Volunteers and others are on the go this month

The 1st Annual Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce Trustee Council’s Corporate Citizenship Day was held at Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, March 15.

Trustees, their families, employees, and friends were all invited to experience a day of volunteerism in our community powered by Chamber member Hands on Miami with donations from several donors to help underwrite the cost of supplies.

Volunteers helped paint, landscape and spruce up this community church on Grand Avenue and its computer learning center. In addition to some hard work, volunteers also provided much-needed office supplies. All were treated to a light breakfast and lunch as they transformed this wonderful church that is committed to its community outreach. Among the many help make the day possible were Pat Morris, Victoria Villalba, Alex Obeso, David Ortiz, Pat Morgan, Julian Campolo, Sharon Martin, Cathy Swanson, Dannaliz Segrera, Jessica Witherspoon, and Thad Adams, to mention a few.

This very active Chamber that includes in its membership many businesses in the South Miami area is also organizing a March Madness Membership Mixer and Business Expo at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables on Thursday, March 27, at 5:30 p.m. Members and interested potential members are invited to explore exhibits from more than 40 local companies and expand their business ventures. For more information, call Georgina Exposito at 305-446- 1657 ext. 125 or gexposito@coralgableschamber. org.

Cycling Rotarians are at it again with the next family ride in the city of Coral Gables to be held on April 6 and sponsored by Bikes to Go on Ludlam and Dixie Highway. While this is sponsored by Parks and Recreation Department in the City of Coral Gables, South Miamians are encouraged to join the ride with the Cycling to Serve Fellowship of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables for family fun and fitness.

The Ride kicks off at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 6, for early breakfast and registration at the corner of Augusto and Dixie Highway right in front of Ponce Middle School, where there will be plenty of free parking. The ride is a police escorted event; so, safety and mentorship of youth by significant adults in our community is always the cornerstone of the ride. Their mission is to help kids and families come together with fitness, safety and road literacy as the first order of business.

For details about Cycling to Serve go to www.cyclingtoserveuscanada.com. Interested participants can visit the Coral Gables Parks and Recreation website for up to date information at www.coralgables.com or call 305-460-5604 for more information.

The National League of American Pen Women’s Coral Gables Branch will hold a music workshop and three course luncheon on March 25, 11:45 a.m., at the Country Club of Coral Gables. The affair will feature guest speaker and organization president, Aminta Ramos Konawitz. Her topic will be “How I Made My Musical Composition ‘Poco A Poquito’ and Put It on Compact Disk.” In addition, there will also be an exclusive jewelry presentation from the Jewelry Store at the key Biscayne Ritz Carlton. Admission is a donation of $20 and SunTrust Bank will donate $100 toward our Arts Scholarships for all attending. To R. S. V. P., call Lou Popp at 305-235-2809 or 305-934-4299. At the event, the Pen Women will be accepting applications for Art, Music and Letters for new Members and Patrons.

Footloose, the Musical, a tribute to the 80’s cult classic, continues to delight audiences after receiving a standing ovation on Opening Night at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre. Most recently the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Gables Chamber organized a theatre night that began with a lovely reception at the new Commerce Bank on Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Miracle Mile. From there, the crowd walked to the theatre for a most enjoyable evening. Among the dozens gathered that evening were Chamber Chair Carolina Rendeiro, Chamber President Mark Trowbridge, and Pat Morgan.

Footloose, the Musical, based on the movie, explodes with terrific dance numbers, great music, and a good story.

Especially enjoyable numbers are such favorites as Holding out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear it for the Boy, and the hit title song Footloose, whose movie sound track was number one on the billboard charts for an entire year. The show will run through April 6.

In other theatre news, The Mission by Jules Tasca, is on stage at New Theatre running from April 3 through May 4, 2008, with performances Thursday through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sunday at 1 pm. And an additional Sunday 5:30 p.m. show on April 13, 20 and 27.

Within the confines of a penitentiary, a trusting Christian priest is drawn closer to the heart of darkness of a prisoner; the results are a double tragedy in this tempestuous two-character play where secrets and gender can drive the human condition to make life altering decisions. New Theatre Artistic Director, Ricky J. Martinez will direct the cast which includes Ricky Waugh, who performed in New Theatre’s Summer Shakespeare & Friends Festival as part of the apprentice program and making his New Theatre debut, William Gressman. Especially intriguing and a “not to be missed” theatrical feat, the actors will exchange roles every other night displaying their talent and versatility.

The American Red Cross of Greater Miami & The Keys announced this year’s Sara Hopkins Woodruff Spectrum Award Winners at a reception on February 25 at Morton’s Steakhouse. These awards recognize women for exemplifying the humanitarian principles of the American Red Cross: Humanity, Impartiality, Independence, Unity, Neutrality, Universality, and Voluntary Service and also salutes women of diverse ages and cultural backgrounds who are making significant contributions to the quality of life in our community. Named for businesswoman and philanthropist, Sara Hopkins Woodruff, the awards are sponsored by her family in her memory.

The 2008 awards and their respective winners honorees are Rosalind Ludwig Chairmen’s Award, Julia Bianchi; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Philanthropy Award Bunny Bastian; Baptist Health – Health Care Award, Mindy Cassel, Ph.D., C.T.; Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables/ Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay Community Service Award, Loretta DeVries; The Ethel & W. George Kennedy Family Foundation Volunteerism Award, Teresa Buoniconti; Swanee & Paul DiMare Youth Award, Christina Whitehurst; Jean D. Shehan Red Cross Service Award, Mary Frances Irvin; Bank of America Cultural Award, Carol Damian, Ph.D.; JN McArthur Education Award, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk; Deloitte Entrepreneurial Award, Susan Kelley.

The 2008 Sara Hopkins Woodruff Spectrum Awards for Women will take place on April 15 at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove at 11 a.m. Individual tickets to the luncheon start at $125. For information, call Kenia Tedesco at 305-644-1200 ext. 103 or visit www.miamiredcross.org/spectrum.

Finally, the 8th Annual Croquet & Croquetas to benefit the Historical Museum of Southern Florida will be held on Sunday, April 13, at the Deering Estate, 16701 S.W. 72 Avenue. Spend Sunday on the Bay at one of South Florida’s hottest spring events that will blend the dignified English tradition of croquet with the delicious Hispanic tradition of croquetas.

Guests will enjoy lavish food and refreshments, live entertainment, silent auction, tours of the Deering Estate and grounds with Dr. Paul George and Frank Schena, croqueta tastings and croquet competitions. Croquet & Croquetas Chair is Ricardo Taño Feijoó and Mark A. Trowbridge will serve as emcee for the event. VIP tickets are $200 per person or $2,000 for a table of 10. Main Event tickets are $85 for HMSF Members and $100 for Non-members. For tickets, call 305-375- 1619. RSVP requested by April 5.

Until next week, keep making each day count.

If you would like to submit information for this column, send your news via e-mail to <galburns@ aol.com>.

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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.