Give Miami Day sets record raising more than $10.1 million

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Nov. 16 was Give Miami Day, an annual day of giving during which charities ask their supporters to go online to donate. The Miami Foundation coordinates this campaign, adding additional funds to the totals each charity raises with proceeds then directed to each charity.

From Mothers Against Drunk Driving, A Safe Haven for Newborns to Camillus House and more the options to give are endless and the funds raised incredible. In 24 hours, supporters are asked to go online to support favorite charities.

Year one of the event raised a little over $1 million and every year it jumps. This year the campaign surpassed its previous record and raised in excess of $10.1 million for 695 charities. Lots of happy nonprofits attending the AFP National Philanthropy Day Luncheon the following day were delighted and most grateful.

Among the many charities participating was the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club and its Coral Gables Children’s Dental Clinic. This club not only provides free dental care for children of the working poor but also prepares 32 food baskets every year for the most needy families of the clients. The women collect gift cards for the children and toiletries that are packaged for Agape women for the holidays.

Women interested in being part of this great group serving our South Florida community are welcomed to contact Susie Tilson at 305-720-5181 or visit the club’s website at

Also, on the topic of giving, Coral Gables Rotarians donate each year to help with cost of Thanksgiving dinners at the Chapman Parntership for the Homeless where the club members also volunteer to serve meals Thanksgiving Day. For many Rotarians this is annual ritual that brings much joy to all.

On Nov. 4, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, yet another participant of Give Miami Day, held a Casino Night fundraiser at a beautiful estate near the Falls. This inaugural event for NAAF in Miami had a 1920s theme and was coordinated by immigration attorney Deirdre Nero with her many volunteers to bring about awareness and raise funds for the cause.

It was a picture-perfect evening after a little scare with some rain in the afternoon as the event took place in a gorgeous outdoor setting.

Food, drinks, silent auction, photo booth and games entertained the guests until late in the evening.

NAAF supports research to find a cure or acceptable treatment for alopecia areata. This is a common autoimmune skin disease affecting as many as 6.8 million people in the United States . It causes hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body.

Deirdre and others affected by the disease in attendance were beautiful representatives for NAAF that evening.

On the international front, a trio of Rotarians represented our community in Geneva, Switzerland for Rotary Day at the United Nations.

Since the United Nations was established in 1945, Rotary has be involved, having a permanent representative at the UN in New York and in Geneva.

Every year, the UN honors Rotary with a special Rotary Day at the UN that has been held in New York. For the first time, this November, it was held in Geneva.Among the local South Florida Rotarians attending this year were Gables Rotarians Yolanda Woodbridge, Kelly Graces and Hatsi Kiyanitza.

In other news, renowned author Marcia Fine was in town again on a book tour for her latest book, Hidden Ones. This is a fascinating story of the Jews in Mexico who were forced to practice Catholicism but, in private, maintained their Jewish faith at great peril. This is but one of many books this award winning author and gifted story teller has written. Marcia, who attended Coral Gables High School but now lives in Arizona, generously took time from her busy schedule on Nov. 13 to hold a book signing for the Coral Gables Woman’s Club donating a percentage of the proceeds from her book sales that night to the club’s international committee chaired by Mitzi Jenner.

The donation will be added to money already raised to help with earthquake relief efforts in Mexico. Club vice president Arely Ruiz was instrumental in coordinating the evening that included a great Mexican dinner and drinks before Marcia’s entertaining and informative talk. Marcia’s husband, Chip, also was on hand to help with the visuals.

Among the many enjoying the evening were Marilyn Smit, Ana Lam, Maryann Etkin, Marti Bueso, and Susie Tilson.

May all our readers have a Happy Thanksgiving with prayers for all those serving our country who cannot be home for the holidays.

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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