Youth Festival, Tour of Kitchens begin month’s fun events

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Hundreds gathered at the historic Coral Gables Woman’s Club for the club’s ninth annual Children’s Festival on Feb. 3, where children and adults alike were entertained with a day filled with hands-on activities from Bonnet House and Coral Gables Museum, Mindful Monkeys Yoga classes, presentations, and an amazing performance by 10-year-old Mia Rose who belted out songs like a seasoned performer receiving a standing ovation.

One especially interesting organization participating was The Green Haven Project, a non-profit that focuses on creating community gardens in areas usually referred to as food deserts. Locally grown food produced is then given away to the community free of charge.

Founder and president of the organization Jorge Palacios instructed children about planting and provided little pots, seeds and soil for all to take home and nurture.

Other projects included having the children create Valentine’s cards for our military; finger printing by Crime Watch Truly; police and fire department programs, and more for a great day for kids and parents. Kudos to Saesha Tennyson, event chair, and her committee including Kate Swain and so many other volunteers who put together a spectacular day.

Coral Gables Community Foundation’s 19th annual Tour of Kitchens took place the following Saturday. The event improves and grows dramatically every year. More than 800 guests gathered at The Shops of Merrick Park to sign in and feast on breakfast goodies and drinks before embarking on the grand tour and food samplings at the outstanding kitchens on the tour. Co-chairing this year’s event were Liz Parnes and Xavier Durana who welcomed the crowd before they embarked on a tour of a nine amazing homes, as well as MG Developer’s show home, Belmont Village and Pedini Showroom. Every stop had outstanding restaurants and caterers providing food specialties and drinks that made this both a culinary tour of the first order.

Proceeds benefit the numerous philanthropic efforts of this community foundation, now in its 33rd year of making a huge impact on Coral Gables and South Florida. Kudos to president and CEO Mary Snow and this year’s chair of the board Michael Walsh for another outstanding year.

On Feb. 13, it was time again for Coral Gables Woman’s Club’s monthly Gringo Bingo at Bay 13, emceed by the always entertaining Steven Bradley with music by celebrity DJ Germain.

Bingo winners received some great prizes thanks in large part to Kings Bowl in Doral. Kings Bowl stepped up once again to help the Coral Gables Woman’s Club raise funds for the club’s charities, including its free children’s dental clinic, with prizes for the games.

For great team building and group fun, karaoke and bowling at Kings Bowl cannot be beaten and that’s exactly what they donated as prizes. Big shout out to Kings Bowl general manager Jason Ayer for his ongoing support and Bay 13’s Nick Sharp as well as the club’s generous sponsors Lynn Bauer, Dr. Hal Wanless, Dr. Jose Chaviano and Mayra Rossi, and Jerry Kavulich who guarantee a successful fundraiser every month.

Yet another club fundraiser was held at the Coral Gables Arts Cinema on Feb. 18, orchestrated by the CGWC’s fundraising chair Rita Tennyson. A champagne reception with light hors d’oeuvres got the afternoon off to a great start for this lighthearted, romantic award-winning French comedy, The Taste of Things.

Coming up is The Villagers Garden Tour set for Mar. 2. This is always a great day to enjoy the outdoors and view some of South Florida’s most beautiful gardens. Tickets are $50, if purchased early, or $55 on the day of event at the boutique location: St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 5692 N Kendall Dr. The Garden Tour runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Villagers’ Boutique is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info go to

Finally, Legally Blonde, the musical at Actors Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, closed on Feb. 15. It was a resounding hit with Becca Andrews as the lead. Kudos to Barbara Stein, David Arisco and the entire company for another amazing show.

Until next time, share your time and talents, count your blessings, and make a difference.




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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.