Arthritis Walk nears $75,000; Team Paradise helps impaired

By Gloria Burns….

“Let’s Move Together” Arthritis Walk brought (l-r) Debi Wilborn, Charo Bolanos, Mireya Kilmon (American Image Queen 09-10), Linda Hartwell , Claire Frances Whitehurst, Ana Lam, Pam Schaeffer, and Andy Young to prepare 25 food baskets for distribution to needy families before Thanksgiving.

The “Let’s Move Together” Second Annual Arthritis Foundation Walk held November 13 at Crandon Park and now in its second year raised almost $73,000. Cochairs for the event, Mireya Kilmon and Kathy Lubbers, were pleased to double last year’s proceeds but hope additional late donations will help them reach their $75,000 goal. To donate visit www.miamiwalk. Proceeds from the Walk stay in South Florida, funding two arthritis clinics, a yearly children’s camp and research.

Mireya Kilmon, a board member of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club, recruited CGWC Past President Charo Bolanos as a Team Captain for the Club that also signed up as a sponsor. Among the hundreds participating in the walk: Debi Wilborn, Linda Hartwell, Claire Frances Whitehurst, Ana Lam, Pam Schaeffer, and Andy Young, to mention a few. This active group of women from South Miami (and most every other municipality in South Florida) had a very busy November supporting numerous events and collecting food for needy families whose children are clients of the Club’s May Van Sickle Children’s Dental Clinic. Owned and operated by the Club, the clinic provides more than $150,000 in free dental care annually to needy children and is one of many outreach efforts in which the Club is involved. For information on joining this dynamic group of women, visit

Team Paradise Sailing Academy brings together legendary sailors from around the globe to race on Biscayne Bay as part of the Calle Ocho Regatta Series, the most recent event taking place November 20 at Shake- A-Leg in Coconut Grove. World-class athletes race on mixed-teams uniquely paired with physically-disabled sailors. Team Paradise partnering with Shake-A-Leg Miami helps those with physical and developmental challenges to empower themselves by through sailing with US Olympic Gold Medalist sailor Magnus Liljedahl leading the charge. Among other renowned sailing vets who participate are Cuban athlete and current Snipe Western Hemisphere Champion, Ernesto Rodriguez, and his coach from the 1996 Cuban Olympic Sailing Team, Gabriel Alvarez; past Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Augie Diaz; and Roberto Lizano. Others include members of both the US Disabled Sailing Team and the US Sailing Team; US Blind National Champions, Janice Bartleson and J P Creignou; US Disabled Veterans of War; as well as volunteer sailing instructors from Shake-A-Leg Miami and the Team Paradise Sailing Academy.

The event not only served to promote disabled sailing but the Team Paradise Sailing Academy that features a sailing school, boat rentals, and classes for all levels of sailing from beginners to advanced. In addition, all proceeds from the Academy are dedicated to helping fulfill the organization’s mission to provide Paralympics equipment and coaching support to disabled and blind athletes from around the globe.

For additional information on Team Paradise go online to and for Shake-A-Leg, visit Both organizations are Florida nonprofit corporations with 501(c) (3) IRS designation.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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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

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