Recent charity events at Jungle Island entertain and inspire

Recent charity events at Jungle Island entertain and inspire

GFWC CoralGables Woman’sClub members seen here at Power of thePurse Luncheon at Jungle Island. Top L to R: Gloria Burns,Mayra Dominguez, PamSchaefer, Linda Hartwell, LizWiegandt/ Seated L to R: Ana Lam, DebiMoore and Mireya Kilmon.

With a thousand guests gathering at Jungle Island on April 19, for the Women’s Fund Power of the Purse Luncheon, the event was an unqualified success. This year’s affair also offered attendees a chance to meet the organization’s new executive director, Marilyn Fizer March. March most recently served as Sr. Development Director for Easter Seals of South Florida. In addition, Emmy Award winning anchor, CBS 4’s Shannon Hori emceed the program that included testimonials from two grantees, Rebecca Francisque and Eve Hansen, both of whom inspired and brought tears as they told their stories. Before and after the program, ladies took advantage of the opportunity to bid on incredible designer hand bags and lots of other great items donated by generous supporters.

Recent charity events at Jungle Island entertain and inspire

Ron Rosenau with Rotarians Bill Quensenberry, Carlos Bolado, and Coral Gables Rotary President-Elect Don
Trombly at recent Gables Rotary Wine and Dine for Charity dinner at CRAVE.

Yet another Jungle Island event, the Firefighters Secretary’s Day Luncheon, was the perfect way for businesses to thank their administrative assistants as well as for organizations to support the community. This annual affair is always crazy fun for the ladies and this year was no exception. Among the many women in the crowd was a large group from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club who seem to be everywhere and especially appreciate the hard work that goes into producing this “fashion show” of sorts where half naked firefighters strut their stuff and sometimes dance along a really long runway in an effort to get votes to be included in the firefighters calendar for the coming year. There was no shortage of cameras or dollar bills for this event you can be sure.

Recent charity events at Jungle Island entertain and inspire

Claire Frances Whitehurst checks out Jungle Island’s parrot and snake during VIP reception at Firefighters

The Rotary Club of Coral Gables held the third in a series of four Wine and Dine for Charity events at CRAVE on April 26. Guests enjoyed a magnificent meal with wine pairing after a champagne reception sponsored by Yolanda Woodbridge, YW Associates. The next in this series will be held at the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables on June 4th. Westin’s Executive Chef Thomas Russo is already working on a great menu that promises yet another successful evening of good food, fine wines and good company. Tickets are $125 per person all inclusive and include a champagne reception followed by a 4 course gourmet dinner with wine pairings. Proceeds will benefit Shake-A-Leg and the charitable programs of the Coral Gables Rotary Foundation. For reservations, call Event Chair Rodney Langer at 786 251- 8459.

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. 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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