April luncheons at Jungle Island entertain and inspire

April luncheons at Jungle Island entertain and inspire
April luncheons at Jungle Island entertain and inspire
Pictured at the Miami Dade School Board meeting with a proclamation for Rotary Club of Coral Gables are (l-r) Terry Long, Rotary Club president Walter Alvarez, School Boardmember Raquel Regalado and Margarita Tonkinson.

The Firefighters Secretary’s Day Luncheon at Jungle Island was the perfect way for businesses to thank their administrative assistants as well as for organizations to support the community.

This annual affair is always crazy fun for the ladies and this year was no exception. Among the many women in the crowd was a large group from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club who seem to be everywhere and especially appreciative of the hard work that goes into producing this “fashion show” of sorts where half-naked firefighters strut their stuff and sometimes dance along a really long runway in an effort to get votes to be included in the firefighters calendar for the coming year. There was no shortage of cameras or dollar bills for this event you can be sure.

Yet another great event at Jungle Island was even larger. The Power of the Purse Luncheon on Apr. 19 was a huge success with some 1,000 guests gathering for a lovely luncheon that offered many a chance to meet the organization’s new executive director, Marilyn Fizer March. March most recently served as senior development director for Easter Seals of South Florida.

April luncheons at Jungle Island entertain and inspire
Lisa Merheb, memberof the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club, took advantage of theVIP reception to pose with firefighters before being escorted into the luncheon.

In addition, Emmy Award-winning anchor CBS 4’s Shannon Hori emceed the program that included testimonials from two grantees, Rebecca Francisque and Eve Hansen, both of whom inspired and brought tears as they told their stories. Before and after the program, ladies took advantage of the opportunity to bid on incredible designer handbags and lots of other great items.

The Rotary Club of Coral Gables held the third in a series of four Wine and Dine for Charity events at Crave on Apr. 26. Guests enjoyed a magnificent meal with wine pairing after a champagne reception sponsored by YW Associates. The next in this series will be at the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables on June 4.

Westin’s executive chef, Thomas Russo, already is working on a great menu that promises yet another successful evening of good food, fine wines and good company. Tickets are $125 per person all inclusive and include a champagne reception followed by a four-course gourmet dinner with wine pairings.

Speaking of Rotary, Miami Dade District 6 School Board member Raquel Regalado presented a proclamation to the Rotary Club of Coral Gables on Apr. 17, recognizing the club for its scholarship program at Coral Gables Senior High School. Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade School Board, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, lauded them for awarding $17,000 to 13 graduating seniors who exemplified Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self, excellence in academic achievement, and leadership.

The Rotary Club of Coral Gables sponsors the school’s Interact Club that boasts a membership of 175 students, six of whom were awarded scholarships from the club, which works with school advisor and teacher, Marguerite DePaola, on numerous club projects. On hand to accept the award from Raquel Regalado were Walter Alvarez, president of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables; Terry Long, chair of the Scholarship Committee and donor, and Margarita Tonkinson, Scholarship Committee member and donor. This scholarship program is funded by the Rotary Foundation of Coral Gables and through the generosity of private donors.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

If you would like to submit information for this column, send your news via email to gloriagalburns@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.


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