South Miami Rotarians installs new club president

South Miami Rotarians recently installed new club president, Reverend Pansy Graham, who recently returned from the Rotary International Convention in Birmingham, England. The Club’s Installation Dinner was held at Signature Gardens on June 13. A large crowd, including Pansy’s daughters, Keisha Kotar and Arteha Graham-Caley enjoyed a lovely evening of fellowship, dining and dancing and awards.

On June 14, more than 70 people gathered at the Historic Dice House to celebrate our American flag. Lisa Lesperance and her family hosted the party to celebrate Flag Day, which first originated in 1885. It was not until 1949, that President Truman designated June 14 National Flag Day. On hand for the event at Kendall’s oldest existing building (built in 1929) was Commissioner Katy Sorenson who spoke to the crowd about the history of the Dice House and her successful efforts to save the house from demolition, eventually moving it to Continental Park. Other elected officials in attendance joining Commissioner Katy Sorenson were State Representative Dwight Bullard, Vice Mayor of Pinecrest Jeff Cutler and Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner.

On hand for the affair was Lisa’s grandmother, Lorette Spalding, 93, a VA Hospital volunteer since 1969, who led the attentive crowd in a Pledge of Allegiance followed by a live trumpet playing Star Spangled Banner by Miami’s own John Branzer. Also, attending, was Dr. Robert Bueso from the East Kendall Homeowners Association who introduced Lisa Lesperance and spoke of her extensive qualifications to run for the open State House of Representative Seat (District 117) in 2010. For information on Lisa, visit: < >.

GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club’s Wine and Cheese Social on June 17, gave this dynamic group of women an opportunity to share their passion for the Club’s free children’s dental clinic as well as the club’s many other outreach efforts that include local, national and international charitable programs. The event was held at the organization’s clubhouse in Coral Gables adjacent to which is their renown May Van Sickle Children’s Dental Clinic that provides more than $160,000 in free dental care annually to children in need.

Debi Wilborn, 2nd vice president, emceed the program in the absence of club president, Pam Schaefer, who was in California visiting her newly born granddaughter, Jolie. Among the many prospective new members attending the affair were Abby Vicencio, Marian Iglesias, Elizabeth Hutson, Sonia Cuza, Pat Bosco, Lis Lucas, Janeli Arredodo, Catherine Fleming, Amy Baena, Maylen Montoto, Inma Murga, Karin English, Patti Hendon, Hedi Ober, Ileana Guanchez and Suzanne McClure.

Members enjoying the festive evening of dinner and socializing with some great new faces were Christy Saxon-Her nandez, Debra Adam, Michele Collier, Barbara Lapsley, Robin Burr, Linda Hartwell, Mayra Dominguez, Kathy Terry, Charo Bolanos, Mireya Kilmon, Carol Nobles, Lisa Lesperance, Diana de Armas, Carmen Suarez, and many more.

For information about the May Van Sickle Children’s Dental Clinic or the Club, go online to < >. You can also view the Coral Gables Woman’s Club in action on their Facebook page. 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, please your news via email 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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