Smallfry Elves welcome Santa, Junior Orange Bowl events set

Gloria Burns

By Gloria Burns….

Gloria Burns

Holiday celebrations began for South Miami with “Santa’s Parade of Elves,” and it’s hard to believe this parade started 28 years ago, thanks largely to John Sorgie, Chairman of the South Miami/Coral Gables Elks Club Board of Trustees. In addition, for the past 21 years, Barbara Acker has helped organize this event. The cutest little children in the world dressed as elves always make it a truly home town welcome for Santa with school bands, bag pipes, dancers and more making this such a memorable event. Among the participants in this parade orchestrated by Red Sunset Merchants Association were Community Newspapers’ Gaby Cruz and friends from Veronica’s Dollhouse, a boutique for vintage clothes, jewelry and more. Featured in the parade were the Junior Orange Bowl Queen Leai Schwartz and Princesses Sloane Rice and Valeris Katz, a royal trio with a busy festival schedule in front of them, including the Sports Ability Games, Tennis, Basketball, Gold and Parade among a few appearances they’ll make in the coming month. Look for photos in our next issue.

For participants of the JOBC Sports Ability Games, a three-day event for physically- challenged young athletes, the past weekend was packed with exciting events. Shake-A-Leg welcomed Games’ participants on the first day with sailing demonstrations. The terrific and inspiring program continued with two days of track and field, swimming and a great topping-off party, chaired by Richard Naue who just recently retired from the Coral Gables Police Department (just in time to devote full time to this volunteer effort).

Another event requiring full time volunteers is Junior Orange Bowl Tennis, cochaired once again by Barbara Waters and Abbie Dresnick, both working 10 days and more non-stop for unquestionably the best juniors’ tennis event in the world. Qualifying matches run from December 14-16 with the main draw December 17-23. Admission is free for those wanting to see future pros. For information, visit

Tickets have also gone on sale for the 2010-2011 Junior Orange Bowl Parade, scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Sunday, January 2, 2011, in downtown Coral Gables. Tickets for seating are $12 and may be purchased by calling 305-662-1210.

Finally, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Inc. has hired Cameron Sisser as Manager of External Relations. He’ll represent Miami Lighthouse at local, state and national levels on legislative issues and help foster a favorable political environment for the organization’s mission while developing a comprehensive marketing, communications and public relations program. A former legislative assistant to both State Senators, Gwen Margolis and Dan Gelber, Sisser is also active in the community, serving on the boards of Leadership Miami, Miami-Dade United Way Young Leaders, Business Buddies, Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library and the Jewish Volunteer Center of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. He also served as regional Chair of Connect Florida from 2008-2010.

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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