As we enter the holiday season, countless opportunities to give back and celebrate fill the calendar.

On Nov. 3, the 2018 Alzheimer’s Walk in Miami had a record-breaking 270 teams and more than 4,500 participants at Museum Park. The participants lucked out with a beautiful balmy morning missing out on the rain that followed later in the evening.

National sponsor Edward Jones’ Nicolas Eterovic, a Coral Gables Rotarian, was on hand to address and thank the crowd. Of the many businesses and individuals supporting the event were local District 6990 Rotarians and well as members of District 11 (GFWC) General Federation of Women’s Clubs members and so many others who are committed to finding a cure.

Before the holiday activities got into full swing, on Nov. 14 District Rotarians held a Rotary 2 Rotary event coordinated by Coral Gables Rotarian Kelly Garces at Kao Sushi, a beautiful restaurant and bar on Miracle Mile with delicious food.

Kao Sushi director Matias Pagano welcomed the group and provided some delicious food samplings. The food was so good that several stayed on after the event for dinner. Among those enjoying the evening were Nancy and Greg Martini, Yolanda Woodbridge, Bill Quesenberry, John Fuller, Adriana Fajet, Blanca Sola, Miquel Salom and Rosenid Cruz. Proceeds from the night benefited Global Bright Light Foundation-Light A Village-Empower Change.

That same night, GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club members gathered at their clubhouse for a working Thanksgiving dinner meeting. Members donated enough non-perishable Thanksgiving food items to make more than 35 food baskets to be delivered to families of the youngsters that are patients of the club’s Coral Gables Children’s Dental Clinic. In addition, members also brought toiletry items that were sorted and made into countless gifts bags for the women of Agape Ministries.

Lots of prospective members were on hand and put to work enjoying the opportunity to serve others and meet women who have a similar commitment to our community. First Vice President Yvonne Llauro picked up the turkey and members brought the side dishes for a tasty Thanksgiving feast.

President Arely Ruiz thanked all who contributed and chipped in to help that evening while membership chair Jessenia Francisco was happy to meet people looking to join the club including Joana Ruano, Grace Vasquez and Angelica Navarrete.

The next day, several members of the Coral Gables Woman’s Club, who are long time sponsors of Smartride, were preparing for their weekend volunteering to host two stops, costumes and all, during the 165 bike ride from South Miami to Key West to benefit HIV Aids related charities. Among the fun-loving group participating this year were Barbara Lapsley, Carmen Suarez, Dr. Iris Garcia, Nancy DesMangles, Vicky McGroarty, Linda Hartwell Donna Myrill and Dale Ellis.

On Nov. 11, more than 100 people attended a Veterans Day event at the South Miami/Coral Gables Elks Lodge 1676 to honor and commemorate our veterans. The Elks Lodge 1676 was joined by members of the Miami Lodge 948 to host a picnic that raised more than $2,000 for area veterans and the Florida State Elks Army of Hope program. Elks president Reggie Hernandez presented an Appreciation Award to Elks good member and distinguished retired Marine Egbert Dawkins for his generous $1,000 donation.

Finally, if you are looking to volunteer some of your time, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign needs bell ringers during the holidays. If you are a musician and/or singer, they also have opportunities for musicians to perform at their Red Kettle locations throughout Miami.

For more information, contact Macey Markowitz, director of development at 305-637-6729 or by email at

Until next time, keep making each day count.


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