Gables Rotary and Bar Association mixer and toy drive benefits many


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The monthly joint mixer for the Coral Gables Bar Association and the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, held the second Wednesday of every month, had a twist in December.

That get together, held at Tapeo Eatery & Bar on Giralda, also served as a toy drive for three different organizations: the Marines’ Toys for Tots, Lighthouse for the Blind and the Coral Gables “Free” Children’s Dental Clinic for its holiday kids party. Among the many enjoying the event were RCCG president-elect Kelly Garces, Hadley Williams, Greg Martini, Walter Alvarez and Carol Brock.

Speaking of toy drives, Scott and Belinda Sime held their annual holiday party and toy drive, which is where many of the toys collected from the mixer were dropped off. The Sime’s party always is one that collects several hundred toys every year and is one of the best parties of the season for a cause. In addition to the Simes’ home. Toys were dropped off as Channel 10’s Big Bus Toys for Tots caravan traveled the county with Jacey Birch and Eric Yutzy.

The Mitchell and West Family Fun 5K was one of many events held in front of Coral Gables City Hall on a picture perfect day. PJ Mitchell and Spencer West started this event years ago to raise funds for Alzheimer’s and now support various causes. This year the Coral Gables Woman’s Club Children Dental Clinic. The women of this club are everywhere and were among the many hundreds dressed in Santa and holiday attire who ran to support the Arthritis Foundation the morning of Dec. 8 at The Falls. The is the longest-running, holiday-themed 5K race series anywhere and it is no wonder why. It is hilarious. Two of the funniest were Eric Bradley and Phong Truong with their antler headpieces and colorful tutus.

CGWC had raised $1,000 for the Run at a Gringo Bongo fundraiser to match the annual $1,000 donation for a total gift of $2,000 that they presented at the race.

Representing the club that morning with this writer were board member Donna Myrill and dental clinic director Dr. Iris Torres. Club president Arely Ruiz also was on hand to emcee the event for the Foundation’s outgoing eecutive director and CGWC member Lisa Boccia.

The Arthritis Foundation is one close to the heart of this woman’s club whose past president Mireya Kilmon has been a spokesperson for the organization and has suffered with arthritis for years.

Speaking of events, Coral Gables Woman’s Club had two fundraisers just days before that weekend on Dec. 3, the club coordinated its monthly Gringo Bingo hosted by Clutch Burger to raise funds for the Junior Orange Bowl Festival and then two days later had a Prohibition Repeal Speakeasy Party at their clubhouse to benefit the Coral Gables Children’s Dental Clinic that serves currently 600 children of the working poor.

The Junior Orange Bowl, whose numerous events showcase our youth, and the Woman’s Club’s Dental Clinic and its Children’s Festival both serve our young people in their own unique ways. It was especially fun to have the JOBC’s Youth Ambassadors and Jobie at Gringo Bingo to promote the festival and the JOBC Parade held Dec. 15.

Speaking of the JOBC, the festival’s annual Junior Orange Bowl Parade was one of the best in years with a new date that certainly made it easier for visiting and local bands to participate. Coming off that event, the committee goes right into the JOBC’s International Tennis Tournament (Dec. 14-23); the Junior Orange Bowl’s annual National Basketball Classic at Miami Palmetto High School on Dec. 27, 28 and 30, and the International Golf Tournament, Jan. 2-6, 2020. For more on these and other JOBC events, visit

Finally, save the date, Jan. 7, for the Gringo Bingo (7-9 p.m.). That night CGWC will direct the proceeds to Joshua’s Heart Foundation. The Coral Gables Woman’s Club is extremely grateful for Clutch Burger’s generous support in hosting these monthly events. As always, Clutch Burger owner Steven Bradley will entertain and call bingo while celebrity DJ Germain will once again donate his services providing music adding to the overall party atmosphere at these games.. For tickets, send email to

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 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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