A great fundraiser and a stunning musical production

More than 170 guests enjoyed a Gold Rush themed Casino Night held March 6th to benefit the May Van Sickle Children’s Dental Clinic, a free clinic for disadvantaged children owned and operated by the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club. The Club’s historic clubhouse was transformed into an old fashioned saloon with gaming tables. A western style menu, silent and live auction, and a great DJ with music for dancing, insured an evening to suit all tastes and provided terrific fun and laughter for all.

Co-chairing the event were Charo Bolanos and Mireya Kilmon with club president, Pam Schaefer, heading up the fundraising/auction committee, ably assisted by Susie Tilson and Sandy Schaefer. Linda Harwell’s decorations committee transformed the clubhouse ballrooms into a western style saloon, giving it the perfect ambience for a fun filled evening. Among the many helping orchestrate the event were Vicki McGroarty, Ana Lam, Barbara Lapsley, Carmen Suarez, and Myra Dominguez, to mention a few.

For more information on helping support the Club’s free dental clinic that provides more than $160,000 free dental care annually to disadvantaged children, go online to www.coralgableswomansclub.org. By the way, the clubhouse also offers a terrific location for weddings and specials events with proceeds also helping maintain this historic building, located at 1001 East Ponce de Leon Blvd. In addition, rentals also provide an additional funding source for the children’s dental clinic.

Miss Saigon, the new musical at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre that will run through April 4, delivered big time with a show that wowed the audience from start to finish. The amazing cast of talented actors included singer, dancer, actor Herman Sebek in the role of the engineer whose performance was flawless. Other lead actors whose voices often moved the audience from laughter to tears included Ej Zimmerman, as Kim; Christopher deProphetis, as Chris; Darryl Reuben Hall, as John; Amy Miller Brennan, as Ellen; and Chris-Ian Sanchez, as Thuy.

Choreography and scenery were expertly done but, outshining all was the technical feat of bringing a helicopter on stage which, of course, was a show stopper.

The opening night performance played to a packed house on March 5th and received a well deserved standing ovation. Among the many VIPs seen that evening were Mayor Don and Jeannett Slesnick; Commissioner Chip and Cindy Withers; School board member, Marta Perez, and Chris Wolfe; and Lourdes Perez, of Continental Airlines, to mention a few. Hats off once again to the Actors’ Playhouse Artistic, David Arisco, and Executive Director, Barbara Stein, for providing our community with such a rich cultural resource. For tickets to Miss Saigon, go online to www.actorsplayhouse. org or call the box office at 305-444- 9293.

Finally, Rotarians and friends are invited to attend Rotary Night when the Florida Panthers take on the New York Rangers at the Bank Atlantic Center in Fort Lauderdale for an exciting hockey game on Saturday, April 3, 2010. While the game starts at 7:00 p.m., the fun begins at 5:00 p.m. A $50 ticket includes Coach Club access with all inclusive buffet and bar, Hockey 101, Arena Tour AND parking! For more information, contact Rotarian Christine Lindfield at lindfield@bellsouth. net or 954-782-0357.

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 email 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. 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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