Holiday parades lead the news this week

The Junior Orange Bowl Committee invites the community to join the fun this festival season. With a variety of events from which to choose, volunteers will have a broad range of activities sure to peak their interest from world class tennis and golf to the showcase event, the Junior Orange Bowl Parade, on December 30, 7 p.m., in downtown Coral Gables. In fact, the Junior Orange Bowl Parade entry deadline is fast approaching for floats, units and bands.

Those wishing to participate in this year’s parade should contact Natalya at the JOBC office, 305-662-1210.

Another parade on the horizon is a South Miami family favorite. On Sunday, December 7th, the holiday spirit starts with “Santa’s Parade of the Elves.” Stepping off at 2 p.m., the South Miami Police Honor Guard usher in the 26th annual parade. Look for hundreds of children dressed as elves to lead the annual festivities down Sunset Drive in South Miami. Children (babies to 6th grade) are invited to join in the festivities by dressing as Santa’s cutest elf.

Parents should bring their children) to South Miami City Hall, 6130 Sunset Drive, at 1 p.m. to march in the parade with the lead elf.

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Orange Bowl Festival, Orange Bowl members Louis Boue and Phillis Oeters address a crowd of Rotarians at the Westin Colonnade.

Santa’s elves will be joined by contingents of marching bands from South Miami High School to Homestead High School. The Mahi Shriners, South Florida Trail Riders, South Miami Hospital float and the grand finale is the First National Bank float featuring ‘Ole Saint Nick.’

The one-hour parade will proceed eastbound down Sunset Drive and US1 to Red Road (S.W. 57 Ave). There will be entertainment after the parade on Sunset Drive and 57th Court, don’t miss the Jill Mallory Dance Studio perform for the crowd.

If anyone is interested in entering a group, float or marching unit, please call Barbara Acker at 305-665-7222. Speaking of holiday activities, Phillis Oeters, First Vice Chair of the Orange Bowl Committee, along with Gables Rotarian and OB member Louis Boue, shared the Orange Bowl Committee’s 75 year history as guest speakers at a recent Rotary Club meeting on November 13, at the Westin Colonnade. The crowd enjoyed a beautiful video presentation providing the audience with a historical perspective on this organization that provides South Florida with an economic impact of more than $200 million.

The Orange Bowl was founded in 1934 by Keith Phillips, the very same man who started the Coral Gables Rotary Club, and the grandfather of current Rotarian Keith Phillips. The OBC has hosted 18 national championships and 15 Heisman Trophy winners.

This year is an especially big year for the Committee with the FedEx Orange Bowl Classic on January 1, 2009 and then, 7 days later, the BCS National Championship game. Need tickets? Go online and get wait-listed. They are a hot items and very difficult to get, especially with the prospect of an SEC team in the game.

Carol Damian, professor and former chairperson of FIU’s School of Art and Art History, has been named director and chief curator of The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University located on the University Park Campus. Damian, a respected member of Miami’s arts community, has served as interim director of the Frost since May, and curator of the museum’s permanent collection since 2006. She had headed the Frost in preparation for the Nov. 29th opening of its spectacular new home — the 46,000-square-foot building designed by internationally acclaimed design director Yann Weymouth of global architectural firm Hellmuth Obata + Kassabaum (HOK). The new Museum includes nine galleries and a total of 10,000 square feet of gallery space. It will open with six exhibitions including Modern Masters from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Frost is the first stop on a national tour for the show. The museum is located at 10975 S.W. 17th Street at FIU’s University Park campus. To celebrate the opening of the new museum building, the Frost will be open daily Nov. 29 through Dec. 7 from 10- 5. Regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 12-5. For more information, please visit or call 305-348-2890.

In other news, The 7th Annual Miami Short Film Festival with more than 80 films from 26 countries was presented by UM School of Communication. The event kicked off with a Grand Opening and Red Carpet Gala, on November 17 at the University of Miami’s Bill Cosford Cinema.

Then, on Saturday, November 22, the Awards Night and Closing Party at the Museum of Science revealed the best films of the Festival and the winning film from each category was screened. A $12,000 grand prize was presented to the Best of Festival film. Save your change for a great effort to create awareness and raise funds for protected Florida manatee. Miami Seaquarium and Bank of America have joined forces in the campaign, ‘Change for a Change,’ for just that purpose.

Deposit your spare change at any Bank of America nationwide to the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP) account #229020448559 to help the protected Florida manatees and you’ll also receive $7.50 off your visit to Miami Seaquarium.

Until next week, keep making each day count.

Keeping up with what’s happening in our community is quite a challenge and I a.m. certain there are many activities I miss. If you would like to submit information for this column, send your news via e-mail to galburns@

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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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