South Miami Rotary is working hard for charities

South Miami Rotarians are raising extra funds for their charitable activities. John Sorgie’s football mania tops the list of fundraisers after the Club’s Annual Arts & Crafts Festival in February. Yet another money maker for this industrious group is the selling of Entertainment discount coupon books. They sell for $30 and the Club gets to keep $15. The South Miami Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at noon at Bernie’s Steakhouse. Visiting Rotarians are welcomed. A recent wedding at Wayside Baptist Church brought several visitors from Gainesville where the bride and groom, Rachel Clark and Christopher Hett, live.

Jorge Mendez, Michelle Jimenez and Ouma Skinner at Chamber’s Wind Down Wednesday at Hoja Nueva.

Chef Aliza and son, Ryan Barna, take a break with future chefs during Chef Aliza’s baking camp.

Clark, in fact, is working on a post graduate 3-year Physical Therapy Degree program at the University of Florida. The couple’s good friend and pastor in Gainesville, Rev. Mark Trujillo, officiated over the ceremony and his two young daughters, Katelyn and Kayla, also served as flower girls. Among the many others participating in the wedding were parents, Gary and Joanna Clark, Steve and Cindy Hett, Hana Espinosa, Susie Choi, Kaitlyn Faessler, Stephanie Hett, Chad Fralick, Christopher Hollensen. AJ Peck, and Wayne Clark. A lovely reception was held following the ceremony at the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant where a good time was had by all.

Among some of the guests seen at the affair were Ron and Anita Shuffield, friends of the bride’s parents from University of Baptist Church. Ron Shuffield relates that while Joanna, an elementary school teacher at Miami Christian School. attends UBC, she is a weekly volunteer at Wayside Baptist. Every Sunday Clark helps with special needs adults as one of her many charitable activities. Her generous spirit is also one she has passed on to her children.

Further north, Coral Gables Chamber’s 20/30 group held another great networking event, Wind Down Wednesday, on August 6 at the Westin Colonnade’s Hoja Nueva restaurant. While the events are organized by the younger Chamber members, all are invited to participate and many do, including such notables as Coral Gables Mayor Don Slesnick and City Manager David Brown.

Among the many others enjoying the evening were Chamber President Mark Trowbridge, Vice President Ana Gonzalez, Pat Morgan, Jorge Mendez, Todd Linden, Michelle Jimenez, Georgina Exposito, and Ouma Skinner, to mention a few.

“Go Red,” a national campaign to educate women on heart health, was the topic Mrs. Miami, Mireya Kilmon, covered as guest speaker at a recent meeting of the Coral Gables Woman’s Club.

Chef Aliza and son, Ryan Barna, take a break with future chefs during Chef Aliza’s baking camp.

Kilmon, an RN herself, educated the group like few can as a health care provider herself. In addition to answering many questions following her presentation, she talked about the need for increased funding. While heart disease is the biggest killer of women, it receives only a small percentage of federal funding for research.

For more information on this, go to By the way, the University of Miami is launching a new non-credit certificate programs in Business Fundamentals and Business Communication. Each fivecourse certificate program can be completed in 10-15 weeks. For info session reservations, please call 305-284-4000 or visit If you are a member of Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, you will receive a 10 percent discount.

Speaking of college, recent Ransom Everglades graduate, Amy Scherer, is off to Eckerd College in St. Petersburg to begin her college experience. Prior to leaving, parents Les and Barbara Scherer, held a party where former babysitters for Amy and her brother Brian, Christina and Cathie Burns, showed up to make the day especially fun.

With schools opening soon, many camps closed down earlier this month. One of the latest to close was Chez Aliza’s in Pinecrest where children learned to cook and bake throughout the summer bringing home a notebook of terrific easy to make recipes for their families to enjoy from stuffed shells to great desserts. The final week focused on baking. While most of the campers were 7 – 12 years old, one of t he youngest to attend a few of those days was Ryan Barna, 3, Aliza’s son. No surprise, he was a hit with the girls and actually participated in the production of some great desserts.

Finally, do not forget to take advantage of free Sundays through August at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. This is a perfect opportunity to walk Fairchild’s grounds, have a family picnic or simply enjoy quiet time while taking in the beauty of 83 acres of lush tropical paradise. Be sure to see the Vine Pergola, where a display of some of the most amazing flowering vines can be seen in bloom year-round; The Palm Allée and the Overlook, where shady passages open up to sunny views overlooking Fairchild’s lakes, giving the impression of indefinite space; The Rainforest, where the soothing sound of waterfalls and the cool shade make it a summer must-see; and, of course, the Bailey Palm Glade which has become one of the most popular photos spots, because of its breathtaking view of Fairchild’s lakes and lowland areas. For more information, contact Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden at 305-667-1651.

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 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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