Annual Safe Haven Gala touches hearts and over-delivers fun

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Annual Safe Haven Gala touches hearts and over-delivers fun

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A Safe Haven for Newborns Gala was another great success held October 19 at the Intercontinental Hotel Miami with guest emcee Laura Pastrana, CBS Miami Channel 4, Anchor, and guest Ambassador Florida State Senator Rene Garcia, who is also a member of the board. Board member Dr. Jaime Fernandez once again added to the excitement during the cocktail hour making announcements and encouraging support for the many options to spend money from a wine raffle to buying sight unseen Kendra Scott Jewelry that always sells out. Following a delicious dinner, the crowd danced the night away to Tartara Band making for a magical evening.

Thanks to support from Safe Haven’s presenting sponsor The Celia Lipton Farris & Victor W. Farris Foundation and countless other donors, the organization, founded by CEO Nick Silverio, has saved the lives of 315 babies to date. Nick, who has never taken a salary, has lots of volunteers who also deserve credit for supporting his work and the mission such as his amazing volunteers including Norris Perez, who has chaired the auction year after year, and others such as Cindy Delgado, Ann McCormick, Odalys Quesada, Henry Delgado, Efrain Sora, and Gina Perez, to mention a few. More on this in our next issue. Miami’s Community Newspapers was delighted to participate as the Gala’s Media/ PR sponsor.

In other news, runners will want to mark Sunday, December 8, on their calendars for the Arthritis Association’s Miami Jingle Bells Run. Yes folks, it is time to sign up for a fun morning at The Falls. Registration starts at 6:30 a.m., at the Talbots/ Chico’s area of the Mall. While the race starts at 7:30 a.m., there will be another kids run starting at 8:30 a.m. The GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club is already committed and raised almost $1,000 at their recent Gringo Bingo fundraiser that will be added to their annual gift of $1,000 as a sponsor. Like so many supporters, members will be their dressed in holiday attire or, at the very least, Santa hats. Register at JBR.org/Miami or call Lisa Boccia for more information at 305 928-3553.

Finally, save the date, November 19, for Coral Gables Woman’s Club’s next Gringo Bingo at Clutch Burger 7 – 9 p.m. This time the proceeds will be directed to the Chapman Partnership. Then, on December 3, look for Gringo Bingo to support the Junior Orange Bowl Committee. To hold your spot, call Gloria at 305-968-3090.

With a lovely catered meeting on October 16, the Junior Orange Bowl Committee kicked off the year at the Coral Gables Museum. JOBC President Isa Goenaga welcomed the gathering of members and sponsors before unveiling this year’s theme for the Annual JOBC Parade (Miracle on the Mile) and the Festival (Celebrate Champions).

By the way, the parade has changed from the Sunday after Thanksgiving to a new date, Sunday, December 15, which may make it even more festive with the City’s holiday decorations on display.

The parade will run down Miracle Mile on held Sunday, December 15, at 6 p.m. in downtown Coral Gables. South Miami businesses and service organizations who want to build their own floats or sponsor are encourage to email jobc@jrorangebowl.org. JOBC Parade Chair is Don Slesnick III.

Actually, the Jr. Orange Bowl had already held its Cross Country Invitational on October 4th, at Larry & Penny Thomson Park attracting some of the best runners in South Florida.

In addition, the Youth Ambassador Committee produced another great event, a Rockin’ the Runway Fashion Show at The Biltmore Hotel on October 13. After conducting interviews as opposed to a pageant type of selection process, the four Youth Ambassadors were chosen.

They will represent the JOBC at events but will have an opportunity to participate in the Jr. Orange Bowl Youth Leadership Program, sponsored by the Anthony Abraham Foundation to the tune of $10,000. This program will offer the youth ambassadors and others workshops and more. Isa Goenaga and Youth Ambassador Chair Luisa Alvarez are excited about working with Norma Jean Abraham to take the former royal court committee in this new direction.

Next up for this dynamic organization is a Robotics competition on November 2, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Miami Springs Recreational Center that draws students from school all over the county. This is a spectacular event that showcases some very bright talented students like so many of the events the JOBC produces.

Looking to volunteer, the JOBC always needs volunteers and some events require a very large work force to help out. To volunteer, call 305 662-1210. A complete list of events may be found at jrorangebowl.org. Look for lots more on JOBC in future issues.

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.

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