Local service clubs share holiday spirit of giving

Pictured (l-r) are Jackie Cabrices, Antonio Pinheiro, Jeannette Garofalo, Maria Mendietta and Mary Hernandez.

Pictured (l-r) are Jackie Cabrices, Antonio Pinheiro, Jeannette Garofalo, Maria Mendietta and Mary Hernandez.

The Rotary Club of Miami-Brickell kicked off the holiday season on Nov. 21 hosting and catering a Thanksgiving Banquet for the women and children currently residing at the SafeSpace North Women’s Shelter. These Brickell Rotarians have a young club, still trying to find their preferred partners for community service.

Nonetheless, this year they already have helped with International Coastal Cleanup Day in Matheson Hammock Park, painted and gardened at Carver Elementary School, participated in Coral Gables Bike Day, and helped with a Thanksgiving Basket Brigade to provide for the less fortunate.

GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club president Mireya Kilmon (left) poses with award to be presented to the HealthFoundation of South Florida with club member Susie Tilson (center) and Dental Clnic director Dr. Iris Torres.

GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club president Mireya Kilmon (left) poses with award to be presented to the Health
Foundation of South Florida with club member Susie Tilson (center) and Dental Clnic director Dr. Iris Torres.

In the next few months, they will be building a trail in the Everglades National Park, painting a home as part of a community housing project, helping beautify the Lotus House Women’s Shelter and hosting a barbecue for the children there, and building a playground at SafeSpace.

This certainly is a busy club filled with many giving hearts.

The Coral Gables Chamber’s 16th annual Holiday Party “Holidays in Paradise,” presented by Cherry Bekaert & Holland LLP on Dec. 6, also provided guests an opportunity to share the holiday spirit. Guests attending the affair at The Biltmore Hotel brought hundreds of unwrapped gifts and gift cards to make the holidays brighter for children and seniors in need.

Pictured (l-r) are chair of the Coral Gables Chamber Board Darla Thompson of Cherry Bekaert & Holland LLP, Denise
Erwin of Season’s 52, the 2012 Best Dessert Award Winner, and Gabriel De Armas Jr., Community Service director
of Home Instead Senior Care.

As in the past, everyone enjoyed samplings of some of Coral Gables best restaurants including such notables as Anacapri on Ponce, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Cibo Wine Bar,The Dome Restaurant Bar & Lounge, Fontana at The Biltmore Hotel, Gables Aragon Cuisine, Graziano’s, La Jolla Restaurant, LA Sweets, The Local, Monserrate Restaurant, Palme D’Or, Seasons 52, S & S Diner South, Sushi Maki,Tarpon Bend, Tropical Cheese Industries and even the culinary program at Coral Gables High School.

This year gifts and gift cards were distributed to CHARLEE Homes for Children, Police Athletic League of Coral Gables, Home Instead Senior Care, Family Resource Center, YMCAof Greater Miami, and STARS School for Autism.

Finally, the CGWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club held its annual Holiday Party and Installation on Dec. 5, organized by entertainment chair and past president Pam Schaefer who thanked Ana Lam and Sandy Schaefer for transforming the beautiful ballroom into a wonderland. Aside from celebrating the holidays, the event served to honor the dental clinic staff Dr. Fernando Duarte, Dr. Fanny Jarquin, Dr. Karina Cintron, Ana Hernandez, Yolim Ramirez, and Ruth Ibarquen. The Club’s May Van Sickle Dental Clinic director, Dr. Iris Torres Rivera, received guests collecting gift cards to hand out to more than 100 disadvantaged children served by their free dental clinic.

The gala party also featured a gourmet feast, dancing and the installation of 12 of the current class of new members including Nathalia Bogani, Kara Corneil, Lisa Demarco, Lori Marie Dilan, Yvette Leiva, Imelda Medina, Stella Suarez, Lizz Wiegandt, Libia Casas, Nanette Rodriguez, Melinda Crawley, and Ann- Margaret Sirgany. Also joining but unable to attend the party was Carol Cabeza as well as the club’s hardworking membership chair,Mayanne Etkin, who was out with the flu.

Women interested in joining this dynamic group of women, may visit www.coralgableswomansclub.org for more information.

May you all have a Happy New Year and until next time, keep making each day count

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