Arthritis Foundation touches hearts at Walk kickoff luncheon

The Hall family attends the Arthritis Walk Luncheon with members of FIU’s Alpha Omega Pi sorority.

The Arthritis Foundation kicked off this year’s walk with a luncheon at the Hyatt Coral Gables that both educated, inspired and brought tears to all those who were fortunate to attend the event.

After hearing from FIU Baseball Coach Turtle Thomas, community honorary chair, as well as Dr. Jorge Orbay, medical honorary chair, the program brought even more surprises. The Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation presented a $400,000 check that was a great way to get the ball rolling.

While most people consider arthritis a disease that comes with age, those taking the stage at this affair were far from old as in the case of this year’s child honoree, Kiyah Hall, one of many children suffering with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). Kiyah’s mom, Nicole Eversley Hall, spoke of their journey and how the Arthritis Foundation had been such a great resource. They even helped send Kiyah to Camp Boggy Creek for a summer vacation with other children also dealing with serious medical conditions.

Kiyah’s dad, Craig Hall, who is a postal worker in Broward and a gospel singer, expressed his gratitude for those in attendance and the people on his route who donated to the Walk by singing a capella a tear evoking rendition of You Raise Me Up.

Among the many in attendance were a large group from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club whose president, Mireya Kilmon, suffers with RA. After the luncheon, the woman’s club also presented a check for $1,000 for this year’s event. Also enjoying the affair were Linda Harwell, Claire Frances Whitehurst, Nathalia Bogani, Maria O’Hollearn. Robin Burr, Ana Lam, Raquel Garcia, Bianka Gomez and other FIU Alpha Omega Pi sorority women.

Former chamber chairs Carolina Rendeiro and Ron Shuffield are pictured at Coral Gables Chamber Trustee Reception hosted by Right Space.

The Arthritis Walk will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Amelia Earhart Park, 401 E. 65 St. in Hialeah. For more information, visit

In other news, the Coral Gables Chamber stays busy with numerous networking events. Trustees were treated to a reception on Sept. 11, at Right Space, the flexible new work office space at 100 Miracle Mile. Carolina Rendeiro, CEO of Right Space Management and a former chamber chair, welcomed chamber president Mark Trowbridge; chamber chair Darla Thompson, senior tax manager at Cherry Bekaert & Holland LLP; former chamber chairs Drew Kern and Ron Shuffield, of EWM Realtors; chamber treasurer John Allen, Home Financing Center; as well as Linda Knudsen, Baptist Health.

By the way, Coral Gables Chamber has tickets on sale for this year’s Burgerlicious: The Second Course. This incredibly yummy burger tasting event and competition will be on Thursday, Nov. 8, 6- 10 p.m., at Fred B. Hartnett / Ponce Circle Park, 2800 Ponce De Leon Blvd. in the Gables. For more information on tickets or sponsorships, call 305-446-1657.

Finally, the Coral Gables Museum Artisan Food Fest continues on Saturdays, Oct. 20, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Look for handcrafted items, from granola and nuts, jams and greens to sausages and everything in between. There also will be various raffles and other activities for lots of family fun. For more information, call 305-603- 8067 or visit

In addition, the a Gables Museum also is organizing fun, educational bicycle tours through the City Beautiful starting at 11 a.m. at the museum. Join the fun on Oct. 21 for a Halloween ride to Pinewood Cemetery and then on Nov. 18 the ride will visit historic sites such as The Biltmore, once a VA Hospital where General Eisenhower himself stayed for bursitis treatment. Cost is $10 per person or $5 for museum members. Space is limited. Please RSVP to 305-603-8067.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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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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