Improved FCAT scores earn students a special party

GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club held an annual fifth grade graduation party for FS Tucker Elementary students on May 29 at their clubhouse.

Students, dressed in their finest attire, celebrated with the teachers and Principal Annette DeGoti, who announced and congratulated students on their marked improvement in FCAT scores. Club members Linda Hartwell and Debra Adam were presented with a special gift from the school for their support.

Several students entertained the crowd including Victoria Diaz, on Trumpet, as well as Alex Blandin, on acoustic guitar. Ana Sanchez, Mercel Ellison and Shakur Cooper also read their won original poems to a very appreciative audience. Before the dancing began, club members helped served plates of great spaghetti and meatballs after which the fifth graders made ice cream sundaes for dessert.

On Thursday May 28, The Learning Experience School, the only school in Miami for students from birth to adulthood with mild to moderate developmental disabilities, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and donor party to celebrate the opening of the their new $2 million One United Campus. The school’s brand new 20,000 square foot campus in combines their three previous locations all ‘under one roof’ into a centralized campus in South Miami. More than 75 guests attended the reception during which guests were given a tour of the new facility. The program also included the formal ribboncutting and remarks from guest speaker United States Congresswoman Ileana Ros- Lehtinen. Bacardi generously sponsored this ribbon cutting and donor reception.

Hell’s Kitchen contestant Chef Josh Wahler is making a name for himself in South Florida as Executive Chef at 5300 Chop House, a new upscale restaurant located at this all suites resort, The Blue, located on Doral’s Blue Golf Course. Wahler recently joined forces for an event with Chef David K Gordon “Chef Superdave” (formerly of Jada and now Miami’s only Chef Winemaker with Sunny Fraser of SUNBOX eleven).

Wahler, and Gordon collaborated on a four course wine dinner with seven dishes matched with SUNBOX eleven Winery’s limited production 2007 releases.

This California Winery produces exclusively for Florida and the wines were excellent. For those who love but cannot drink red wines, SUNBOX eleven even has a great white that will delight your palate. For more information on the wines or this fabulous new restaurant visit < > or < >.

Speaking of good restaurants, check out Jakes in South Miami. After closing to renovate, the restaurant has a great new look and a fabulous new menu preserving some of the favorite menu items as well.

Finally, congratulations to a phenomenal volunteer and Rotarian, Diana Phillips. South Miami Mayor Horace Feliu presented Phillips with a City of South Miami Proclamation for her lifetime of good works and volunteer efforts on behalf of Rotary Club and the South Miami community. If you are one of the many thousands attending the Annual South Miami Rotary Art Festival, you know one of many reasons why this is a well deserved recognition. 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, please send your news via e-mail 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

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