Renate Van Kempema cares about her world

Renate Van Kempema

Gables Great Renate Van Kempema was among the World Wingers dressed in their period Pan American Airlines uniforms atop the Pan American Float in the Junior Orange Bowl Parade earlier this year.

Still in great shape at 69 years of age, thanks to a strict diet and exercise regimen, this longtime Gables resident had no problem fitting into her 1966 Pan Am uniform and certainly does not show her age. In fact, her physical activity would challenge people half her age.

During her career, first with Pan Am and now as a Delta flight attendant, Renate has seen the world with all its wonders as well as those pockets throughout the world where hunger and poverty are the norm. Having experienced great need in post war Germany when young, she remembered how much CARE packages meant. So it was, when Renate was in a position to give back to CARE she did just that.

Over the years Renate has taken full advantage of her ability to travel to support CARE, an organization that had helped her years before and gave her hope.

With other World Wingers, an organization for which she serves as president, Renate has been involved with CARE’s learning trips for donors, with visits to CARE projects in Africa, Southeast Asia, India and South America. Every year Renate also is an active participant in CARE’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

Aside from hosting numerous fundraising dinners at her Gables home featuring German specialties such as her famous apple strudel, Renate has a long history of participating in the CARE charity challenges, some of which boggle the mind.

Her most recent challenge was to climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, as part of one of CARE’s most demanding Charity Challenges, Jan. 25 through Feb. 5. For Renate, that was old hat as she had reached the summit of Kilimanjaro some 11 years earlier just for fun.

Also impressive was a challenge in 2010. That year this very fit senior completed the CARE bicycle tour, “Ride to End the CYCLE of Poverty,” from London to Paris, a ride that took three days and covered 234 miles. That ride alone helped her raise more than $10,000 for CARE. This is one of many active “Fund Raisers That Fight Poverty” that include walks, hikes, construction projects and biking.

While Renate also frequently models in World Wings fashion shows, modeling her blue suit and marching pillbox hat, her activity revolves around her care for others and a passion for making the world a better place.

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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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