Big Bus comes to Doral for Marine Toys-for-Tots


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The holiday spirit filled the air in Doral as residents and businesses supported so many worthwhile efforts giving of their time, talent and treasure to make a positive impact.

On the morning of Dec. 13 watching TV, I saw that the Big Bus with Channel 10’s Jacey Birch and Eric Yutzy was in Kendall making the rounds to pick up collections for the Marine Toys for Tots program.

While I had already dropped off toys at the Intercontinental Hotel Doral collected from a joint event of the Coral Gables Rotary and Coral Gables Bar Association, more remained for distribution to other charities. So, when Birch announced they were desperately short on items for babies, it suddenly became apparent that stuffed animals donated at that mixer were just the thing.

I made it over to meet up with the crew and several Marines as the Big Bus parked at the Walgreens on 41st St. to drop off a bag of Ganz animals. Jacey and Eric certainly knew how to brighten the day as their joy in sharing this with the community was contagious.

Holiday parties also brightened the December calendar. On Dec. 7, Palmetto General Hospital held a fabulous black-tie affair at the Mandarin Oriental for their Annual Physicians Holiday Gala. Palmetto General’s Vilma Medio and her team made it a night to remember.

Of course, PGH’s CEO Ana Mederos shined welcoming her amazing doctors with their significant others as well as numerous special guests all of whom enjoyed a night of celebration with great food, dancing and company.

arelyPR, based in Doral, has had a few parties celebrating the firm’s eighth anniversary with the first one at the Perez Art Museum and the latest being a mini fundraiser for Joshua’s Heart Foundation on Dec. 20 at Rik Rak on Brickell.

The CGWC held a party for the children they serve at their dental clinic on Dec. 21.

Throughout the past few months, the club had been collecting $15 gift cards to have Santa give out at the party. Helping with that effort, another Tenet Hospital, Coral Gables Hospital, came through big time once again collecting 30 gift cards from their staff alone with additional donations coming from members and friends. Thanks as well to Mitchell & West, the clinic got another $500 gift to underwrite raffle prizes (bikes) for the children’s party from their annual Reindeer Run event.

Finally, I wish you all have a happy and prosperous New Year.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel , non profit consulting and management. Before joining Miami's Community Newspapers as a columnist and marketing specialist, Gloria was the Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee (6 yrs.) and first Executive Director of the Coral Gables Community Foundation (14 yrs.) and the Pinecrest Community Foundation (1 ½ yrs) . Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist for Community Newspapers writing Gloria’s Gab, that focuses on the non-profit activity, and a host of an online show, Gloria's Gab LIVE. Gloria serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables as Civic and Charity Chair, and is involved in the club's International Committee. She is an active Life Member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee and is Secretary of the Merrick Festival. She serves on the board of directors of the Coral Gables Woman' Club as Publicity Chair and also coordinates the club's monthly fundraiser for various charities with Gringo Bingo at Clutch Burger. In addition, Gloria participates in numerous other charitable events and is a member of the Business Forum Group, Profit Inc., the Greater Miami Festival & Events Association and the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. In other volunteer activity, Gloria helps Miami Christian School with fund-raising and PR; is an Ambassador and volunteers for events for A Safe Haven for Newborns. She is an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where she enjoys singing in the choir every weekend.