Smallfry Elves welcome Santa, Junior Orange Bowl events set

By Gloria Burns….

Gloria Burns

Holiday celebrations began for South Miami with “Santa’s Parade of Elves,” and it’s hard to believe this parade started 28 years ago, thanks largely to John Sorgie, Chairman of the South Miami/Coral Gables Elks Club Board of Trustees. In addition, for the past 21 years, Barbara Acker has helped organize this event. The cutest little children in the world dressed as elves always make it a truly home town welcome for Santa with school bands, bag pipes, dancers and more making this such a memorable event. Among the participants in this parade orchestrated by Red Sunset Merchants Association were Community Newspapers’ Gaby Cruz and friends from Veronica’s Dollhouse, a boutique for vintage clothes, jewelry and more. Featured in the parade were the Junior Orange Bowl Queen Leai Schwartz and Princesses Sloane Rice and Valeris Katz, a royal trio with a busy festival schedule in front of them, including the Sports Ability Games, Tennis, Basketball, Gold and Parade among a few appearances they’ll make in the coming month. Look for photos in our next issue.

For participants of the JOBC Sports Ability Games, a three-day event for physically- challenged young athletes, the past weekend was packed with exciting events. Shake-A-Leg welcomed Games’ participants on the first day with sailing demonstrations. The terrific and inspiring program continued with two days of track and field, swimming and a great topping-off party, chaired by Richard Naue who just recently retired from the Coral Gables Police Department (just in time to devote full time to this volunteer effort).

Another event requiring full time volunteers is Junior Orange Bowl Tennis, cochaired once again by Barbara Waters and Abbie Dresnick, both working 10 days and more non-stop for unquestionably the best juniors’ tennis event in the world. Qualifying matches run from December 14-16 with the main draw December 17-23. Admission is free for those wanting to see future pros. For information, visit

Tickets have also gone on sale for the 2010-2011 Junior Orange Bowl Parade, scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Sunday, January 2, 2011, in downtown Coral Gables. Tickets for seating are $12 and may be purchased by calling 305-662-1210.

Finally, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Inc. has hired Cameron Sisser as Manager of External Relations. He’ll represent Miami Lighthouse at local, state and national levels on legislative issues and help foster a favorable political environment for the organization’s mission while developing a comprehensive marketing, communications and public relations program. A former legislative assistant to both State Senators, Gwen Margolis and Dan Gelber, Sisser is also active in the community, serving on the boards of Leadership Miami, Miami-Dade United Way Young Leaders, Business Buddies, Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library and the Jewish Volunteer Center of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. He also served as regional Chair of Connect Florida from 2008-2010.

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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