Coral Gables Rotary Chili Cook-Off scheduled for Feb. 25

Coral Gables Rotary Chili Cook-Off scheduled for Feb. 25

Valerie Valenzuela works on art project with children at Coral Gables Woman’s Club Children’s Festival.

Look for 20 or more chili competitors in this year’s Coral Gables Rotary Annual Chili Cook-Off on Feb. 25, 1-5 p.m., at Fred B. Hartnett Ponce Circle Park.

Event chair Greg Martini is ably assisted again this year with a hardworking committee including fellow past president Debbie Swain, Yolanda Woodbrdige and Bruce Kerestes who coordinates the chefs. Bruce is delighted that new teams are signing up and most all of the great chefs are returning to compete for cash prizes, for best chili and more, including the Hotel Colonnade, Coral Gables Woman’s Club, Miami Christian School, St. Sophia’s, Temple Beth Am, and dozens more.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the many local non profits and international programs that receive grants from the Rotary Foundation of Coral Gables including such notables as Shake-A-Leg Camp, Coral Gables Children’s Dental Clinic, ALFLIT, and Shelter Box.

Teams still wanting to sign up for the Chili Cook-Off may do so online at There is a $25 entry fee that should be mailed in as indicated on the registration form.

In other news, Actors’ Playhouse opening night for the hilarious new show Noises Off treated guests to a fabulous dinner prior to the show provided by Ortanique and an open bar by Bacardi. Noises Off, directed by the super-talented David Arisco, is billed as one of the funniest ever and is a staging masterpiece with an impressive revolving stage and a great cast starring one of this writer’s favorite actors, Gary Marachek, who will be returning in the summer for Big Bang.

Next up for this 30th anniversary season will be Once, the winner of eight Tony Awards on Broadway including Best Musical. The show will run Feb. 28-Mar. 25.

This time of year brings a variety of beautiful galas to attend and support worthy organization that help so many good causes. The annual Junior Orange Bowl Gala is coming on Saturday, Mar. 10, at the Intercontinental Hotel Miami.

The annual Coral Gables Woman’s Club Annual Gala “Lights, Camera, Auction” will be Saturday, Mar. 24, at the clubhouse, 1001-9 E. Ponce de Leon Blvd. Proceeds will benefit the Coral Gables Children’s Dental Clinic. This clinic provides more than $220,000 on free dental care Miami Dade County children of the working poor.

Tickets for the gala are $75 and include a cocktail hour, open bar and dinner with a silent auction and entertainment. Definitely the best deal in town. Chairing the event again this year is Arely Ruiz assisted by her auction chair Iris Segui and ticket chair Valerie Valenzuela.

For additional information please contact, Iris Segui at 305-972-5405 (Silent Auction Donations), Arely Ruiz at 305-632-5996 (Sponsorships/Donations/Venue Info) or Valerie Valenzuela at 954-804-9855 (Ticket Sales).

While planning for the gala, the Coral Gables Woman’s Club also held its annual Children’s Festival on Jan. 27. Miami’s Community Newspapers was happy to participate in the career corner while so many other groups also participated in providing a great afternoon for children. Among the many providing information and hands-on activities were the Coral Gables Fire Department with an obstacle course for the kids to try. Police came with their canine unit and a demonstration. Venetian Aquatic Center also gave out information. With free food, drinks, popcorn and face painting, everyone had a great day.

Kudos to event chair Kate Swain with assistance from Ruth Martinez, Rita and Saesha Tennyson, Susie Tilson, Iris Segui, Valeria Valenzuela, Ana Lam and lots more club members and volunteers.

Finally, more than 100 volunteers recently attended Frost Science’s Citizen Science Work Day which also launched Frost Science’s newly awarded Resilient Communities Program Grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Wells Fargo.

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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