Young writers gather for JOBC Creative Writing Award

Pictured at the JOBC Creative Writing Awards ceremony at Books and Books are JOBC President Jim Borgmann; JOBC Princess Alyssa Hidalgo; First Place winner Wendy Serra; Miami Middle Lakes teacher, Tracie Pullum; Winner of the Give-A-Hand Award at Queen’s Pageant, Angeline Pino, of International Studies Charter High School; and JOBC Creative Writing Chair, Connie Goodman Milone.

Books and Books hosted the Junior Orange Bowl Creative Writing Award ceremony on January 3. This competition, sponsored by the South Florida Writers Association (SFWA), uncovers some uniquely talented young writers and this year’s competition, chaired again by Connie Goodman Milone, was no exception. Family, friends, teachers, KOBC members and local writers enjoyed refreshments before sitting down for the best part of the program.

The 2009 first place winner, Wendy Serra, read her essay, “Silent Night,” aloud to an audience that was captivated by the maturity and beauty of her piece. Serra was awarded several gifts including a $100 check from the SFWA.

Serra, a student at Miami Lakes Middle School, was encouraged to enter the competition by her teacher, Tracie Pullum, who was also recognized and awarded some gifts of thanks.

Other winners receiving recognition and checks were Alexis Lauda, of St. Timothy Parish School, who won second place; and Emily Raitan, of Rabbi Alexander S. Gross Hebrew Academy, who won third place.

This annual competition is opened to eight grade middle school students from Miami Dade County. Look for the winning essay on the JOBC web site and in SFWA’s Author’s Voice.

Enid Miguez, JOBC Queen’s Pageant Chair, with JOBC President Jim Borgmann and the Royal Court: Queen Marlis Miller and Princesses, Alyssa Hidalgo and Taylor Matthews.

The week prior to this event, the Junior Orange Bowl was busy wrapping up its International Golf Invitational and producing its 60th Annual JOBC Parade, “Moon Over Miami.” While volunteers handed out helium filled balloons thanking Miami Children’s Hospital for its support to the crowd, VIP’s enjoyed a lovely reception at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables.

After enjoying a beautiful buffet provided by the Hyatt, the crowd was transported, courtesy of Super Shuttle, to the grandstand area across from City Hall where they enjoyed one of South Florida’s best parades featuring the youth of the world. While Obie, the Orange Bowl Mascot, was the Grand Marshal, the parade was also honored to have Channel 10’s Laurie Jennings as its Honorary Grand Marshal. Jennings rode in a convertible with her twin boys dressed in Santa hats and they could not have been more adorable.

In other news, Coral Gables Rotarians kicked off the New Year with their traditional Moose Milk Party at the lovely home of Bob and Cindy Trescott. While Bob Trescott and fellow Rotarian Sally Baumgartner prepared the Moose Milk, a concoction of ice cream and gin, members arrived with all sorts of great covered dishes that made for a fabulous buffet and great way to kick off the New Year.

Among the many attending the affair were Yoli and Fred Woodbridge. Jo Burke, Coral Gables Commissioner Ralph Cabrera and Jodi Cabrera, Bruce and Janie Kerestes, Manny Mares, Lynn Mitchell, Lan and Marie Rose Nghiem-Phu, Bill and Rita Oates,Dr. Patricia Padrinas, David Ortiz, Elizabeth Silverman, Chris Zoller and John Burns, to mention a few.

Rotarians Bill Oates, Yoli Woodbridge, and Chris Zoller enjoying Moose Milk Party at home of Cindy and Bob Trescott.

Until next week, keep making each day count. Keeping up with what’s happening in our community is quite a challenge and I am certain there are many activities I miss. If you would like to submit information for this column, send your news via e-mail to .

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About the Author

Gloria Burns
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

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