South Florida Organizations Hold Multiple Fundraisers

Perfect weather for inaugrual 5K Parkfest at Virginia Key Beach
Gloria Burns

A Coral Gables Rotary fundraiser on Nov. 18, helped raise about $8,000 to benefit Give Kids the World and Rotary scholarships. Belles & Outlaws performed beautifully during the evening teaching the crowd to line dance and two step after enjoying for and drinks provided by event host, The Hotel Colonnade. During a short program, Rotarian Hank Langston, of Gulliver Schools, took the opportunity to present the Hotel Colonnade with a $2,000 donation from the school’s Interact Club for GKTW in connection with their annual student fashion show held in the Spring. This Rotary fundraiser ties in nicely with the club’s upcoming Chili Cook Off to be held Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 at Fred B. Hartnett Ponce Circle Park, Coral Gables. South Miami businesses and civic organizations are encouraged to join the fun. More information coming soon.

On Nov. 10, Bulla Gastrobar and Pisco y N azca raised awareness and funds for Global Water Brigades, an international, non-profit organization constructing clean water systems in Nicaragua, Honduras and Ghana with their 6th Annual WaterParty MIA held at the Douglas entrance in Coral Gables.

Restaurants showed their support with a social media campaign, blue ribbons worn by servers at all restaurants, and by serving delicious bites during this event. With a goal of raising $12,500 to benefit the community of Potwabin, Ghana, which is home to 67 families in need of clean water supply. At the affair, more than 200 guests indulged in drinks courtesy of Estrella Beer, Jack Daniels, Brugal Rum, Russian Standard Vodka, Punch Miami & El Patio Wynwood and, best of all, the fundraising goal was reached.

The funds collected via WaterParty MIA 2016 will provide the community with access to clean water via a piped water system in the very near future. All monies collected during the event will directly benefit Global WaterBrigades Ghana.

Closing out Thanksgiving weekend, on Sunday, Nov. 27, the Jr. Orange Bowl Parade marched down Miracle Mile to the delight of a larger than usual crowd of children of all ages. A lovely pre-parade reception treated sponsors and other VIPs with a nice reception before the show. JOBC President Charles Knight, of FPL, welcomed everyone thanking the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the Orange Bowl and many other sponsors for their support. Among the many notables in the crowd were Mayor Jim Cason, former Mayor and Orange Bowl Committee President Elect Don Slesnick, Commissioner Jeannett Slesnick, Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill and Rita Magill, Coral Gables Woman’s Club President Debi Van Stone Moore, JOBC Queen’s Pageant Chair Isa Goenaga with this year’s royal court, Nicklaus Children’s Marcia Diaz de Villegas, JR and Jodie Steinbauer, Kate Swain, and JOBC Executive Director Jessica Cerda, Zeke Guilford with his grandson and daughter, and Yolanda Woodbridge with her granddaughter, Madison and daughter Kathy, to mention a few.

That JOBC parade precedes numerous activities in the packed December calendar. In fact, the Dec. 15 lunch meeting of Coral Gables Rotary, to be held at the Coral Gables Museum, will feature the Rotary award winners from the Merrick Festival Caroling Competition held the very week after the parade. A past president of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables Sally Baumgartner is the mastermind behind the annual competition that truly bring the holiday spirit to the community through performances by school choirs from all over the county.

The Junior Orange Bowl continues its line up of amazing events showcasing youth with events such as the 35th Anniversary of its Sports Ability Games followed by Basketball and on to the best Juniors Golf and Tennis Championships in the world. All of these amazing activities mean a huge economic impact for our community much like the JOBC’s big brother, the Orange Bowl Committee. The Orange Bowl Festival, with its myriads of events generate millions of dollars in tourist tax dollars while promoting South Florida to the nation and world. For more information on the Jr. Orange Bowl events, visit or call 305 662-1210.

Of course, many holiday parties focus on giving back to others. Toy drives are always a great way to collect toys and more for those in need during the holidays. Scott and Belinda Sime continue that tradition every year collecting hundreds of unwrapped toys every year for those in need at their annual holiday party.

Instead of a toy drive, the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club have taken a different approach, choosing to collect and disburse $15 gift cards instead of toys to the patients of their club’s free children’s dental clinic at their party for the kids on December 17th. This is always a fun event where Santa usually shows up for some food and goodies and to visit with the kids.

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.


  1. Two beautiful cards Mandy, I wish I'd started my Christmas cards! Thanks for joining us at MAWTT for Pa#mi&39;s Anything Goes challenge this week and good luckHugs Laurie x


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