South Florida celebrates Fall with walks, bed races and fashion night

Lee Kessler (far left) with his Barracuda Bar & Grill Bed Race Team prepare for first heat.

With the American Diabetes Association Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes coming up on September 22, at Marlins Park, it seemed appropriate that South Miami Rotary featured as a guest speaker recently Lois Exelbert, RN, CDE.BC-ADM, the Administrator of the Diabetes Care Center at Baptist Hospital. Exelbert dispelled many misconceptions about Types I and II diabetes and encourage everyone to be tested annually for this disease.

Everyone participating on the Step Out Walk this year will not only enjoy a great day out at the Marlins Stadium with free parking, but will also find booths with free information, samples and even testing. For more information, visit

South Miami’s Mack Cycle was one of many businesses participating in this year’s Coconut Grove Bed Races that brought loads of people to witness the antics of some very creative people. Racers not only constructed beds attaching wheels onto frames but also created some great costumes to vie for various prizes and raise funds for charity. Crowd favorite winner was Barracuda Bar and Grill, one of six categories in the race. Barracuda’s new owner Lee Kessler hosted the after party with music and good times closing down Fuller Street as people partied through the evening after a long day preparing for the races.

Shops at Sunset Place invites girls of all ages to come out for a night of fashion and fun on Thursday, October 11, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Enjoy an entertaining evening presented by Woolite and sponsored by Diet Coke. Vendor space is available and those interested in participating or purchasing a table to advertise their business should contact Tatiana Vidales, assistant director of marketing and business development, at 305-663-0482 or

On the non profit scene, South Miami women interested in community service are encouraged to join other woman from around Miami Dade and Broward for a membership social for the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club on Wed. Sept. 19, 7-9 p.m. at their clubhouse, 1001-9 East Ponce de Leon Blvd. Guests will have an opportunity to learn about the club’s many outreach efforts as well as tour the club’s May Van Sickle Children Dental Clinic adjacent to the clubhouse. This free children’s dental clinic provided more than $215,000 in free dental care last year alone to disadvantaged children from around Miami Dade County.

Down Syndrome of Miami will hold its 6th Annual Miracle Walk at Ponce Circle Park in the Gables on Sunday, Nov. 4. The group is looking to increase their numbers this year from 3,000 walkers to more than 5,000. All of the funds raised will stay right here in South Miami, Coral Gables, Kendall and Doral servicing over 200 families with kids and teens with Down Syndrome. This organization not only provides free swimming lessons, free speech therapy, and free soccer groups but has even added Hippotherapy down in Horse Country. Students looking for volunteer hours are welcomed to contact the organization to see how they can help. For more information, visit online at

Prospective volunteers are invited to the 64th Junior Orange Bowl Festival Kick-Off Celebration on Tuesday, September 18, 6-8 p.m. at The Biltmore Hotel. Meet the leaders of the world’s largest youth festival while enjoying appetizers & beverages. Cost is $15 in advance or $25 at the door. To RSVP, call 305 662-1210.

Finally, charitable organizations are invited to share their programs with the Chamber South members at a NOT FOR PROFIT TABLETOP EXPO held at the Chamber’s General Membership Breakfast on Wednesday, November 14th, 7:15 am – 9:00 am, at the Miami Marriott Dadeland. For more information, contact the chamber at

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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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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