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Spirit of giving is alive and well in the Gables

Spirit of giving is alive and well in the Gables

Seen here at the Arthritis Walk is Jack Atwell, Channel 16 Eye on South Florida, interviewing CGWC president Mireya Kilmon.

Seen here at the Arthritis Walk is Jack Atwell, Channel 16 Eye on South Florida, interviewing CGWC president Mireya Kilmon.

The spirit of giving is alive and well in Coral Gables.

Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre has come up with a plan to help others during its production of A Christmas Carol, the Musical. Every child who brings a new, unwrapped toy to donate during a performance will receive one free Flexible Anytime Ticket good for any remaining show in the Musical Theatre for Young Audiences 2012-13 season. Last day to donate toys will be on Saturday, Dec. 15, as all donations will be delivered that evening to Neighbors 4 Neighbors for distribution to families in need.

Dozens of Thanksgiving baskets lined up here are being filled to the brim for needy families by members of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club.

Dozens of Thanksgiving baskets lined up here are being filled to the brim for needy families by members of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club.

A Christmas Carol, the Musical will play at the Miracle Theatre through Dec. 23. Performances will be on Saturdays at 2 p.m. Special holiday performances will be on Dec. 22, at 7 p.m., and Dec. 23, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and children and can be ordered online at <www.actorsplayhouse. org> or through the box office at 305-444-9293. Group rates are available for 15 people or more. Birthday parties and corporate group bookings for holiday events are welcome.

The giving spirit is ever apparent with the women of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club who own and operate a children free dental clinic year around while also handling countless charitable outreach efforts. Most recently the club collected food and delivered 35 huge Thanksgiving baskets to families of children being treated at the club’s clinic in addition to providing large bags of gift-wrapped toiletries for the women at Agape.

While some clubs are losing members, the Gables Woman’s Club is increasing its membership base with women of all ages looking to give back to their community while making new friends and serving others. In fact, several new members were installed at the club’s Dec. 5 holiday party, an affair that also served to thank the dental clinic staff and some major donors who have supported the May Van Sickle Children Dental Clinic over the years. These included the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation, the Health Foundation of South Florida, and Bacardi USA. Past president Barbara Lapsley, who writes the annual proposal for funding from the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation, reports that over the past 20 years they have donated more than $400,000 to help thousands of children have a healthy smile.

Coral Gables Rotarians and chamber members added to the toy chests of several children’s charities as well with their toy and clothing drives. Local churches collected food and clothing for neighbors in need. From Camillus House, the VA Hospital to Shake-A-Leg, Coral Gables Rotarians and several other District 6990 clubs may be seen giving of their time, talent and treasure.

Rotarian Joan Rietsma also serves on the board of her local Thrivent for Lutherans Foundation. Every year that group makes a sizable contribution to His House decorating one of the cottages with every possible holiday decoration including a real tree and all the trimmings as well as a holiday meal.

Best of all, in South Florida, this generosity of spirit is evident throughout the year and is one of the reasons that writing this column is such an amazing blessing. Thanks to all of you who have made our community a better, kinder, and more compassionate place to live.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

If you want to submit information for this column, please send your news via email to gloriagalburns@aol.com

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