Doral Rotary Sponsors Smith Center “Falcons”

By Gloria Burns….
The John I. Smith K-8 Center Varsity Soccer Team reigns as the champions of Doral’s District in AYSO (American Youth Soccer Association) competition, a winning team (like many others) faced with financial adversity due to statewide budget cutbacks.

Now, the Rotary Club of Doral, learning of that challenge, has stepped in to sponsor Smith K-8 Center Falcons with a contribution to allow purchase of uniforms for the entire team, as well as offsetting additional operational expense.

Despite a shaky start last season, the team quickly merged into a cohesive U-10 coed soccer unit under Coach Gerardo Reyes, an AYSO volunteer coach and Rotarian.

Reyes, a product of AYSO teaching philosophies, began playing soccer at age 9 in New York City’s Flushing Meadows District, eventually becoming a wellloved coach by the children he leads. With a winning season (8-1-1), only one loss, Doral’s Falcons are ranked among favorites to compete for the District title again. Started in 1964, AYSO has maintained living tenets that include: Everyone Plays®, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship and Player Development.

“We hope this initiative encourages other businesses and organizations to become Dade Public School Partners by sponsoring other teams in our schools,” said Reyes, proudly adding: “My players and I will wear the Rotary Wheel into every match with pride and honor and bring back an even bigger trophy this year!”

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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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