November luncheon, bike ride, walks and more raise funds for charity

November luncheon, bike ride, walks and more raise funds for charity

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November has been a busy month for fall fundraisers with multiple events seemingly every weekend.

On Friday, November 15, The Plaza Health Network Foundation’s “Women of Distinction & Caring” fundraising luncheon honored eight dynamic women at the Hilton Miami Downtown. The affair was chaired by Norma Jean Abraham who seems to be everywhere making a positive impact wherever she goes much like those being honored. The festivities this year began with a champagne reception, boutiques and a silent auction coordinated by Joanna Barusch and Nancy Schwartz. Following the reception, guests moved on to an impressive luncheon program. This year marks the event’s 10th anniversary. The 2019 honorees included Hon. Amy N. Dean; Lilliam Machado; Barbara Reese; Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D.; Barbara Montford. M.D.; Michele Ryder, MSN,RN,MSHSA; Patricia Whitely, Ed.D.; and Silvia Elena Rios.

Proceeds from this event help The Plaza Health Network Foundation, a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ), fund its patient focused innovative programs and services that go beyond what is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and insurance. The Foundation contributes to covering the costs of $2 million of uncompensated care provided by the Plaza Health Network annually to patients and residents in need.

The annual 165 mile 2 day SMARTRIDE brought in more than $1.3 million for aids related charities the weekend of November 15-16, 2019, with 100 percent of monies collected going to charity. Once again a team from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club supported the event with their time, talent and treasure, donating to the cause and manning water stations for the two days in their Wizard of Oz costumes. With a different theme every year, the group, who became involved because of Glen Weinzimer from the first ride, is led by their Pit Manager Carmen Suarez. Those volunteering for this year’s ride were club members Dr. Iris Torres, Mayra Dominguez, Ruth Martinez, Linda Hartwell, Donna Myrill, Vicki McGroarty, Dale Poster-Ellis, and Martha Black. In addition, club member Cindie Ruiz actually rode the 165 miles from Miami to Key West representing the club, one of 450 riders participating.

Speaking of the Coral Gables Woman’s Club, this active group’s next fundraiser, Gringo Bingo will be December 3, 7 – 9 p.m. Generously hosted every month by Clutch Burger on Giralda Plaza, this next event will benefit the Jr. Orange Bowl Festival. As always, DJ Germain will provide music and the very entertaining Clutch owner Steven Bradley will call bingo and award great prizes donated by local merchants. To reserve space email or text me at 305-968-3090.

By the way, and earlier beneficiary of the club’s Gringo Bingo was for the November 16 the Walk to End Alzheimer’s chaired by this writer’s fellow Coral Gables Rotarian Humberto Comellas. At a recent meeting of the Rotary Club, he was presented with a 41,200 check from the proceeds of that bingo night.

In other CGWC news, December 5, 2019 marks the 86th anniversary of the repeal of the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution (Prohibition) . Join in some Speakeasy fun at the Coral Gables Woman’s Club (1001 East Ponce de Leon Blvd.) that night with music and spirits. Proceeds from the event will benefit the club’s free children’s dental clinic. For more information on that fun night, visit

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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