AFP National Philanthropy Day honors those making positive impacts

Alessadra Quintero celebrates her birthday with family and friends while supporting CGWC Halloween fundraiser.

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Major players in the philanthropic field gathered at the Hilton on November 1 for the Association of Fundraising Professional’s Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon. The event recognizes individuals who contribute untold resources to the betterment of our community. Honorees included Richard Bermont, as James W. McLamore Outstanding Volunteer; Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A., for Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Julia Tuttle Award for Community Involvement and Corporate Citizenship; the Green Family Foundation, for Outstanding Grant Maker; Sarah Arison, as Outstanding Philanthropist; and Oskar Garcia, as Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy. Aside for those headliners, every table sponsor also honored an individual who has made a difference. Miami’s Community Newspapers was pleased to honor Steven Bradley, who has raised many thousands for the Coral Gables Woman’s Club’s various charities and will be Corporate Chair for the Arthritis Walk in 2020.

Lots of great events are coming up in December. Always a favorite is the Villagers’ Annual Holiday House Tour. This year’s Tour will take place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, December 7, in the Pinecrest area. “Inside Out – A South Florida Lifestyle” is the 2019 tour theme. The tour will feature five distinctive homes from different decades, the 50’s, 60’s, and 80’s that have been renovated as well as two contemporary custom-built homes. The event will provide some shopping opportunities with a gift boutique and the popular Attic Treasures vintage shop. Light refreshments will be served and a raffle of a hand-crafted quilt with the theme “Biscayne Bay Regatta.” As always, members of The Villagers will be on-hand explaining each home’s distinctive history and features. Visitors walk and drive in their own vehicles between the properties. Venues cannot accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, or high heels; photography and video are not permitted. Tickets are $40 and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available from Villager members or online at Ticket holders will receive tour directions with their ticket purchase. Proceeds support the preservation and protection of historic sites in Miami-Dade County.

In other fun happenings for charity, the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club’s Annual Haunted Mansion Halloween Party attracted some of the most fun loving people around to benefit the club’s free children’s dental clinic that provides children of the working poor more than $240,000 in free dental services annually. Co-Chairing this year’s party were Past President Barbara Lapsley and Marilyn Smit. Rita Tennyson, R Catering, took the event to the next level with her creative displays and hors d’oeuvres and a surprise dessert wall everyone enjoyed as well. The photo booth and DJ Johnny added to the fun night of dancing with a little floor show by members that had everyone’s attention. Ralph Rivera doing Freddy Mercury was a standalone favorite.

The evening also provided Alessandra Quintero’s family and friends an opportunity to celebrate her birthday filling a table at the event and sharing a themed cake to match the group’s costumes. You see all of Ali’s guests, including Cub President Arely Ruiz, came dressed as various Star Wars characters competing for best costumes.

Finally, the Marc Jaiden Foundation recently worked alongside Univision Miami for their Feria De Salud (Health Fair). The team screened and provided glasses to more than 220 individuals. Marc Barbier and his team were grateful for the opportunity to partner with Univision with kudos going to Univision’s Angela Ramos and Emmy Award winning anchor Sandra Peebles for their efforts.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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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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