Hundreds celebrate National Day of Republic of China (Taiwan)

Hundreds celebrate National Day of Republic of China (Taiwan)

Director General Philip Wang and Mrs. Wang welcome guests to the National Day of the Republic of China
(Taiwan) celebration. Pictured with are John Burns and Yolanda Woodbridge.

Hundreds gathered to celebrate the National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on Oct. 8 at Jungle Island. Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami Philip Wang and his wife welcomed guests, including several government dignitaries many of whom bought proclamations to honor the day.

Keynote speaker for the night was University of Miami vice president of Government Relations Rudy Fernandez who praised Taiwan as a role model for democracies worldwide. He listed several little known facts including that there are more patents per one million in population (23 million) than any other country in the world. Following the program, guests enjoyed drinks and a variety on culturally diverse food items from Italian to Asian.

Several Coral Gables Rotarians and their spouses were in attendance congratulating Wang, a newly inducted Gables Rotarian. Seen enjoying the evening were Coral Gables Rotary Club past presidents Yolanda Woodbridge, Don Slesnick and Walter Alvarez; Coral Gables Vice Mayor Bill Kerdyk Jr.; former Gables Vice Mayor Chip Withers; Coral Gables Rotary president elect Carlos Bolado; Jeannette Slesnick, Greg and Nancy Martini, Carol and Jim Brock, to mention a few.

In other happenings, the Nov. 3 Great Grove Bed Race has attracted a number of new entries from Coral Gables including a bed entry from Coral Gables Rotary Club sponsored by Shell Lumber, a bed from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club sponsored by Miami’s Community Newspapers, Jr. Orange Bowl Committee, Coral Gables Hospital and even the Westin Colonnade.

On Oct. 10, racers had an opportunity to gain inches in the race gathering for a kick off hosted by Acropolis and Deano Kastis, owner of this Coconut Grove Greek restaurant on Main Highway. Teams gained one inch for every person attending and the folks from event sponsor, Sapient, won that challenge with 20 people. Another sponsor, Sidewalk Salads, also brought a sizable group. Oct. 10 was coincidentally the birthday of event co-organizer Barbara Ferenzi who was surprised by a creatively decorated cake in the shape of a bed entry enjoyed by many family members after the program.

Hundreds celebrate National Day of Republic of China (Taiwan)

Pictured at the Grove Bed Race Kickoff are Walter Alvarez, Gloria Burns, Bruce Jacobs and Barbara Ferenzi.

The other half of this dynamic event organizing duo, Daisy Lewis, welcomed everyone and introduced Dress for Success founder and executive director Sonia Jacobson whose organization will be this year’s race beneficiary. Sonia finished her short speech by breaking a plate Greek style to much laughter. Among the many seen enjoying the evening with this writer were Bruce and Michelle Jacobs, Ami Frey and Walter Alvarez, to mention a very few.

In other news, opening night for Ruthless! The Musical, at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre drew a sellout crowd with a stellar performance by little Julia Dale. This new show, winner of a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award, is a satirical musical that drew rave reviews during its Off Broadway run in the early ’90s.

For this opening night performance, there was a cameo at the end of the show by former Mayor Don Slesnick surprising everyone. The usual crowd of VIPs attended the affair enjoying a Bacardi Bar and after show dinner provided by Ortanique. Looks like this is going to be another stellar season at Actors’.

Finally, the Woman’s Cancer Association of the University of Miami Bush Chapter will hold their annual fundraising luncheon and fashion show, “Fabulous Fashions of The Second Time Around,” on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at 10 a.m., the Courtyard Marriott, 2051 LeJeune Rd. in Coral Gables. This always is a great event for the ladies.

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. 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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