S. Miami/ Coral Gables Elks Lodge celebrates Jubilee Year

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Francisca Mendoza, soloist, performed for Orchestra Miami Beethoven concert

July 18, 1945, World War II was coming to an end as Harry S. Truman, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin met at the Postdam Conference eight weeks after Germany had agreed to unconditional surrender.  On that day, the BPOE was 77 years old and on that same day the South Miami/ Coral Gables Elks Lodge 1676 was chartered.  Yes, folks, that lodge is now 75 year old and, while times are tough, that anniversary certainly deserves a celebration. Exalted Rule Jim Glogowski advises that due to the pandemic, they are still closed and do not have a target date yet to reopen. They are, however, planning a Charity Ball on February 13, 2021; so, mark you calendars.   As usual, volunteers are helping out with cleaning, painting and making improvements in order to be in good shape for the Gala and reopening.  In the interim, Zoom meetings are the norm as they are for almost every civic and service organization in town.

In other good news, A Safe Haven for Newborns has saved another seven babies since March alone  despite the challenges the virus has presented.  Nick Silverio and his staff are working 24/7 to insure Safe Haven is there for mothers in need and are so happy to welcome babies  Valentia, Darryl, Trip, Aaron, Nikki, Mateo and Olivia,  all of whom are now living with their forever families. In addition, they have assisted pregnant women and mothers in need in South Carolina, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Homestead, Miami, Broward and Palm Beach County.  This included Referral Counseling, Shelter, Maternity Homes, Motels (temporary), abuse issues, baby items and connection to Medicaid. They continue outreach efforts distributing (in English, Spanish & Creole) a medical history questionnaire and a card to all hospitals and fire/ems stations statewide to provide to a mother after she leaves their facility.  The card contains the message; ”Dear Birth Mother, You have given your baby a special gift, a chance for a future.  Now, please take care of yourself. We can help you get a medical checkup, speak with a counselor, or answer any questions you may have. Please call us at 877-767-2229. All calls are confidential”.

With the cancellation of their two big fundraising events, Safe Haven can use our help with time, talent and treasure. For more information on how you can help, please  visit asafehavenfornewborns.org

On the cultural front, Orchestra Miami is meeting the challenge during the current pandemic to present its postponed Beethoven on the Beach concert for livestream broadcast from the North Beach Bandshell on November 13th. As they closely monitor the crisis, they are working with the permission of the City of Miami Beach and Miami Dade County, Orchestra Miami to hold rehearsals and performances outdoors.  The  strings will each had their own stands, everyone will social distance, anyone not blowing into an instrument will wear a mask and plexiglass barriers are being built for each wind/brass player. Elaine Rinaldoi, Founder and Artistic Director will conduct the program: Beethoven’s Symphony N. 6 in F Maj, Op.68 (Pastorale) and Tchaikovsky Violin Concert on D Major, Op. 55 with Francisca Mendoza, as soloist. This is an unprecedented event, as they will be the first orchestra in the Southeastern U.S. to be present a live symphonic concert.   Kudos to Orchestra Miami and Rinaldi  for this herculean effort to bring the joy of music to our community.



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 , 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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