Stop Diabetes Walk team captains gather at Marlins Park

Stop Diabetes Walk team captains gather at Marlins Park

Hank Langston accepts a proclamation from Miami-Dade County presented by Commissioner Lynda Bell.

With the Sept. 21 Stop Diabetes Walk just around the corner, more than 100 Miami-Dade supporters gathered at Marlins Park on July 31 for a kickoff celebration that featured several testimonials, healthy food and lots of team captains ready to raise funds to help prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

As an added treat that evening, Michael Garafola, who is a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney General’s office and was one of the bachelors on this year’s hit show the Bachelorette, was on hand to motivate the crowd. While Michael did not win the fight for Desiree’s heart, he said he would not stop fighting until a cure was found for diabetes. Diagnosed at age 16, Michael knows firsthand what it takes to live with the disease. The ADA was most grateful for his support for the kickoff event and of his help in bringing awareness to a cause that has become one of his many passions in life.

Today, nearly 26 million Americans, including 200,000 in Miami-Dade alone, have diabetes. While an estimated 18.8 million have been diagnosed, unfortunately, 7 million people are unaware that they have the disease. If current trends continue, one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050.

The GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club is one of the many teams that will be participating in this walk led by Jessie Francisco, the daughter of the club president. Jessie has Type 1 Diabetes and is the perfect champion for that group of active women who understand that walking is one of the best forms of exercise for people with diabetes and helps to control glucose levels.

Stop Diabetes Walk team captains gather at Marlins Park

Pete de la Torre celebrates his birthday at Cao Chocolates. Pictured (l-r) are (back row) Lucy Tamajon, Frank Soler, Pete de le Torre, Gloria Burns and Isabel Del Castillo; (front) Sally Villalba, Marti Bueso, Ricardo Trillos and Max Fleischer.

Everyone is encouraged to join the fun that morning, learn more about diabetes, and walk with friends and family for a great cause. For more information about this year’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, visit or call 1-888-DIABETES, ext 3118.

In other news, Miami Dade County Commissioner Lynda Bell took advantage of an assembly of more than 400 teachers and staff on Aug. 8 to surprise Gulliver’s dean of faculty and director of University Community and Corporate Affairs Hank Langston with beautifully framed proclamation from the mayor and county commission.

Bell cited Langston’s dedicated service to the community, to education and for his outstanding leadership in bringing together the Military Affairs Committees of three chambers when he was MAC chair for Chamber South to advocate with one voice for Homestead Air Reserve Base.

An immediate standing ovation brought tears to the eyes of so many who understand the incredible impact he has had in everything he has ever tackled from the JOBC where he started the first gymnastics tournament, the first nighttime parade and an ongoing scholar-athlete program to serving in executive positions on numerous boards of directors. His awards and leadership roles over the years could fill a book making this Proclamation well deserved honor.

Finally, Pete de la Torre was spotted at Cao Chocolates recently with lots of Gables Chamber and Doral Business Council friends celebrating a surprise ad hoc birthday party. Among the crowd at Ricardo Trillo’s store enjoying the get together were J.R. Steinbauer, Marti Bueso, Carlos Ruiz, Stephen Mussolino, Sally Villalba, Lucy Tamajon, Max Fleischer and John Burns, to mention a few.

Until next time, keep making each day count. If you want to submit information for this column, please send 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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