South Florida Rotary events abound in February

South Florida Rotary events abound in February

Pictured are Bruce Kerestes (Chili chef) and RCCG President Greg Martini serving chili at Cutler Bay Chili Cook Off getting some experience before their Rotar y Club produces its inaugural Chili Cook Off “Chili Chillin” event.

South Florida Rotarians will be busy in February with a golf tournament as well as two signature events and a district picnic on the sam e weekend. Mia mi D adeland- Pinecrest and Coral Gables Rotary kick-off February with the Rotary Golf Classic for Scholarships on Friday, February 5, at The Biltmore Golf Course with a 7:30 a .m. check-in .

As the tourna men t concludes , golfers and other non golfing Rotarians will gather for lunch, an awards program and silent auction. After that the crowd will gather on the golf course for the annual Golf Ball Drop fundraiser to bene fit The Rot ary Foundation Annual Fund that supports all of the humanitarian and educational programs of The Rotary Foundation and is the source of funds for District Grants available to Rotary Clubs for local and international projects. For information on how to join the fun, call Maria Avalas at 305-305-1535 or Chris Morrison at 305-582-7690.

The 33rd Annual South Miami Rotary Art Festival will be held February 20-21. This community event features 150 outstanding artists with a juried show, an expanded food court, beer garden and live jazz o stage. It is located along Sunset Drive between Red Road and S. Dixie Highway. Admission is free and it is a guaranteed fun family event much like other Rotary events that same weekend.

On Sunday, February 21, Coral Gables Rotarians are planning their inaugural Chili Cook Off at Fred B. Hartnett Ponce Circle Park from 2 – 6 p.m. Among the many sponsors already committed to major sponsors already committed to the event are Concrete Beach Brewery and Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables. Other sponsors include Tonkinson Fi nanci al , Stanfill Funeral Homes, Coral G ables LaSalle Cleane rs and Vorte x Communications. More on this in upcoming issues. For information or to register for the event, visit

To promote this first time event for the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and to get some o n -sit e training, Coral G ables Rotary Pr esident and Pinec rest resident Greg Martini and fellow Rotarian Bruce Kerestes (who cooks a great chili) participated in the Cutler Bay Chili Cook Off on Jan. 9. It was a picture perfect day for those folks who gathered at Cutler Ridge Park for a fun filled day of great food and entertainment. While the Club’s Chili did not win their category, it was a really good chili. Among the crowd at the event tasting Bruce’s recipe with this writer were Fred Baddour, om Carle sso, and Nancy Martini and hundreds more.

District 6990 Rotarians will gather the morning of February 21, 11 a.m. for a picnic at Tropical Park; so, for many it will be a triple header… art festival, picnic, and chili cook off weekend.

In other news, two upcoming galas and a walk in February s upport causes focused on children. The first of the two galas will be the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club Black & White Gala on Febru ary 13. Guests will enjoy dinner, dancing, open bar , silent auction and m ore in the beautiful setting of the Club’s historic building at 1009 East Ponce de Leon Blvd. Tickets are only $7 5 per person with all proceeds benefitting the Club’s free Children ’s Dental Clinic that provides in excess of $250,000 in free dental care annually to children in need. VIP table of 8 tickets also available. For Gala ticket information and purchase, contact or for information on the clinic or donations, contact Susie Tilson at or

On Saturday, February 27, the Junior Ora nge Bowl Comm ittee will hold their annual gala at the Conrad Miami. The Junior Orange Bowl “Miami Vice” Gala will feature an exclusive reception, a fine-dining experience paired with live music and a silent au ction. Community leade rs being honored, who have significantly impacted the community through their philanthropy and volunteerism, include John and Pam Admire, Miami’s Community Newspapers, and the City of Miami Springs. The evening will also celebrate the organization’s milestones and the Junior Orange Bowl’s mission to serve the youth of South Florida. Please consider being a Junior Orange Bowl partner by advertising in our signature full color calendar program. Help us to celebrate the you th a nd pr ovide them with co ntinued opportuniti es to reach new heights and enhance their future. Tickets are $125 per person. Call 305-662-1210 for more info.

Finally, A Safe Haven for Newborns Walk will be held February 13, at Amelia Earhart Park. Registration is 7:30 a.m., walk start 8 a.m. For more information or to register for the walk v isit

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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