Rotary Cabaret in Pinecrest Raises funds for New World

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The Pinecrest home of Greg and Nancy Martini provided a great venue for the final fundraiser of the club year for the Rotary Club of Coral Gables. Among the performers was Martini’s talented daughter, Grace, who is a sophomore in Musical Theatre at The Boston Conservatory and a 2015 graduate of New World School of the Arts, one of the evening’s beneficiaries. Also performing were Justine Garcia, Jazz Vocalist – University of Miami – Sophomore, New World School of the Arts Alumni Class of 2015; Josh Bermudez, Jazz Guitarist – University of Miami – Sophomore, New World School of the Arts Alumni Class of 2015; Hannah Schreer, Musical Theatre – New World School of the Arts High School – Senior; and Sasha Crews Berkowitz, Musical Theatre – New World School of the Arts High School – Junior. Aside from the Martinis and fellow Rotarians like Fred Baddour and Yoli Woodbridge, lots of folks brought appetizers, desserts and wine to make the dinner over the top.

Speaking of Rotary events, Pinecrest residents Rick and Margarita Tonkinson welcomed Rotarians to their Coconut Grove offices of Tonkinson Financial for a lovely 5th Friday event on April 29. There was much talk of their son, Steven, who is an emergency response team member for Shelter Box USA and was just concluding a mission to Fiji. Steven comes by community service as part of his DNA. His father, Rick, was a Peace Corps volunteer and both parents are extremely connected to organizations that are making a positive impact on our community.

As the school year comes to an end, on May 12 Gulliver Academy held an achievement breakfast to recognize outstanding elementary school students. Of the more than 100 students in the fourth grade, these students stood out: Daniel Azuela, Nina Boghossian Marinho, Diego Carillo, Alesia Castillo, Alex Garcon, Victor Gordon, Anya Gruener, Sarah Karam, Tomas Kay, Mateo Lowe, Victoria Miranda, Katherine Ramirez and Mae Rich. This writer was pleased to congratulate and help award medals to the students following an entertaining speech by Coral Gables Chamber President Mark Trowbridge.

On the cultural front, The Prologue Society recently completed its 24th season with a terrific luncheon at Riviera Country Club featuring Simon Montefiore’s presentation of his fascinating book on the Romanov dynasty. An interview format with outgoing Prologue Society Chair Bud Park was inspired leaving the audience staying after to have Simon signed his most recent book. The Society hosts approximately seven luncheon programs from October to May offering members an opportunity to meet and hear from writers and historians of local, national, and international stature discussing their recent books. Among the many faces in the crowd that day were Ann Baddour, Hank Langston, to mention a very few.

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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