September kicks off with Home Rehabs for Veterans and more

Linda Hartwell, Macarena Zilveti and Maureen Flanagan discuss charitable endeavors at High Heels and Hand Shakes event.

More than 100 Home Depot associates will put their home improvement skills to good use helping with home renovation of five local veterans. This is part of a national program than will renovate homes of 100 veterans in need nationwide on Sept.6. Locally, The Home Depot Foundation, with an $80,000 grant for repair expenses, is teaming up with Rebuilding Together Miami, an organization that provides free rehabilitation services for low income, elderly, military veterans and families and disabled homeowners. Among those involved in this effort are US Army veteran , Elvin Thompson; Bob Miller, Chair of Rebuilding Together Miami (RTM); and James McCants, RTM’s Outreach Director.

Speaking of our military, men and women from the military as well as fighters and police will join the community again this year for the 5 K Freedom Ron PARK (Perform Acts of Random Kindness) Festival at JC Bermudez Park, 300 NW 87th Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 8, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Festival Chief Events Officer, Marly Quincoces, promises another great morning of family fun with lots of entertainment, food and a terrific race venue. As in the past, there will be a moment to remember those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. To register, visit


Mary Kay’s Lizz Wiegand, one of the table vendors donating
percentage of sales to charity at H & H event, seen here talking
to guest.

For another Saturday morning walk, join the ADAs Step Out to Stop Diabetes Walk on Sept. 22, 7:30 a.m. at the Marlins Park, 501 Marlins Way. Look for lots of great information at this Walk as well as healthy refreshments before joining CBS4 meteorologist, Craig Setzer, who will lead the walk at 9 a.m. For details, visit www.diabetes. org/stepoutmiami.

Christina Ward and Susie Tilson at CRAVE charitable

Finally, on August 15, a record crowd of more than 200 women and a few men gathered for a High Heels and Hand Shakes event at CRAVE in the Village of Merrick Park. Group Sales and Marketing Manager for CRAVE, Christina Ward, is co-founder of High Heels and Hand Shakes, a community resource organization that brings together philanthropic business citizens through charitable events. As with all H & H events, admission was a donation of $10 and/or high heels with proceeds benefitting different local charities each time. Five large bags were gathered for Dress for Success Miami, and hundreds of dollars raised for Macarena Zilveti’s Badges of Courage Foundation and the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club May Van Sickle Children’s Dental Clinic, both organizations are run by women. While Badges of Courage supports low income women with breast cancer and those who are in treatment, the CGWC’s Children’s Dental Clinic provides more than $230,000 in free dental care annually to disadvantaged children in Miami Dade County. Among many at the affair were Lizz Wiegandt, Betty Alvarez, Debi Moore, Maryann Etkin, Mireya Kilmon, Marita Villar, Susie Tilson, Linda Hartwell, Troy Wright, Sabrina Perez King, Maureen Flanagan, and Mitzi Jenner to mention a few.

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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