Gables Woman’s Club wins state Club of Year award

Gables Woman’s Club wins state Club of Year award

Coral Gables Rotarians Felix Pardo, Diane Thurston, Lorraine Sheldon and Keith Phillips are seen here at Miami Northwestern High School where they visited to speak to graduating seniors.

Several members of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club recently returned from the Florida Federation of Women’s Club convention in Orlando where the club picked up several awards include the big one, state Club of the Year, for the second year in a row in their category.

In addition, CGWC member Debi Moore won the General Federation of Women’s Club Lead Candidate of the Year award for the state and will be attending the International General Federation of Women’s Club convention in Arizona later this year. Among those attending the convention and collecting several other department awards for the club were CGWC president Mireya Kilmon, president-elect Mayra Dominguez, past presidents Linda Hartwell, Claire Frances Whitehurst and Barbara Lapsley.

Graduating seniors at Miami Northwestern High School in Liberty City welcomed groups of Coral Gables Rotarians, led by the club’s community service chair Lorraine Sheldon, on Apr. 22 and 23. During their visit, the Rotarians spoke about their professions and offered pearls of wisdom to graduating seniors.

The school, located right next to the largest housing project in Florida and serving 1,800 students, was founded in 1955. The current school building was completed in the 1990s.

While the school is best known for achievements on the sports field in football and track, the school recently made the headlines by becoming the first inner city school in Miami to go from an “F” class school to an “A” class school. In addition, the graduating rate went from 40 percent receiving high school diplomas to 80 percent, an amazing accomplishment for which the students, principal and staff are most proud and should be congratulated.

Among the many Rotarians participating with Sheldon in this outreach effort were Keith Phillips, Dick Golden, Jim Skinner, Diane Thurston, Carol Brock, and Feliz Pardo. The group was especially impressed as they walked to meet students in the college resource center and viewed a lobby plastered with college acceptance letters. On the wall was a national map showing the students’ names and the schools they will be attending in the fall. Turns out that the presentations were so well received by the students that the high school has asked and hopes to have more.

The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind gathered friends and supporters to their location at 601 SW 89 Ave. on Apr. 30 for the organization’s seventh annual event to benefit the Heiken Children’s Vision Program.

The “Music Under the Stars: Bon Appétit Miami” affair, emceed by Nicole Maristany, media and community relations manager for Publix Super Markets, served to honor Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry along with three generations of Harrison Family Board Leadership that includes participation in the founding of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute by Miami Lighthouse, and the Miami Marlins Foundation.

Guests at the event enjoyed fine wine and cuisine as well as musical performances by Miami Lighthouse’s Better Chance Music Production Program with guest appearance by Latin Grammy winner Paul Hoyle, an outstanding multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Hoyle, renowned for his movie and TV show scores, also has worked with top artists including Shakira, Julio Iglesias, Jon Secada and Albita.

The music program coordinator, vocalist Kevin Mendez, a classically trained baritone, also joined Paul Hoyle for the show. The Better Chance Music Production Program musicians’ children’s album was a 2013 Latin Grammy finalist. The Heiken Children’s Vision Program provides free eye care for underserved.

In other news, the Junior Orange Bowl will be unveiling its parade theme on May 20, 6 p.m. at the Merrick House. For more information, call 305 662-1210.

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. Active in many non profits, she received numerous awards across the community. 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 she sings in the choir. She can be reached at

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