many non profits, she received the 2015-16 President's Best Member Award from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman's Club, 2012-13 CGWC Leadership Award, 2012-2013 Rotarian of the Year Award as RCCG Public Relations Chair and Fund raising Co-Chair, 2011 Florida Federation of Women’s Club Volunteer of the Year for the District 11 and honored by the City of Doral as one of their first recipients for the Doralian Women's Award. 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 sings sings in the choir. She can be reached at gloria@communitynewspapers.com

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