Coral Gables Museum to host ‘An Evening on the Plaza’

An Evening on the the Plaza at the Coral Gables Museum [dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Coral Gables Museum, with a mission to celebrate the civic arts, is hosting “An Evening on the Plaza,” its annual fundraising event, on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m. The festivities will take place on the museum’s beautiful open air Giralda Plaza, at 285 Aragon Ave.

The event will feature cocktails, dinner, live music and the organization’s Community Achievement Awards honoring four outstanding leaders.

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available for this event. Individual tickets cost $250. Sponsorships are offered at three levels: Platinum Sponsor ($20,000), Gold Sponsor ($10,000) and Silver Sponsor ($5,000). Proceeds will support the museum’s educational programs, events and exhibits.

For information about tickets, advertising, sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, contact Christine Rupp at 305-603-8067 or send email

Four individuals whose energy and vision have significantly improved the lives of many who live in Coral Gables and the greater Miami area will be recognized. The honorees are David Evensky, Thelma Gibson, H.T. Smith and Judith Weissel.

David Evensky is a businessman who founded the Motivated Youth Program, a Miami-based charitable program that encourages, inspires, educates, and motivates our community’s youth to participate in local charities, now and in the future. He is a member of numerous organizations including the Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami-Dade Financial Planning Association (FPA), and Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Baptist Health Foundation, University of Miami Citizen’s Board, Kristie House and Shake-a-Leg.

Thelma Gibson founded Miami-Dade County’s first women’s chamber in 1984. She began her career as a staff nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital in 1947. For more than 50 years, she has been a trailblazer in education, mental and physical health, community and professional leadership, volunteerism and service to her church, community and family.

In August 1997, she was appointed as interim city commissioner and served on the City of Miami Commission through November 1997. Gibson is president emeritus of the Theodore Roosevelt Gibson Memorial Fund Inc.; founder of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Dade County; board member on “GUTS” (Grovites United to Survive); “BIDCO” (Black Investors of Dade County); United Home Care Services; Women’s Guild University of Miami; a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and Charter Member Nu Chapter Chi Eta Phi Sorority Inc. (National Nursing Society).

H.T. Smith is a pioneering civic leader, who served as Miami-Dade County’s first African-American assistant public defender, and then as the county’s first African- American assistant county attorney. For the past 41 years, Smith has practiced law in Miami, specializing in civil rights, personal injury, and criminal defense.

From 1990 to 1993, he led the successful Boycott Miami Campaign, which lasted 1,000 days and was organized after local politicians snubbed Nelson Mandela during his historic visit to Miami. The boycott settlement resulted in significant economic and educational opportunities for African Americans, including the development of the first Black-owned convention-quality hotel in the United States.

Smith serves on the board of trustees of the University of Miami, board of governors of the University of Miami Hospital and chairs the board of directors of the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation.

Judith Weissel is a member of the Sterling family, one of the first Jewish families to come to Miami in the 1930s. Weissel was an elementary school teacher for more than 10 years and became very involved in the community. The Weissel family was one of the founding members of Temple Judea in Coral Gables. She served on the board of trustees at Temple Judea for many years and has established numerous endowments. Weissel is a devoted supporter of the Miami chapter of Mothers Voices, a non-profit support group started by two Jewish women in New York who lost their sons to AIDS.

In 1997, she was one of the founding members of the Business Improvement District (BID) of Coral Gables, a taxing district for property owners along Miracle Mile and adjacent streets focused on marketing and economic development. She has served on the executive committee and the board of directors of the BID from its founding to the present.

The Coral Gables Museum’s mission is to celebrate, investigate and explore the civic arts of architecture and urban and environmental design, including fostering an appreciation for the history, vision, and cultural landscape of Coral Gables; promoting beauty and planning as well as historic and environmental preservation for a broad audience, including children, families, and community members, as well as local, regional, national and international visitors.

For more information about educational programs or volunteering, visit

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