Doral Food & Wine Festival kicks off month of giving thanks

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Doral Food & Wine Festival was held at Doral Central Park (JC Bermudez Park for us old timers) on the weekend of Nov. 10. This annual event, now in its third year, continues to get better and grow every year. Hundreds gathered early on the day this writer attended having to wait in lines for security and happy to do so.

Once inside, there was lots to do, drink and eat. From cooking demonstrations by the likes of celebrity Chef Chris Valdes to live music throughout the evening with unlimited samplings of some amazing food and wine. Business Forum Group’s Women’s Society chair Sally Villalba even got in the act with Chef Chris when he recruited her as a non cook to help him. She performed beautifully.

The City of Doral lends its support to the Doral Food and Wine Festival that helps create awareness for Doral. Especially wonderful is the festival’s commitment to support St Jude Research Hospital. Congratulations to Ico Manzanero, president and founder of the festival on a great event.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Choir performed at a bilingual mass on Thanksgiving morning providing beautiful and inspiring music for all gathered there. This is a busier than usual time of year for all the ministries, In fact, earlier that week Pastor Father Israel Mago thanked all of the church ministries with a special mass on Nov. 20 after which everyone in the various ministries was invited to dinner. Of course any time you get the church music ministry involve, you can bet there is singing, dancing and lots of fun.

CGWC members, several of whom live in he Doral area, filled more than 35 baskets with non-perishables the club members donated at their Nov, 14 meeting. The baskets were distributed to the families of the children for whom that club’s children’s dental clinic provides more than 220,000 in free care annually.

In addition to preparing the food baskets, the club also collects toiletries throughout the year and prepares more than 100 gift bags for the women in the Agape Ministries. Club President Arely Ruiz, whose business Arely PR is located in Doral, encourages women interested in serving the community through club work with an amazing group of women to visit. The club owns and operates a free children’s dental clinic as well as their historic clubhouse. For information on the club, visit

National Philanthropy Day Award Luncheon, orchestrated annually by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and co chaired this year by Andria Hanley and Adlar Garcia, was held Nov. 2 at the Hilton Miami. This year’s honorees were Coastal Construction receiving the Julia Tuttle Award and accepted by Mike and Patrick Murphy; Linda Coll for Carnival receiving the Outstanding Grant Maker Award; Bob Dickinson who received the Lifetime Achievement Award; Taylor Moxey awarded as the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy; Ana Veiga Milton presented with the Outstanding Philanthropist Award; and Tony Argiz who received the James W. Mclamore Volunteer Award.

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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