It’s almost time for the annual Villagers’ Historic Hunt on Feb. 6 that helps raise funds for preservation projects in South Florida. The theme is “On Golden Wings” in honor of the group’s golden anniversary and its “50 Years of Saving Places.”
The Hunt is known for pushing participants “to explore the little-known and often quirky side of Miami-Dade’s colorful history,” and event organizers promise to “amuse, entertain and surprise.”
The event is open to the public and will begin promptly at 4 p.m. at the Curtiss Mansion, 500 Deer Run, Miami Springs.
Registered hunters will drive their own cars and set off for a 2½ hour romp through some of our area’s most interesting historical sites. The Curtiss Mansion will also be the Hunt’s final stop, at 6:30 p.m., for an optional cocktail-buffet and silent auction. Prizes will be awarded to winning teams.
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“I got to know The Villagers organization by participating in the Historic Hunt,” member Karen F. Buchsbaum said in email. “It’s so much fun, I always learn something really interesting, and supporting the preservation cause is a bonus.”
Tickets cost $25 for the Hunt, $70 for the Hunt and dinner; to purchase, visit thevillagersinc.org.
The Villagers’ Hunt committee includes clue master Dolly MacIntyre, and members Helen Duncan, Christy Starr-Klevan, Marie Vacca, Joann Trombino and Beverly Loftus.
The Villagers is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization. Other favorite events include the Garden Tour, House Tour and The Quilt. Check out the website to learn more and about membership.
The group started in 1966 when the beautiful Douglas Entrance to Coral Gables was in danger of being demolished. The Douglas Village Corp. was formed to save and restore the historic entrance at Southwest Eighth Street and Douglas Road. When the wives of the initial stockholders wanted to help The Villagers was formed.
Early members started out by cleaning, painting and chasing pigeons from the structure.
But then they did more.
And 50 years later we have The Villagers to thank for fundraising and helping to preserve the Cape Florida Lighthouse Lightkeeper’s Cottage, the Housekeeper’s Club in Coconut Grove, Dr. David Fairchild’s Study at The Kampong, The Barnacle, the Merrick House, parts of Vizcaya, Anderson’s Corner, the Tennessee Williams home in Key West, the Audubon House on Sunset Drive, and the list goes on and on.
BOWL WITH SPORTS STARS
Hurricane athletic greats will be bowling their hearts out at the fifth annual Celebrity Bowling Tournament hosted by the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame. And Canes fans can eat, drink and bowl right alongside them.
The fun is set for 6-9 p.m. Feb. 29 at Splitsville in the Shops at Sunset Place, 5701 Sunset Dr., South Miami. Proceeds benefit the UM Sports Hall of Fame.
Hosting this year is Hurricane football great Reggie Wayne. You can sign up for a team of four for $400 or join in as an individual bowler for $125. If you just want to watch, social tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for children under 12. Lane sponsorships are $1,000 and $1,500.
In the past, Cane All-Stars who have attended the bowling tournament include Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Bubba Franks, Brett Romberg, K.C. Jones, Randal Hill, Eric Brown, Tracy Kerdyk, Darrin Smith, and Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta.
This is a relaxing family fun event full of Hurricanes camaraderie. To register to bowl, visit http://www.hurricanesports.com/pdf9/4281007.pdf. Your prepaid entry form must be submitted by Feb. 8 to ensure availability. You can also learn more by calling Sports Hall of Fame Executive Director John Routh at 305-284-2775.
Kids, and their family members, can learn a lot about healthy living at the second annual Children’s Festival hosted by the Coral Gables Woman’s Club from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Clubhouse, 1009 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables.
The event is educational and interactive. Participating agencies include the Coral Gables police and fire departments, Venetian Pool representatives teaching swimming safety, and community banks teaching about finances. There also will be face painting, conservation activities, and arts and crafts.
Mayra Dominguez, 2014-16 president of GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club, said the Coral Gables firefighters will bring their state-of-the-art simulating machine so children can learn what firefighters do to help.
The festival event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served.
The Coral Gables Woman’s Club has a mission to “change children’s lives one smile at a time” through its free dental clinic for deserving Miami kids. The group provides over $250,000 in dental care each year.
On another note, the group’s annual gala will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 13. Tickets cost $75. To learn more about membership and all events and projects, visit http://www.gfwccoralgableswomansclub.org/.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
“I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.” Ah, Shakespeare. Your words are always perfect.
Hear this and more at Shakespeare Miami’s production of the beloved comedy Much Ado About Nothing at 8 p.m. Jan. 22-23 at The Barnacle Historic State Park, 3485 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove.
The play features wit, naughty jokes, and “meditations on the true nature of honor, love, and the role of women in society.” And while this production is set in 1865 just after the Civil War, the famous battle of the sexes between Beatrice and Benedick never gets old.
Bring a picnic basket of goodies, a blanket or a low lawn chair, and relax in the park for a little while. Gates open at 7 p.m. and no tickets are required. It is first come, first served. There is a suggested donation of $2 and if you forget your chair you can rent one for $5. Sorry, no pets are allowed in the park.
To learn about other presentations in South Florida, visit www.shakespearemiami.com/. The Barnacle Society, a nonprofit organization created for the preservation and financial support of the historic site, sponsors park events. For additional information, visit www.thebarnacle.org/.
If you have news for this column, send it to Christina Mayo at email@example.com.