Rotarians gather to raise funds for many charities

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Rotarians gather to raise funds for many charities

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South Florida Rotarians gathered with Key Biscayne Rotarians on October 13 to raise funds for Rotary Foundation’s fight to eradicate polio. The evening, titled “Dance for the People Who Can’t,” was held at the Key Biscayne Beach Club and attracted 200 guests and raised more than $13,000 which will go toward a matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A floor show with dancing, singing , and a DJ provided lots of fun for all who attended this beautiful evening orchestrated by Key Biscayne Rotarian Patricia Peraita and her committee: Patricia Romano, Mayra Garcia, Patricia Amat, Ines Lozano, and Ines Siqueira. Among the many seen enjoying and helping out that evening were Dennis and Elie Fraioli, of Budget Blinds, and this writer’s fellow Gables Rotarians Carol Alexander and Yolanda Woodbridge.

Aside from looking to rid the world of polio, Rotary Clubs support so many other international and local charitable programs. The Rotary Foundation of Coral Gables many of whose members live in the Pinecrest area, recently donated $1,000 each to Shake-A-Leg, Merrick Festival Caroling Competition, and Chapman Partnership for the Homeless. This past week an additional $500 went to A Safe Haven for Newborns, an organization that has saved from abandonment 269 infants in its 12 years history. Money for grants such as these come from the club’s major fundraiser, the Coral Gables Chili Cook-Off presented by the Rotary Club of Coral Gables. Information on registration and sponsorship for the January 21, 2018 event may be found online at <ChiliChillin.com>.

Gables Rotarians invite other Rotary Clubs to join them in an effort for the Marc Jaiden Foundation whose mission is to restore sight and provide vision screenings and glasses for those in need. After a presentation from the foundation’s founder, Marc Barbier, RCCG Past President Greg Martini, of Pinecrest/Palmetto Bay area, was so taken with this program that he is leading an effort to have his club collect pre owned glasses that will be cleaned, packaged and donated to the needy. Should readers like to donate, they may drop glasses off at Community Newspapers, 6796 SW 62 Ave. and we will see that they are delivered to the Foundation.

In addition to glasses, the Rotarians are also collecting children Halloween costumes for the kids at the Chapman Partnership for the Homeless.

In more good work associated with the recent hurricane, the Tzu Chi Foundation, an international humanitarian organization, has distributed approximately $385,600 in the form of debit cards to more than 856 households in need in Collier County in the wake of Hurricane Irma. With this in mind, the Collier County Board of County Commissioners at their Board meeting yesterday proclaimed October 10 as Tzu Chi Foundation Day in Collier County. This worldwide relief organization assisted the most affected residents and low-income families that do not have sufficient funds to repair their homes nor to buy food or other important resources since Hurricane Irma hit this area on Sept. 10.

Member of the GFWC Cocoplum Woman’s Club hosted a District 11 Luncheon on October during which elections were held for the upcoming terms with featured speaker GFWC FL President-Elect Sharon Oliphant and GFWC FL Director-Elect of Junior Clubs, Shannon Bailey. This dynamic duo donned super women costumes to add to their entertaining talk.

In other service club news, members of the Coral Gables Woman’s Club held a brunch inviting numerous prospective members to learn about the club and its children free dental clinic. The event was orchestrated by Susie Tilson, of Pinecrest, with lots of help from club members Linda Hartwell, Marilyn Smit, Maryann Etkin, Dr. Iris Torres, and others.

Finally, the inaugural Canine Film Festival and Holly-woof After Party held this past July was a great success. More than 120 lucky dogs enjoyed “A Day at the Movies with your Dog” at the Cinepolis Movie Theater in Coconut Grove and the Holly-woof After Party at the Hotel Indigo in Miami Lakes. Kudos to organizers Laly Albalate, Lory Nelson Brunner, and Karen Landrum for producing this festival that celebrates the love and devotion that pet owners and their pets share by documenting their unique relationships, lives, and experiences through the film medium.

Until next time, keep making each day count.


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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 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 gloria@communitynewspapers.com

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