Rotarians are out and about in the community

Dedicated Rotarians from South Miami and around District 6990 were on hand for a District Golf Tournament and a Golf Ball Drop raffle on October 31. With 1,820 golf balls dropped by helicopter on the Biltmore Golf Course driving range, the closest to the pin winner was Randy Godard, from the Rotary Club of Coral Springs – Parkland. His prize is a seven day trip to Argentina on American Airlines with hotels donated by Jo Burke. Second prize, a watch donated by Cartier valued at $2,500.00, went to Richard DeWitt, of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, and third place and 3rd prize, a week-end with breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables won by Gloria Rossomano, another member of the Rotary Club of Coral Springs – Parkland. Of course, the good news for all is that a total of $45,500.00 was raised by 43 RI District 6990 Rotary Clubs to help meet the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation $100 Million Challenge Grant for Rotary International’s global polio eradication initiative.

Speaking of Rotary, Coral Gables Rotarians visited the VA Hospital again for a fun day of bingo and then another party the following weekend at Jackson Memorial Hospital. To add to the festive nature of the outreach programs, volunteers showed up in costumes that also brought smiles to all. Joining Judy Pantoja at the VA as she spread joy to the vets were Yolanda Woodbridge, Sally Baumgartner, Jo Burke, Bonnie Blaire, and Club President Abe Horowitz. These folks and others also helped organize a Halloween party at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Diagnostic Treatment Center with the kids of the International Kids Fund and Ronald McDonald House.

Among the stand outs at that party were Terry Long, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood: Dick Golden, as The Sorcerer; Bob Schreiber, as Captain Jack Sparrow, Jim Hirschman, as Captain Sparrow’s first mate: and Judy Pantoja’s UBS colleague, Pamela Leslie, as Witchie Poo.

In other news, the University of Miami Alumni Association (UMAA) hosted an alumni and parents reception in Madrid on November 4, at the Westin Palace Hotel at Plaza de las Cortes, 7. Two days later, the UMAA traveled to London, together with Humana Europe, to host a reception in Mayfair at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), with lots of UM alumni, parents and friends attending and meeting with Barbara E. Kahn, Dean of the University of Miami School of Business Administration, the featured speaker at both events. International events such as these are the beginning of a global approach to alumni outreach which will continue to expand its efforts during the 2008-2009 academic year with stops in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

For more information, please e-mail or contact Octavio Colominas, Director of International Alumni and Parent Relations, at 305-284- 2872 or 1-866-UMALUMS or via e-mail at .

Also on the topic of UM, The Jerry Herman Ring Theatre continues to be a wonderful community resource offering good live theatre. Next up at The Ring, you will want to attend The Winter’s Tale, by William Shakespeare. The chillingly comedy romance bring jealousy, rage, intrigue, love, revenge and comic mishaps to the stage in one of Shakespeare’s most intriguingly plotted plays. When the King of Sicily suspects his best friend is having an affair with his queen, he orders her to prison in a jealous rage and sends his infant daughter into exile in Bohemia. It covers a span of 16 years and has a stunning and surprising ending. For information on tickets and show times, visit .

The Dinner Key Cruising Club will be hosting a nautical-themed flea market to benefit Shake-A-Leg Miami on Nov 22, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Shake-A-Leg Miami, 2620 S. Bayshore Drive, in Coconut Grove. Look for bargains, concessions and raffles as part of this community event. If you have any items you would like to donate to this fundraiser, please drop them off at the Shake-A-Leg Miami facility between November 1 and November 15. For more information, call 305-858-5550

In other community happenings, you are invited to join the Victim Response, Inc. – The Lodge & The Office of Community Advocacy, Addiction Services Board, Asian American Advisory Board, Black Affairs Advisory Board, Commission For Women, Community Relations Board, Domestic Violence Oversight Board, Equal Opportunity Board, and the Affairs Advisory Board in celebrating their 5th Annual Winter Social on Friday, December 5, 7 p.m. to midnight at The Miami Woman’s Club located at 1737 North Bayshore Drive in Miami. RSVP by November 24, 2008. This event is free of charge but there is suggested donation of $20. For more information contact us: or call 305-693-1170 ext 237 or 233.

The Singing Miamians of Pinecrest, Miami-Dade’s premier a cappella male chorus, delighted audiences young and old with a show on November 8, at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church. The Miamians are a non profit charitable organization. Proceeds from that show will support our Youth in Harmony Workshops bringing four part a cappella harmony to Miami-Dade male and female high school students. For more information on how you can join this group or have them perform at your events, call 305-274 7464.

Finally, The Smart Ride 5, a 2 day, 165 mile bicycle ride from Miami to Key West will kick off Thursday, November 13, at MorningStar Renewal Center, 7275 S.W. 124 Street Village of Pinecrest, FL.

Registration is noon to 9:00 p.m. Registration will be closed 5-5:45 p.m. for Dedication Ceremonies. $500,000 was raised last year and they look to top that this year with funds going to the Hug Me Program (Orange County), Center for Positive Connections (Dade County), Broward House (Broward County) , Compass Inc. (Palm Beach), AIDS Help, Inc. (Monroe County and Key West) , and Metropolitan Charities (Tampa Bay area).

Remarkably, all costs for this fundraiser are underwritten and 100 percent of the monies pledged to riders will go directly to charity with the riders given the option to direct 50 percent of the funds they raise. This event has grown very year as other non profits and sponsors lend their hand. In fact, South Florida’s Coral Gables Woman’s Club has been an ongoing supporter volunteering annually for two different water stops attired in themed costumes to add to the fun.

For more information on how you can support this ride, call 1-866-696-7701 or send an email to:

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, 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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