Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Rotary Club members donate thousands to South Miami-Dade students

Members of the Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay celebrate fundraising and volunteering with members of the local Miami-Dade Police, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss and students at the West Perrine Park.
Members of the Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay celebrate fundraising and volunteering with members of the local Miami-Dade Police, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss and students at the West Perrine Park.

Success in life is said to be measured by how much you help others. Members of the Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay have been doing just that by raising funds for West Perrine Park and the children who find community at the park’s after-school and summer programs.

Members donated $13,500 to Miami-Dade County to allow more students access to the park’s 2014 summer camp, and recently they donated nearly $5,000 for children’s books. They took a group of students on a shopping spree at Books & Books in Coral Gables to make purchases for the students’ homes and for the park bookcase.

“We feel privileged to be of support to the programs at the West Perrine Park,” said Susan Ludovici, president of the Rotary Club of Perrine Cutler-Ridge/Palmetto Bay in a news release. “Our Rotary motto is ‘Service Above Self,’ and this is just one example of what our club and the other Rotary Clubs provide around the world.”

The Club’s members have also donated their time for after-school reading and homework and have helped out three days per week since September.

Other fundraising projects include the donation of more than $10,000 for food for the West Perrine Community, distributed before Thanksgiving to more than 250 families; and the donation of more than $4,450 in gifts from Toys “R” Us for West Perrine and Goulds children for Christmas presents. In addition, one member donated 20 new bicycles as gifts.

To learn more about this very active group and to get involved visit

Fashion show to help

Easter Seals South Florida helps more than 2,000 children and adults with disabilities every year from its nine locations in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

Its auxiliary group of volunteers, Gilded Lilies, will host the annual fundraiser for programs in our community. This year, Gilded Lilies is celebrating 40 years of giving.

“Fashions by the Sea” will start with a cocktail reception at 11 a.m. March 21 at the Rusty Pelican, 3201 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne, overlooking Biscayne Bay. Lunch will start at noon with a fashion show by Chico’s. There will be a live and silent auction. Anyone can attend to learn more and to help. The cost is $50 per person.

For more information, call Marta Quintana at 305-547-4765 or email her at

The Easter Seals mission is “to provide exceptional services so that children and adults living with autism, Alzheimer’s and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our community.”

Learn more at

Greening of Gables

It’s hard to believe but it is almost time for the 36th annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival hosted by the South Florida Irish Community. Everyone is invited to wear green and join in this traditional Celtic celebration from noon to 6 p.m., March 14, at Fred B. Hartnett Ponce Circle Park in Coral Gables, 2800 Ponce de Leon Blvd., five blocks south of Miracle Mile.

As always, admission to the festival is free and open to all.

Entertainment will be provided by Avalon featuring Irish singer and harpist Tricianne Garrihy; the Paddy Kelleghan Band; the Cool Old Dudes; and the St. Andrew Pipe and Drum Band. Pianist Peter Fuchs will play during interludes. Irish dancers from the Breffni Academy of Dance led by Michael O’Hara will provide fancy stepping and leaps, and the participants of the Miss Colleen Pageant will be showcased on stage.

The organizing committee members hold to the belief that, “everyone is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.” They have planned another exciting Irish food and beverage experience with a variety of palate pleasers, including traditional corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, Irish coffee, Irish soda bread, and whiskey cake. Spirits will include Irish whiskey and stout.

The family festival also will include many children’s activities, including a giant slide, a rock-climbing wall, a merry-go-round, and a bounce house. Shoppers will love the Irish crafts.

This is the 15th year the festival has been held at Hartnett Park, named for the late former Coral Gables Mayor Fred B. Hartnett, who was a long-time member of the Emerald Society. For more, call 305-949-8400 or e-mail

Chicken dinner

Take a break from cooking and head out to the 41st annual Chicken Bar-B-Q hosted by the Silver Palm United Methodist Men. The slowly cooked half-chicken dinner, served with all the trimmings including dessert, is $10 for adults and $6 for kids under 12. The children’s dinner is a quarter chicken. This event raises funds for community missions.

The Chicken Bar-B-Q will be between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. on March 7 with takeout beginning at 2:30 pm. The church is at 15855 SW 248 St. You can call 305-247-7409 for tickets or get them at the door. Plan a day and go early to visit Knaus Berry Farm across the street for fresh produce and baked goods.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at