Junior Orange Bowl kicks off 65th anniversary festival year

Eliott Rodriguez of CBS 4 (left) is pictured with Junior Orange Bowl president Dr. Robert Bueso (center) and past president Jeannett Slesnick

Eliott Rodriguez of CBS 4 (left) is pictured with Junior Orange Bowl president Dr. Robert Bueso (center) and past president Jeannett Slesnick

The Junior Orange Bowl began its 65th anniversary in grand fashion recently with the organization’s Festival Kick Off at the Coral Gables Hyatt Regency.

The newly crowned Junior Orange Bowl Royal Court — along with members, guests, community partners and honorees —gathered to celebrate 65 years of history and success in Coral Gables and to look forward to what promises to be a memorable anniversary season. Eliott Rodriguez of CBS4 was emcee for the event.

The festival season will be headlined by the annual parade through downtown Coral Gables on Sunday, Dec. 1, celebrating this year’s theme “Illumination Spectacular.”

Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason, along with representatives from Miami-Dade County and the Miami-Dade County School Board, attended to show support of the longstanding youth festival.

Dr. Robert Bueso, 2013-14 president of the Junior Orange Bowl spoke about the upcoming events and the historical significance of the organizations 65th anniversary.

“The 65th year is momentous, as it stands as one of Miami’s oldest institutions, and certainly the most renowned and world recognized event for youth in all of South Florida,” Dr. Bueso said. “The prestige, traditions, and inspiration for our youth are encased in our glorious past; today’s youth has an opportunity to share the pantheon with the likes of their now famous predecessors.”

The Junior Orange Bowl began as a community parade in Coral Gables in 1948 and has grown to include over 19 athletic, academic, and cultural events for kids. The festival includes some of the most prestigious amateur competitions in the world, which have played host to notable professionals such as Tiger Woods, Andy Murray, Stefi Graff, Bubba Watson, and Lexi Thompson, among many others. More than 10,000 youths from 75 countries worldwide come to South Florida each year to participate in the annual festival.

The 2013-14 Festival Season will include cross country, Sports Ability Games, the parade, international tennis, international golf, national basketball, creative writing, international chess, national ice hockey, and bowling.All of the Junior Orange Bowl Festival events are completely volunteer driven.

If you want more information on how to volunteer or become a Junior Orange Bowl member call 305-662-1210 or send email to <jobc@jrorangebowl.org>. For more information on the Junior Orange Bowl, visit the website at <www.jrorangebowl.org>.

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