Pinecrest Rotary lines up great speakers for its meetings

Pinecrest Rotary lines up great speakers for its meetings

GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club members Yvonne Elejalde, Valerie Valenzuela, Maryann Etkin, Theresa Gilmore and Kate Swain prepare toiletry gifts for Agape women.

The Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland Pinecrest’s Program Chair, Ron Lieberman, has lined up a terrific group of guests speaker. The December 8 meeting featured Robert Earl, author of The Miami Contingent, Earl’s first presentation since the Miami Book Fair. After an election meeting on December 2, January programs will include Dr. Michael Heithaus, the Dean of FIU’s College of Arts & Sciences, who will discuss the “Underwater Laboratory – Aquarius” and then on January 26, featured speaker will be David W. Mountford, President Of the Coconut Creek Rotary Club and the Chair of “Rotarians for Hope,” the Rotary 6990 District’s newest committee.

In February yet another author, Sam Martinez, will speak. Sam is a former member of the FBI and the author of the controversial Systemic Evil: MAT PEREZ v. THE FBI. Since March is Rotary Literacy Month, the Club is also scheduling Luther Campbell, the author of The Book Of Luke: My Fight For Truth, Justice, & Liberty City.

Currently, Pinecrest Rotarians are conducting a Winter Membership Drive, looking for members to fill the open classifications of Journalist, Dentist, Veterinarian, Optometrist, Chiropractor, Psychologist, Publicist, Computer Technician, Plumber, Printer, Architect, Electrician, Clergy, Automotive Mechanic and several Attorney and Physician sub-classifications. Comprised of professionals and business executives who reside and/or work in the Kendall/Pinecrest area, the Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest meets for breakfast on the second and forth Tuesday morning each month, 7:30-8:30 a.m., at the Dadeland Marriott Hotel, 9090 S. Dadeland Boulevard, to discuss international and community service projects and hear an interesting speaker with one monthly dinner and one monthly networking event.

For more information on this active service club, contact Howard Horowitz, 786- 346-6661, or Ron Lieberman, 305-613-6744,

In other Pinecrest related news, several former members of St. Louis Catholic Church’s Youth Ministry gathered for a reunion of sorts on the occasion of Cindy Mendizabal Gonzalez 40 th birthday. In fact, Cindy and husband Andrew actually met through the youth group decades ago. They now have two great children and are very active with Paws4You. Held at the beautiful Hammock Oaks home of Dr. Rolando and Kathy Mendizabal, Cindy’s party guests enjoyed visiting old friends and family while also taking advantage of several gaming tables for fun play. It was a perfectly beautiful South Florida evening that extended the fun to the patio waterfront pool area. Among the many friends attending the affair were Eric Driggs,Christina Burns, Rey Redlich; Alex Figuerola, Vince Houghton, Miguel Lau, Suzy Sanchez-Galarraga, Cristian Zinn and current Youth Minister at St. Louis Catholic Church, Mark Witkowski, to mention a few.

In the spirit of this giving season, members of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club, several of whom are residents of Pinecrest, gathered for a Thanksgiving pot luck feast followed by the annual preparation of food baskets, 40 in all, for the families of the Club’s free dental clinic. While one group of women worked on that project, another group tackled the donations of toiletries, making 75 gift bags for women that were delivered by Club President Mayra Dominguez to Agape Family Ministries. For those unfamiliar with Agape, it is one of the first non-denominational and nonsectarian faith based substance abuse, mental health residential treatment facilities and community health centers in South Florida. This is one of many ongoing outreach projects this dedicated group of women does annually. For more information on the club and its free children’s dental clinic, visit

Finally, coming off of a successful gala fundraiser at Trump National Resort in November, A Safe Haven for Newborns supporters from all over Miami-Dade and Broward are planning their 3rd Annual Walk at Amelia Earhart Park on February 27, 2016. All of South Florida is encouraged to join firefighters, youth groups, emergency response team members and other non profits to participate and help Nick Silverio, organization founder, to save the lives of babies. To date, Safe Haven has saved from abandonment 235 babies and the list seems to grow every week. Mark your calendars and sign up early. Sponsorships are available. For info, call Norris at 305-725-5355 or Nick at 305 882- 1304, ext 103.

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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