Rotarians convene in Toronto/ JOBC unveils theme

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Dozens of area Rotarians from RI District 6990 traveled to Toronto with another 25,000 or so Rotarians from all over the world for Rotary International’s Annual Convention, June 23 -27, in Toronto, Canada. Among the impressive list of speakers were RI’s President Ian Riseley, Princess Royal Anne, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and former First Lady Laura Bush, all of whom addressed issues such as healthcare, Polio Plus, literacy and clean water. Having clean water and sanitation in schools enables children to attend, especially girls, and bringing water to villages can also help create peace and avoid conflicts. It goes without saying that everyone who attended left with a sense of mission and were inspired by many of the speakers to help make a positive impact through Rotary.

District 6990 Governor, Alan Cohn and District Governor-Elect Ray Williams were on hand with a large contingent from South Florida including Peter Verbeeck, Helene Dudley, Karen Vassell, Ellen Blasi, Yolanda Woodbridge, Susan Fornaris, Carol Alexander, Carol Brock, Michael and Maria Kesti, Elihu and Lee Phares, Ellen and Mike Book, Mike Stafford, Dave Skinner, David Jacobs, Linda Singer, Nanette Carmody, Richard Bates, Katherine Jeffries, Susan and Robin Shelley, too many others to mention. Next year’s convention will be in Hamburg, Germany and folks are already registering.

In other news, the world’s largest youth festival, the Junior Orange Bowl, is feeling groovy at 70 and celebrating this milestone year recently unveiled the 70th annual parade theme last week, “Boogie Wonderland.” Members and guests gathered at AmTrust Bank with Parade Co-Chair Don Slesnick III, JOBC President Frandley DeFile, Jobie and the Junior Orange Bowl Royal Court.

Slesnick is looking forward to this year’s parade that will also showcase the beautifully completed streetscape on Miracle Mile. On the Sunday following Thanksgiving, December 2, this festive event is a perfect way to kick off the holiday season. Parade units consisting of floats, bands and more will pass through downtown Coral Gables, the Host City of the Junior Orange Bowl, along Miracle Mile. While there is a charge for grandstand seating in front of City Hall, the parade route is free to all.

The Junior Orange Bowl Festival was created to showcase our youth and is made possible through the sustained support of its festival sponsors: the Orange Bowl Foundation, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, City of Coral Gables and Miami-Dade County. For information visit <>. For the parade specifically, contact <> for participation or sponsorship. For all other information, contact JOBC Executive Director Alex Markel at <> or 305-662-1210.

On September 22, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital is planning the St. Jude Walk /Run to End Childhood Cancer at Miami Dade County Fair & Expo / Tamiami Park. Get your team together early at or contact Jessica Cerda at 305-537-1422 or

A Safe Haven for Newborns is also planning its 8th Annual A Wonderland in Safe Haven Gala on Saturday, October 20, 7 p.m., at the Intercontinental Hotel in Downtown Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza. For sponsorship or tickets visit Thus far this organization has helped save from abandonment and possible death more than 282 babies. Kudos to founder Nick Silverio and the many volunteers that work countless hours to help raise funds in order to help pregnant women and save the lives of so many infants.

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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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