The Miami Woman’s Club installs first British president

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In The Miami Woman’s Club’s 120-year history, 2020 marks a first. One of Miami’s oldest community organization the club has as its new president Shirley Pardon who was installed recently as the leader of The Miami Woman’s Club (MWC), now in its 120th year.

A real estate professional and Certified International Property Realtor, Pardon joined the club in 2006 and served as the its vice president since 2016./ She now has become the club’s first president who is British.

Pardon moved to Miami in 1991 with her late husband, Leonard Pardon, a world-famous decorative artist who worked in palaces, public buildings and cruise ships. Shirley, an active volunteer with her church, the Miami Rotary Club and other community organizations, will be overseeing MWC during a long-awaited period as the restoration of the club’s historic bay-front building will be completed in 2021. The Miami Woman’s Club, whose building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, will the sharing its four-story Mediterranean Revival clubhouse with two world-class restaurants.

Yet another bigger first involves Rotary International. Jennifer E. Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, has been nominated to become Rotary International’s president for 2022-23. For an organization that was all-male for half a century or more, they have come a long way. This historic and ground breaking selection will make Jennifer the first female to hold that office in the organization’s 115-year history. Jones officially will become president-nominee in October if no other candidates challenge her.

Miami Rescue Mission recently got a nice donation from Nildo Schubert, of Primex, in the form of three pallets of wafers and sandwich cookies. Coral Gables Rotary had been looking for volunteer opportunities with the Mission, however, during pandemic it has been too risky. That said, when the opportunity to refer a donation their way came up, the Club’s Civic and Charity chair was delighted to recommend that Nildo deliver the Primex donation to them.

In 2019 alone, Miami Rescue Mission provided 990,000 healthy meals, provided 375,000 nights of safe shelter, helped 800 men and women find employment, and encouraged 23,000 people in need through their various outreach efforts. This is truly an amazing resource, serving the homeless and needy in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. For information on how you can volunteer or donate, visit www.caringplace.org or contact Lian Navarro at 305-572-2004 or 305-571-2227.

Rotary District 6990 Governor, Peter Verbeeck, has been making the rounds speaking about exciting strategic plans for the organization. Most recently, speaking at a weekly Zoom meeting of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables (RCCG), Peter noted that most people have heard of Rotary but much fewer understand how Rotary has impacted the world. The good news is that Peter shared various action plans now in place that will make Rotary a stronger and more effective organization.

Check out #Rotary Responds and #People of Action. Peter reported that 32 young medical students at FIU are working with the Miami Rotary Club to find ways to get involved. From satellite clubs and more, Rotary is moving forward and adapting to change in a positive way. Using Rotary’s collective strength they have almost eradicated polio worldwide and that is just one example of many, both large and small, that document the way Rotary has made a difference and will continue to meet the challenge for the future.

Rotary members continue to volunteer during these unprecedented times more than ever.

Coral Gables Rotarians have taken on virtual bingo games with the clients of the Chapman Partnership again this month hosting two events online a week with Rotarians calling the numbers and underwriting the cost of prizes. Others Rotarians are seen volunteering at Tamiami Park Food Distribution with members of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club (CGWC) with whom they also continue to work with Blood Drives every two months.

Another great charity RCCG hopes to help is Rise Against Hungry, a non-profit founded by a Rotarian, Dr. Ray Buchanan, a Methodist Minister. The organization’s representative, Gilbert Chaidez, recently spoke to Gables Rotarians sharing that since 1998 they had provided hundred of millions of meals to 74 countries with a goal of ending world hunger by 2030.

Gil learned of RCCG’s outreach efforts and showed up the following week to volunteer for the food distribution event with the usual suspects, Rotarians Bill Quesenberry and Walter Alvarez as well as this writer. For more information on future club blood drives and fundraising events, send email to gloria@cnews.net.

Until next time, keep making each day count and stay safe.


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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.