Gilded Lilies continue tradition of caring to next generation

Founders Joan Marshall and Eugenia McCrea with daughters Debbi Downey and Shelley Damiel Rutherford.

Founders Joan Marshall and Eugenia McCrea with daughters Debbi Downey and Shelley Damiel Rutherford.

On Saturday, April 2nd, Gilded Lilies, an auxiliary of Easter Seals South Florida, is planning their first Tropical Lilies Legacy Luncheon at The Rusty Pelican Restaurant, 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, on Key Biscayne. The fun begins with cocktails at 11 a.m., silent auction and raffle, followed by lunch and a fashion show by Chico’s and a live auction. Tickets are just $50.

Shelley Daniel Rutherford, who is chairing this affair, is a legacy herself and one of the daughters of the original group of founders. Just  41 years ago Eugene Caldwell,  President of the Crippled Children’s Society, solicited help from his wife, Joan, to get together a group of women to help the Center. Joan called 40 women over for Bloody Marys and the rest is history!  

This initial core group included Eugenia  Beckwith,  Dottie Walker, Marge Brickell, Peggy Hancock, Maggie Kridel. Roxie Campbell who came up with the name of Gilded Lilies. Lily  came up as a name because it was Easter and the group decided to name themselves Gilded. Gilded, an elegant name as opposed to Gilded, to better describe this auxiliary committee of elegant group. This group of approximately 40 hardworking Gilded Lilies  actually worked  the front desk, helped disabled children and adults at the center and volunteered countless  hours doing projects to benefit the center and its clients.

These legacy members are now looking for new members to help meet the challenges of the clients of the Easter Seal Center. Please call 307-774-3368 for more information on Easter Seals or for luncheon tickets, contact Shelley at 786 412-6334.

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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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