Festivals, galas, fashion shows fill February calendar

February was the longest month ever for people in the events industry with a very crowded calendar. Members of the Greater Miami Festivals & Events Association can certainly attest to that.

In fact, several of those organizers were invited to a behind-the-scenes look at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival (CGAF) on Presidents Day by CGAF executive director Camille Marchese. This year’s festival was better than ever with several great additions this writer had never seen.

Aside from amazing juried art, there was a large children’s area that had a stage for performances and then a row of easels with supplies for kids to create paintings to take home. There were some amazing dance performances while we were in that location before moving on to a place for children to buy (at little cost) small art pieces donated by exhibitors. No parents were allowed in to influence the children’s choices. Many will later remember this as their first purchase of art as a child.

As always, the following weekend, the South Miami Rotary Club held asmaller, but equally fun, art festival on Sunset Drive with some of the same artists from the Grove, entertainment, and lots more great ancillary experiences for all. Kudos to Rotarians whose efforts pull this off every year.

On the topic of service club events, the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club held another great event, a Centennial Fashion Show and Brunch, celebrating their 100th anniversary to benefit the club’s free children’s dental clinic.

Event co-chairs, Rita Tennyson and Iris Segui, thought of everything, making this a memorable affair for the more than 100 guests attending. Rita’s R Catering set the stage for an afternoon of fun with everything from a photo booth that made everyone look like they were on the front cover of a magazine to their delicious food.

The fashion show was icing on the cake featuring clothes from fashion designer Nathalie Moya’s Spring Collection as well as resort wear from Bloom Boutique and jewelry from club member Leticia Matheus’ company, Lelê Reis Luxury Crystal Jewelry. During the affair local artist Irina Pushkareva worked on a painting and one of her pieces was auctioned for several hundred dollars.

CGWC fundraising chair Rita Tennyson had a very busy week as she also was involved in the South Beach Food and Wine Festival days after the fashion show event. Last year, Rita won best burger at the festival’s Burger Bash. Influencer events leading up to the weekend festival featured food from Chef Chris Valdes, R Catering and products from Florida Dairy Farmers like Sutton’s ice cream, great cheeses and even a milkshake made with banana moonshine and fresh whip cream. It comes highly recommended.

Finally, South Florida’s General Federation of Women’s Club Florida District 11 had an Arts & Crafts Competition and luncheon at the Coral Gables Woman’s Club with most all the 12 clubs represented to share their art and brag about their many charitable outreach efforts.

The meeting also served to announce the District 11’s Volunteer of the Year, Irene Munroe from the Coconut Grove Woman’s Club. She will represent District 11 at the state convention where she will vie for the state award against other district award winners. Congratulations, Irene!

Until next time, share your talents and make a difference.




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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 , non profit consulting and management. Before joining Miami's Community Newspapers as a columnist and marketing specialist, Gloria was the Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee (6 yrs.) and first Executive Director of the Coral Gables Community Foundation (14 yrs.) and the Pinecrest Community Foundation (1 ½ yrs) . Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist for Community Newspapers writing Gloria’s Gab, that focuses on the non-profit activity, and a host of an online show, Gloria's Gab LIVE. Gloria serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables as Civic and Charity Chair, and is involved in the club's International Committee. She is an active Life Member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee and is Secretary of the Merrick Festival. She serves on the board of directors of the Coral Gables Woman' Club as Publicity Chair and also coordinates the club's monthly fundraiser for various charities with Gringo Bingo at Clutch Burger. In addition, Gloria participates in numerous other charitable events and is a member of the Business Forum Group, Profit Inc., the Greater Miami Festival & Events Association and the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. In other volunteer activity, Gloria helps Miami Christian School with fund-raising and PR; is an Ambassador and volunteers for events for A Safe Haven for Newborns. She is an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where she enjoys singing in the choir every weekend.


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