As 2019 came to a close, festivities surrounding the Orange Bowl and Jr. Orange Bowl Festivals kept community volunteers and Bowl members busier than ever. From the AvMed Orange Bowl Coaches Luncheon, the FCA Orange Bowl Breakfast at Jungle Island and football game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 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 December 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 Vernon Carey Sr- University of Miami offensive tackle. Travis Taylor was on hand 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; Steve Levy, ESPN Play-by-Play Announcer; as well as Brian Griese and Todd McShay, ESPN Annalysts.
On a sad note, at the luncheon the Orange Bowl Committee announced the passing of a dear member, Carlos Garcia. Carlos will be greatly missed. He was a Past Chairman of the Coral Gables Community Foundation and an amazing person who was recognized a few year’s back as one of Community Newspapers’ Gables Great.
On on brighter note, the Coral Gables Woman’s Club welcomes all children and parents to the club’s annual children’s festival. If you are looking for a fun educational family outing with your youngsters, this Children’s Festival on January 25th is just the ticket. Join the fun at the Coral Gables Woman’s Club clubhouse, 1001-9 East Ponce de Leon Blvd., from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Admission is free for all. For the first time the Children’s Festival will include “The Butterfly Encounter.” This exhibit is a Florida based educational family business that teaches about the life cycle of the butterfly. They have a 15’x28′ inflatable exhibit with 100 plus butterflies inside and will provide feeding sticks with nectar so that children are able to interact with the butterflies and shown how to properly feed and handle a butterfly.
In addition, there will be lots of food, popcorn station, interactive activities, career corners, butterfly experience and more. The Coral Gables Police Canine Unit will do a demonstration, while the Firefighters will set up a fun an obstacle course for the kids. Event Chair, Ruth Martinez, is extrememly grateful for major event sponor, Capitol One, as well as the food and drink sponsors “RCatering” 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 February 29, Leap Day, and will benefit its free children’s dental clinic
Until next time, keep making each day count.