Community Foundation’s Mary Snow addresses Rotarians

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Mary Snow, Coral Gables Community Foundation’s (CGCF) executive director, was the featured speaker for the Aug. 4 weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables (RCCG).

The two non-profit organizations have many ties over the past 25 years of the foundation’s existence as several Rotarians have served as chair, including Hank Langston, Ron Shuffield, Yolanda Woodbridge, George Corrigan and, in the case of this writer, as the first executive director for 14 years. Two other past chairs who have passed include Rotarians Jerry Santeiro and Jose Calvo.

With that kind of overlap, it is no wonder that RCCG created an endowment fund with CGCF and have many programs for which they share support. Among the many overlaps covered in Mary’s talk was a new bench program in Coral Gables’ parks and the opportunity to donate plaques.

Rotarian Rick Tonkinson, was extremely happy to be able to pay for plaques in Rotary’s name at that location, something that he says has taken a decade. It seems Tonkinson, before he even transferred to the Coral Gables Rotary Club, found out about the park at a Rotary convention in Utah through RCCG past president Yoli Woodbridge and indicated he wanted to donate funds for a bench.

A decade later, he finally was able to fulfill that promise and presented a check to Mary at that meeting. By the way, save the date of Oct. 14, for CGCF’s annual gala to benefit its many charitable programs. The event will take place at Coral Gables Country Club.

Also handing out checks at that Aug. 4 Rotary meeting at La Jolla was Rotarian Fred Baddour who presented past president Yolanda Woodbridge and president Steven Spann with a $1,000 donation to underwrite the cost of Yoli’s monthly Veterans Bingo programs.

Fred made the donation in the name of a friend and employee, Roy, who is a veteran and has been fighting a battle with leukemia. Roy hopefully will be on the mend in time for the Autoverks Classic Shows that Fred supports to benefit Rotary’s veterans programs once the weather cools down.

Coming up on Saturday, Aug. 20, young girls and their dates will party at the Biltmore Hotel for the annual Junior Orange Bowl Queen’s Ball. JOBC Queen’s Pageant chair Isa Goenaga has planned a fitting, fun final event for the outgoing Royal Court.

The very next weekend, the JOBC Queen’s Pageant to select the new queen and her court will take place on Aug. 28 in Miami Springs. Girls wishing to participate or find out more about the pageant are encouraged to visit <> for more information.

It will not be long before the Junior Orange Bowl Festival is in full swing and with events ranging from photography and creative writing to sports ability games, basketball and world class amateur golf and tennis events, to mention a few on the schedule for the upcoming season.

Individuals looking to volunteer are encouraged to call the office at 305-662-1210 and sign up for one of the many events to volunteer time and talent.

There are lots of upcoming dates to save before the holiday season is in full swing. The 5K Park Fest at Virginia Key Beach Park is scheduled for Oct. 1. South Florida non-profits are offered an opportunity to participate and use the event as a fundraiser. The registration fee is $40 and half ($20) goes directly to the cause, per person on your team. Visit

Congratulations go out to Coral Gables Hospital on a special year in the hospital’s history. On the evening of Aug. 19, dignitaries and guests will pack the beautiful Coral Gables Museum for the hospital’s 90th anniversary celebration.

Yet another milestone of sorts is the Aug. 17 unveiling of the historic marker and reception at the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club.

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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