Claude Pepper’s legacy lives on at United HomeCare’s awards dinner

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United HomeCare’s Annual Claude Pepper Awards Dinner, named in honor of a great man whose life made a difference, was held at Jungle Island on May 17. Hundreds gathered at Jungle Island for this affair honoring several notable community leaders whose commitment to the community reflect Pepper’s own. Among the list of honorees were for Lifetime Achievement Elizabeth Dudek, Director of Health Care Affairs, Greenberg Traurig, P.A.; Corporate Service- Health Care, Penny S. Schaeffer, Ph.D, Market President, So. Florida,-Florida Blue; Corporate Service, Bacardi U.S.A., Eduardo Cutillas; Education/ Advocacy, Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg, President F.I.U.; Public Services, the Honorable Esteban Bovo, Jr., Miami-Dade Commissioner District 13; Philanthropic Service, Jose Milton Foundation- Cecil, Frank, Joseph and Ana Milton; Thelma Gibson Community Service, Juan and Maria Del Busto, The Del Busto Family Foundation; and Community Builder, the Honorable Keon Hardemon, City of Miami Commissioner District 5. Barbara Gray, United HomeCare’ Chairperson of the Board, quotes Claude Pepper , a man who work tirelessly on behalf of the elderly population, “They deserve much, and they need much” something that United HomeCare strives to do daily; thus, a fitting way for this nonprofit organization to honor Pepper’s legacy.

One of Miami-Dade County’s oldest business clubs, Profit Inc., recently enjoyed an open house hosted by our own Community Newspapers at Kings Dining & Entertainment at City Place Doral. While the open house events typically are held at one’s place of business, Kings provided a nice change of pace with its many games and things to do for those who decided to stay after the reception. Kings’ Steven Bradley provided a dozen door prizes in the form of gift cards good for play which many decided to use. In fact, a dozen or so moved into the private Karaoke Room singing their hearts out until closing. While karaoke is a great use for that room, it is also a great space for private parties and that night provided both.

Among the Profit members enjoying yummy hors d’oeuvres and beverages while socializing and doing some business were Enrique Yunis, Kemp Mobley, LaWanda Loftus, Valerie Valenzuela, Jerry and Kathy Lance, Robert Beans, Rosemary Guilfoyle, Mike and Susan Sutta, John Burns and CN’s Gloria Burns. Several guests in attendance included celebrity Chef Chris Valdes who was featured on the cover of Community Newspapers’ May/ June issue of Inspire Health Magazine; Cathie Burns, of Century Homebuilders; Arely Ruiz of Arely Ruiz PR; Pete De La Torre of Business Forum Group; Ana Bradley, owner of a new restaurant coming to the Gables, Clutch Burger; and Marti Bueso of A Safe Haven for Newborns.

In more Rotary news, on Wednesday, May 30, Rotarians from around District 6990 gathered with friends and family at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, to enjoy an evening of exciting entertainment and sociability at the high voltage Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Rotarian Peter Verbeeck coordinate these monthly events for District 11 Rotarians who meet at various venues to share their activities and socialize with other Rotarians. This social was a hit with a reception followed by an amazing show in the mix. If you have not seen this production yet and, even if you have, you will want to see this show that was brought back by popular demand. Million Dollar Quartet. inspired by the famous photo of the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time in their careers.

In other news, rain did not dampen the support or participation in the 2018 Walk to Cure Arthritis held Sunday, May 20, at Tropical Park Stadium. This year’s honoree was world renowned surgeon Dr. Alejandro Badia whose talk was greeted with a downpour that did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd. Among the many companies and organizations there supporting the effort were the women of the Coral Gables Woman’s Club whose past president, Mireya Kilmon, has suffered for years with rheumatoid arthritis and has been a spokes person for the cure. Leading that group of supporters from her club with this writer were her daughter, Jessie Francisco, with club president Arely Ruiz and members Maria Roman, Valerie Valenzuela, and Theresa Gilmore.

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. 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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