Claude Pepper Awards Dinner celebrates UnitedHomecare’s work

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Claude Pepper Awards Dinner celebrates UnitedHomecare's work
Claude Pepper Awards Dinner celebrates UnitedHomecare's work
Arely Ruiz and Chef Chris Valdes enjoy appetizers from Lyon at National YoungArts Foundation event.

United HomeCare celebrated its 25th annual Claude Pepper Awards Dinner at Jungle Island on May 16.

United HomeCare is celebrating its 45th anniversary of improving the lives of tens of thousands of elderly and disabled adults in Miami-Dade County. United HomeCare’s fundamental mission to provide clients with the dignity, independence and compassionate care they deserve remains as vital today as when the agency was created.

Honorees this year included Tibor Hollo, Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez, Alfred Sanchez, Carlos Migoya, Ana “Teri” Busse-Arvesu, SLAM! Charter School, and Arquimedes and Rebecca Trujillo. Kudos to Carlos Martinez, United HomeCare’s president and CEO; Alina Palenzuela; Blanca Ceballos, and all those who made this event such a success.

The National YoungArts Foundation held a fundraiser on May 14 at Bacardi’s former historic location downtown. The foundation was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to help nurture emerging high school artists. The foundation is based in Miami and alumni of the program have included such notables as: Timothée Chalamet, Kerry Washington, Matthew Bomer, Billy Porter, Anna Gunn, Andrew Rannells, Zuzanna Szadkoowski, Cote De Pablo, Victor Quinaz, Shalita Grant, Neal Dodson, Viola Davis, Nicki Minaj, Doug Aitken, and Max Schneider.

The art on display was complemented with music and wonderful hors d’ouevres from the likes of Catering by Lovables and Lyon.

Among the many attending the affair that night with this writer were Food Network Star finalist Chef Chris Valdes and CGWC President Arely Ruiz of ArelyPR.

Speaking of art and marketing — congratulations go out to Suzanne Sarsfield on the 10th anniversary of her company, Forethought Marketing. On May 2, Suzanne celebrated the milestone with an amazing party at a downtown location, 200 SE Second St., that provided a spectacular setting with lots of surprises from great music to a magician who wowed everyone.

On May 11, Isabella Silverio hosted a gathering of the Guava Tribe, women involved in her Guava Empowering Consultancy, at No. 3 Social, bringing together entrepreneurial women at the Wynwoodbar to connect professionally, network, and celebrate goals over cocktails. Isabella, a Miami native Cuban-American business consultant who graduated from the University of Florida Warrington College of Business, has been involved in the launch of 10-plus tech startups. She is focused on working with female entrepreneurs as one who has experience succeeding in a male-dominated startup culture and now wants to help empower women in her field.

Silverio participated in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center’s Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa program in Cape Town, South Africa, where she helped disadvantaged entrepreneurs optimize and scale their businesses, and founded her consultancy firm in 2017. Her firm helps women-owned businesses with the know-how to transform ideas into thriving companies.

Finally, yet another successful sellout crowd participated in Gringo Bingo on May 7 at Clutch Burger on Giralda Plaza, raising more than $1,400. The event, graciously hosted by Clutch Burger’s Steven and Ana Bradley, raised more than $1,400 for Operation Smile.

Lots of new faces joined the women of the Coral Gables Woman’s Club and Gables Rotarians that evening including the new president of The Gilded Lillies, Jackie Milanes, whose organization will be a beneficiary of this event in July. Moving the event inside was a good move with DJ Germain’s music making it a party. Next month’s event will be on June 4 to benefit the Goat Project of EcoWorks International in Haiti. To reserve space for the June event, call 305-968-3090.

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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