Festivities and special events surrounding the Orange Bowl and Jr. Orange Bowl Festivals kept community volunteers and Bowl members busier than ever as 2019 came to a close and we ushered in 2020.
From the AvMed Orange Bowl Coaches Luncheon, the FCA Orange Bowl Breakfast at Jungle Island and football game at Hard Rock Stadium on Dec. 30 to multiple Jr. Orange Bowl events including the International Golf Invitational and Tennis Tournaments, the economic impact on South Florida is impressive.
With the Florida Gators playing Virginia in the Capitol One Orange Bowl, the ancillary events brought larger than normal attendance. There were so many Gators at the Coaches Luncheon at Jungle Island on Dec. 27 that valet had to park cars across the street.
Guests enjoyed a great opportunity to hear from the coaches, Gators’ Head Football Coach Dan Mullen, and Virginia’s Coach Bronco Mendenhall, as well as several student athletes including Florida’s Josh Hammond, David Reese and Freddie Swain; and Virginia’s Bryce Hall, Benn Hogg and Bryce Perkins.
The 2019 Orange Bowl Hall of Fame presented by Auto Nation were announced as:
• Derrick Mayes – Notre Dame wide receiver,
• Travis Taylor – University of Florida wide receiver, and
• Senior/UM offensive tackle Vernon Carey.
Travis Taylor was on hand as well to share some words with an appreciative crowd of Gator fans who remember him well.
Among the many involved in sharing and participating in a most entertaining program were OB President and Chair Jose Romano, Av Med President & CEO Jim Repp, OB CEO Eric Poms, ESPN Play-by-Play Announcer Steve Levy; as well as ESPN Analysts Brian Griese and Todd McShay. Kudos to the University of Florida Gators who reign as Orange Bowl Football Champs.
January events kicked off for amateur golfers from around the world with the Jr. Orange Bowl Golf Championship directed Doral resident JR Steinbauer and chaired by Steven Gonzalez. This tournament, held Jan. 2-6, 2020, at The Biltmore Golf Course, is the premiere amateur tournament in the world. Winners of this year’s championship were Girls Champion Mizuki Hashimoto from Japan; and Boys Champion Andrey Borge of Brazil.
In addition to those sporting events, the Coral Gables Woman’s Club welcomed children and parents to the club’s annual children’s festival on Jan. 25. This was a fun educational family affair sponsored by Capitol One as well as Member Rita Tennyson’s R Catering, that provided food, and Ruta Maya Coffee the donated the coffee bar.
Chair Ruth Martinez noted that for the first time the Children’s Festival included “The Butterfly Encounter,” whose 15′ x 28′ inflatable exhibit with 100 plus butterflies inside gave kids a chance to feed butterflies with sticks coated with nectar as they were how to properly feed and handle a butterfly.
In addition, there was lots of food, popcorn station, interactive activities, career corners, butterfly experience, and more. The Coral Gables Police Canine Unit also did a demonstration, while the Firefighters set up a fun an obstacle course for the kids. Event Chair, Ruth Martinez, is extremely grateful for major event sponsor Capitol One, as well as the food and drink sponsors.
“R Catering” and Ruta Maya Coffee. For more information on any of these club events, visit gfwccoralgableswomansclub.org. The club’s next major fundraiser, the Annual Gala, is on Leap Day, Feb. 29, and will benefit its free children’s dental clinic that provides more than $240,000 annually in free dental services to the children of the working poor. For more information on the clinic or the club, visit gfwccoralgableswomansclub.org.
Until next time, keep making each day count.