Spirit of giving is alive and well in the Gables

Seen here at the Arthritis Walk is Jack Atwell, Channel 16 Eye on South Florida, interviewing CGWC president Mireya Kilmon.

Seen here at the Arthritis Walk is Jack Atwell, Channel 16 Eye on South Florida, interviewing CGWC president Mireya Kilmon.

The spirit of giving is alive and well in Coral Gables.

Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre has come up with a plan to help others during its production of A Christmas Carol, the Musical. Every child who brings a new, unwrapped toy to donate during a performance will receive one free Flexible Anytime Ticket good for any remaining show in the Musical Theatre for Young Audiences 2012-13 season. Last day to donate toys will be on Saturday, Dec. 15, as all donations will be delivered that evening to Neighbors 4 Neighbors for distribution to families in need.

Dozens of Thanksgiving baskets lined up here are being filled to the brim for needy families by members of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club.

Dozens of Thanksgiving baskets lined up here are being filled to the brim for needy families by members of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club.

A Christmas Carol, the Musical will play at the Miracle Theatre through Dec. 23. Performances will be on Saturdays at 2 p.m. Special holiday performances will be on Dec. 22, at 7 p.m., and Dec. 23, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and children and can be ordered online at <www.actorsplayhouse. org> or through the box office at 305-444-9293. Group rates are available for 15 people or more. Birthday parties and corporate group bookings for holiday events are welcome.

The giving spirit is ever apparent with the women of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club who own and operate a children free dental clinic year around while also handling countless charitable outreach efforts. Most recently the club collected food and delivered 35 huge Thanksgiving baskets to families of children being treated at the club’s clinic in addition to providing large bags of gift-wrapped toiletries for the women at Agape.

While some clubs are losing members, the Gables Woman’s Club is increasing its membership base with women of all ages looking to give back to their community while making new friends and serving others. In fact, several new members were installed at the club’s Dec. 5 holiday party, an affair that also served to thank the dental clinic staff and some major donors who have supported the May Van Sickle Children Dental Clinic over the years. These included the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation, the Health Foundation of South Florida, and Bacardi USA. Past president Barbara Lapsley, who writes the annual proposal for funding from the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation, reports that over the past 20 years they have donated more than $400,000 to help thousands of children have a healthy smile.

Coral Gables Rotarians and chamber members added to the toy chests of several children’s charities as well with their toy and clothing drives. Local churches collected food and clothing for neighbors in need. From Camillus House, the VA Hospital to Shake-A-Leg, Coral Gables Rotarians and several other District 6990 clubs may be seen giving of their time, talent and treasure.

Rotarian Joan Rietsma also serves on the board of her local Thrivent for Lutherans Foundation. Every year that group makes a sizable contribution to His House decorating one of the cottages with every possible holiday decoration including a real tree and all the trimmings as well as a holiday meal.

Best of all, in South Florida, this generosity of spirit is evident throughout the year and is one of the reasons that writing this column is such an amazing blessing. Thanks to all of you who have made our community a better, kinder, and more compassionate place to live.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

If you want to submit information for this column, please send your news via email to gloriagalburns@aol.com

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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 gloria@communitynewspapers.com

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