Parties abound in community as summer fun begins

Parties abound in community as summer fun begins

Author and ex-FBI agent Sam Martinez, Rotary Club’s featured speaker, (left) is pictured with Coral Gables Rotary president Carlos Bolado.

Karaoke Night at Coral Gables Woman’s Club raised funds for the Ann Storck Center that is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Orchestrated by Eneida Rivera, this first time event is sure to be followed by more as it was a great success. Among the dozens seen enjoying the evening were Ralph and Iris Rivera, Claudia Coupet, Carmen Suarez, Margie Shanti, Eddie Snow, John Burns, Barbara Lapsley, and Joannie Knight, to mention a few.

Mercantil Commercebank hosted its third annual Tri-County Networker at Seminole Hard Rock Casino on that same Thursday.

The celebration was attended by hundreds of members from 17 different chambers of commerce and business organizations. It was a networking bonanza for those enjoying the food and drink at this beautiful affair during which heads of these organizations were asked to join the folks from Mercantil Commercebank on stage to receive a lovely recognition award.

Parties abound in community as summer fun begins

Joannie Knight of the Ann Storck Center (left) is pictured with CGWC president Mayra Dominguez at Karaoke night fundraiser.

Coincidentally, that same night Coral Gables Business Improvement District held its annual Taste of the Gables at the Westin Colonnade where guests enjoyed sampling food from some of the Gables best eateries. Congratulations to Chief Diego Solano and Bulla Gastrobar for taking top prize at the event being named Best Taste of the Gables 2015.

On the Rotary scene, former FBI agent and author Sam Martinez was the featured speaker for the June 4 weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables. Sam discussed his book, Systemic Evil: Mat Perez vs The FBI. This book, available on Amazon, focuses on a system of discrimination that was revealed in a class action suit brought against the FBI. Agents filing the suit won their case and, so doing, have helped bring about a positive change in the system.

That meeting was one of the last Rotary functions for outgoing president Carlos Bolado who turned over the presidency to Greg Martini on June 15 during their installation hosted by Sushi Maki.

Visiting Rotarians should note that Coral Gables Rotarians will be meeting every Thursday, 12:15 p.m., at La Jolla Ballroom until July when they will return to the Courtyard Marriott a few blocks away after renovations at the Marriott are completed.

Parties abound in community as summer fun begins

Gables Rotarian Deena Bell has been elected to Design Review Board for the City of Miami Beach.

Finally, congratulations go out to Coral Gables Rotarian Deena Bell Llewellyn, ASLA, president of Bell Landscape Architecture Inc., was elected to serve on the Design Review Board for the City of Miami Beach. Deena was elected by the mayor and commissioners to serve as the landscape architect on the seven-member board consisting of community professionals in architecture, development, real estate, law, and landscape architecture whose job it is to review all applications requiring design review approval for all properties not located within a designated historic district or not designated as a historic site.

This is a huge job as all building permits for new construction, public interior areas, interior areas that face a street or sidewalk, demolitions and wrecking, alterations, or additions to existing buildings, including fences, parking lots, walls and signs, whether new or change of copy, exterior surface finishes and materials, and all public improvements upon public rights-of-way and easements shall be subject to review under the design review procedures.

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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