Holiday festivities abound with good cheer and good deeds

Holiday festivities abound with good cheer and good deedsProfit Inc., one of the South Florida’s oldest business networking groups, had a festive holiday Open House at Tarpon Bend hosted by Robert Beans, owner of Bay Plumbing. Not only did everyone enjoy some great hors d’oeuvres but each one also left with a gift bottle of nice wine.

This business networking group is comprised of members who are also very active in local non profits and have been involved in hosting everything from food and toy drives to hands on service projects. Among the many seen enjoying this celebration were Profits Inc. Club President Rosemary Guilfoyle, Past President Dr. Joe Briggle, South Miami Rotarian Mike Sutta, Pete Riley, and Enrique Yunis. Among the many others was HV Design owner Hernando Valenzuela, with his wife and daughter, Valerie, who just completed the Mitchell & West Family Fun Day 5K as a new member of the Coral Gables Woman’s Club. In fact, club members stood out at that race thanks to shirts donated by her family’s company.

Speaking of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club, their Holiday Dinner Dance was among the first parties this month. The Dec. 2 affair served as an opportunity to thank the dental clinic staff as well as install its newest members including Theresa Gilmore, Valerie Valenzuela, and Paola Mendez. Arely Ruiz is also a new member but was out of town and not able to attend. Also honored that night was Eneida Rivera who was presented with the Barbara Lapsley Best New Member Award. Where one lives is of no importance for membership in this club that owns and operates a free children’s dental clinic providing more than $220,000 in free care annually to Miami-Dade County children who fall between the cracks in the healthcare system.

Past President Linda Hartwell coordinated the party with past President Mireya Kilmon and President Mayra Dominguez all doing their part for a great affair. The CGWC Holiday Boutique on Dec. 3, coordinated by Susie Tilson, also provided additional funding for the dental clinic. Vendors space was sold out for this first time event helping the club raise several thousand dollars for their clinic. It has been a terrific year for the dental clinic with some major funding from Coral Gables Community Foundation to update the clinic with a new dental chair and more. Women, regardless of where they live, interested in giving back to the community through service are encouraged to visit the club website and call for more information at

Toy drives were held at multiple sites including a great one on Dec. 12, at the home of Scott and Belinda Sime. The Simes opened their home to hundreds providing great food and entertainment while collecting approximately 600 hundred toys for The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind as well as for Toys for Tots benefitting Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. While many, like the Simes, were collecting for children, yet others like South Miami and Gables Rotarians were also collecting gifts for seniors.

Speaking of Rotary, South Miami and other district Rotarians, non profits and local businesses are challenged to put their best recipes forward for Coral Gables Rotary’s Inaugural Chili Cook-Off set for February 21 at Ponce Circle Park in Coral Gables. More info soon.

Finally, a quick note to all those non profits and other organizations that have listed events on our online calendar of events. Changes were made and many of the listings need to be reposted. Please check events to see if you events need to be added again

May you all have a blessed and joyous holiday season and a very happy New Year.

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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