South Miami art students win Drug-Free Coalition art contest

Seven South Miami-area middle and high school students were recently named winners of the South Miami Drug-Free Coalition (SMDFC) student art contest. Winning artworks were chosen from original pieces reflecting the contest theme, “Drug Free Is The Key.”

SMDFC is an Informed Families-sponsored initiative. Juan Garcia won bestin- show. In the 6-8 grade category winners were Rebecca Adler, first place; Alexis Graboski, second place; and Maria Lopez, third place. All are students at South Miami Community Middle School (SMCMS). Awards in the 9-12 grade category went to Natalie Munoz, of South Miami Senior High School, first place; Christopher Rodriguez, second place; and Quentin Coffy, third place, both from SMCMS.

Pictured from left: Rebecca Adler, 6th Grade, South Miami Community Middle School, First Place; Cheryl Goodman, Art Magnet Teacher, South Miami Community Middle School; Juan Garcia, 6th Grade, South Miami Community Middle School, Best of Show; Alexis Graboski, 6th Grade, South Miami Community Middle School, Second Place; Maria Lopez, 6th Grade, South Miami Community Middle School, Third Place; Dr. Lisa Robertson, Principal, South Miami Community Middle School.

Winning entries were on display at the 25th annual South Miami Rotary Art Festival this past February, as well as at other locations throughout South Miami. Additionally, winning artwork will be considered for possible use to promote Informed Families’ annual Red Ribbon Week or other drug-free activities sponsored by SMDFC and Informed Families.

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame, a non-profit charitable organization, whose sole purpose is to promote the University of Miami’s athletic teams and to preserve its history, held 41st Annual Induction banquet on April 23rd, at Miami’s Jungle Island. Among the many in attendance were current NFL star Edgerrin James, 1980’s football lineman Mike Sullivan, basketball star Tim James, baseball star Aubrey Huff and Warren Bogle, the first Miami player to reach the Major Leagues, track Olympian Davian Clark and women’s National Champion golfer Cathy Morse.

Congratulations to David Lawrence who was honored yet again with the 2009 Humanitarian of the Year Award at a dinner held recently at the JW Marriott Miami at which Mayor Carlos Alvarez, was the Honorary Chair.

Lawrence was also awarded the Coral Gables Citizen of the Year by the Rotary Club of Coral Gables. Congratulations to a man who has truly impacted our community in a most positive way for decades on end.

Pictured from left: Margaret Sotham, Director, South Miami Drug-Free Coalition; Quentin Coffy, 11th Grade, South Miami Senior High, Third Place; Christopher Rodriguez, 11th Grade, South Miami Senior High, Second Place; Nathalie Munoz, 11th Grade, South Miami Senior High, First Place; Pierre Edouard, Assistant Principal, South Miami Senior High.

Finally, Col. Lettie Bien left Sunday for Iraq on April 19. After retiring from the military, Bien will now be serving our country working as a civilian. In Lettie fashion, her standing order to her friends was to “Take care of yourself and give something back to your community in some form or another! Now, more than ever, is the time to reach out, help one another and stop getting caught up in the small or material things that mean nothing. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. Our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, Country…that is what it is all about.” Truer words were never spoken. Until next week, keep making each day count.

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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