Toy drive at private home brings holiday cheer

Toy drive at private home brings holiday cheer

Coral Gables Chamber’s 20/30 Group enjoying evening at Crave. Pictured (l-r) are Tom Weinkle of Cortex Communications; Mario Valderrama, Crave; John Allen, Home Financing; Carolina Rendeiro, Right Management; Yesenia Moreno, Albion Staffing, and chamber president Mark Trowbridge.

A toy drive at the beautiful Coral Gables home of Scott and Belinda Sime attracted a crowd of more than 140 well wishers who enjoyed food and drink and an opportunity to share the joy of the season with children in need.

This annual party hosted by the couple was their most successful ever with many guests stopping by to drop off toys and then returning again to finish off the evening at the party that went on until 2 a.m. The Lighthouse for the Blind counts on Scott and Belinda for toys for their annual party and will receive 88 toys this year’s donations while Miami Children’s Toys for Tots will be getting another 84 toys for its children.

Speaking of holiday parties, the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club held its annual holiday party and installation on Dec. 4 at its clubhouse beautifully decorated for the occasion by Ana Lam and her committee. Aside from celebrating the season, club president Mireya Kilmon and membership director Maryann Etkin installed three new members: Kristy Fueyo, Susan Haynes and Ruth Martinez. The crowd also enjoyed some words from First Husband and president of the Men’s Auxiliary Stephen Kilmon.

The Rotary Club of Coral Gables held an Orientation Dinner at the Gables home of past president Deborah Swain and her husband, John. Among the new members participating in that dinner were Jesus Guzman, president of Shell Lumber; Kritsy Fueyo, NHP USA; Rebecca Kibbe, attorney at K & L Gates LLP, and Heather Shatzel, marketing manager at The Nearing Firm.

Another group, the 20/30 Group of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, partied at Crave in the Village of Merrick Park. Committee chair Jon Ridley was delighted to have more than 50 join the gathering that night. Among the many see enjoying that event were Gables Chamber president Mark Trowbridge, Carolina Rendeiro, John Allen, Yesenia Moreno, Marianne Sioli and Douglas Viney.

Toy drive at private home brings holiday cheer

Pictured at CGWC holiday party are Coral Gables Woman’s Club president Mireya Kilmon and membership director Maryann Etkin with new members Susan Hynes, Kristy Fueyo, Ruth Martinez and First Husband Stephen Kilmon.

Congratulations to Deena Bell Llewellyn, ASLA, president of Bell Landscape Architecture Inc. Deena, who is a very active member of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, was elected as chair for the Miami-Dade and Monroe County chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects for the 2014-16 term.

Finally, don’t miss Actors’ Playhouse’s new production, Making God Laugh, a family comedy directed by David Arisco, running through Dec. 29. The play revolves around empty nest parents Bill and Ruthie (Peter Haig and Angie Radosh) who welcome their children home during the holidays over a 30-year span. It is a moving and very funny play all will enjoy. Tickets for this production and any Actors’ Playhouse show make great holiday gifts and are a great way to support this incredible theater. For more information, visit

Until next year, keep making each day count.

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

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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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