Child’s need touches the heart of Global Medical Brigade Volunteer

Child’s need touches the heart of Global Medical Brigade Volunteer

Tabitha Baca (left) and Denise Erwin are pictured at the food and wine festival on Feb. 21 at the
Westin Colonnade.

When Tabitha Baca served a one-month medical internship in Ghana, she interviewed a young mother, Mary.

Mary is a farmer who sells rice in the local school for a living while her husband works construction in Egyankwa, Ghana, a community four hours away from Accra, the capital. The couple’s 6-year-old son, Prince, has extrapulmonary tuberculosis and suffers from malnutrition, and because of his condition is unable to walk or talk. The treatment is extensive and expensive and the family needed help. Tabitha made it her mission.

Returning to Miami, Tabitha shared this story, and with the help of Season’s 52 Denise Erwin, Crave’s Christina Ward, Westin Colonnade’s Vanessa Fisher, JohnMartin’s Heather Navickas, The Flyer’s Emie Fernandez, and Morton’s Katherine Perez, organized a food and wine festival on Feb. 21 at the Westin Colonnade where they raised $4,610 for Prince and Global Medical Brigades.

Among the many event sponsors were Double Cross Vodka, Morton’s The Steakhouse, JohnMartins, Flemings Steak House, Giardino Gourmet Salads, Season’s 52, Christy’s Steak House, Red Koi, La Taberna Giralda Wine and Tapas, Westin Colonnade Hotel, Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, Crave, Cibo, Broadway Across America, Envy Pilates, Da Infamous DJ Q, Presentation Services PSAV, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Sushi Maki and Pao Town, Tarpon Bend, BAC Colonnade, Spirit Airlines, Atlantico Rum, Gables Fitness, Miracle Mile Downtown Coral Gables, HBO, Catamaran Sailing Miami, and Red Zone.

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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. Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist writing Gloria’s Gab, a column that focuses on the non-profit activity. Burns was Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee for 6 years and then served as the first Executive Director of Coral Gables Community Foundation for 14 years after which she helped the emerging Community Foundation of Pinecrest. Active in many non profits, she received the 2011 Florida Federation of Women’s Club Volunteer of the Year for the District 11 and the Rotarian of the Year Award. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education, co chairs the Doral Business Council Forum and is a DBC Ambassador, is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club and is on the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and sings in the choir of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. She can be reached at

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