Actors’ Playhouse for Young Audiences has a great way to get into the holiday spirit with its production of A Christmas Carol, the Musical. Based on Charles Dickens wonderful novel, it promises to warm the heart of all. In fact, as an added treat, the director of the Theatre for Young Audiences, Earl Maulding, will play the part of Ebenezer Scrooge whom the Cratchit family and “Spirits” convince to change his “humbug” ways. The musical runs through Dec. 23, at 4 p.m.

Adding to the holiday giving options, during this run at Actors’, there will also be a toy drive. Anyone bringing an unwrapped toy for the Neighbors4Neighbors drive will receive a flexible anytime ticket for Musical Theatre for Young Audiences good for the remaining 2018-19 season. To purchase tickets, call 305-444-9293 or visit www.actorsplayhouse.org.

The Coral Gables Museum was a happening place on Nov. 17 when friends such as U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and countless supporters of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, held the third annual Gala. The outdoor setting at the museum was perfect for the Havana Nights Gala with ideal weather to match. Guys and dolls in guayaberas and tropical attire enjoyed a Cuban menu, dancing salsa, dominos, a silent auction, gaming tables and even freshly made cigars.

Kudos to Dierdre Nero and her many volunteers for another amazing night to benefit research and a cure for this auto immune disease that causes hair loss and can be devastating to people of all ages. For information on this organization, visit www.naaf.org.

On Nov. 15, thousands of philanthropists set sail on the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, for the ship’s maiden voyage to benefit United Way of Miami-Dade’s community assistance programs.

Philanthropic honorary chairs were Constance and Mike Fernandez and co-chairs were Conchi and Tony Argiz and Carol and Ed Williamson.

Speaking of philanthropists, the National Philanthropy Day Award Luncheon, orchestrated annually by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and co-chaired this year by Andria Hanley and Adlar Garcia, was held Nov. 2.

This year’s honorees were Coastal Construction receiving the Julia Tuttle Award accepted by Mike and Patrick Murphy; Linda Coll for Carnival receiving the Outstanding Grant Maker Award; Bob Dickinson who received the Lifetime Achievement Award; Taylor Moxey honored as the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy; Ana VeigaMilton presented with the Outstanding Philanthropist Award, and Tony Argiz who received the James W. McLamore Volunteer Award.

Festival season is upon us and Coral Gables Rotarians got the scoop on Orange Bowl festivities from its CEO Eric Poms at their Nov. 15 lunch meeting. Past club president Felix Pardo manages to bring this club some amazing speakers, such a Eric, and most recently David Lawrence and Mitch Kaplan.

This club meets every Thursday, noon, at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables and visiting Rotarians are always welcomed. Lunch is $29. Those interested in learning more about the club can call membership chair Nicolas Eterovic at 305-458-8296.

In other good news, on Friday, Nov. 30, Coral Gables Community Foundation in partnership with the Coral Gables Fire Department, delivered Christmas trees to 28 families in the MacFarlane Homestead and Golden Gate neighborhoods. Kudos to CGCF executive director Mary Snow and the foundation’s board on their continued outreach efforts that make South Florida a better place.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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