Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Former Eastern flight attendants still help others less fortunate

Martha Falgout, Gloria Lewis and Mima Martinez are part of the Silverliners group of former Eastern Air Lines flight attendants. They set up a table over three weekends to raffle a single Mother’s Day gift basket with donated goods. Over $400 dollars was raised to support children with cancer.
Martha Falgout, Gloria Lewis and Mima Martinez are part of the Silverliners group of former Eastern Air Lines flight attendants. They set up a table over three weekends to raffle a single Mother’s Day gift basket with donated goods. Over $400 dollars was raised to support children with cancer.

It’s been 24 years since the iconic silver Eastern Air Lines planes flew in and out of South Florida. But for the people who loved working for the Miami-based company back then it seems like just yesterday.

Many former EAL flight attendants continue to help others. For years, they have gathered as the Silverliners to share stories, remember their exciting jobs, and to raise funds for children with cancer.

Gloria Lewis said she was president of the Miami Silverliners chapter for 13 years, but had to step down due to health challenges.

“But now, I’m feeling on top of the world,” she said.

Her Silverliners group recently raffled a Mother’s Day gift basket to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, formerly Miami Children’s Hospital.

The Miami Silverliners set up their table over three weekends, each at Winn-Dixie on U.S. 1, Dadeland Publix, and the Space Coast Credit Union. They sold raffle tickets for the basket for $1 each and raised more than $400.

“The reception we received from people was wonderful,” she said. “They would come up to us and say, ‘Oh, I used to work for Eastern!’”

“Many years ago we used to have pseudo flights to the North Pole at Christmas for kids who were sick,” Lewis said. “They would get on a plane and taxi around until they came to a stop. During that time we would have decorated an area with snow and Christmas trees and Santa. The kids would get off the plane — they were so cute — and they were so excited to be in the North Pole. Now, we just have a little Christmas party.”

There are 15 members in her Silverliners group and they want to do the raffle again at Christmas. Anyone who used to be a flight attendant, with any airline, is welcome to join, she said.

“Every month we go to a different restaurant and we find a quiet spot to enjoy our sociability. We enjoy each other,” Lewis said. “The Silverliners is like a sisterhood. And I guess we speak our own lingo. When you’re older, you have to keep on going.”

There are Silverliners chapters in many U.S. cities. Read about the group at www.thesilverliners.org. And former EAL flight attendants who would like to join the Miami chapter can send email to bmrz3grl@aol.com.

Plans are in the works to rebuild the airline company. This past December, the first Eastern Airlines plane in 24 years flew in at Miami International Airport.

The beautiful Boeing 737-800 was cheered by tearful crowds and saluted with water cannons upon landing.

Lewis was there.

“I get goose bumps when I see that airplane.”

‘The Cherry Orchard’

Preserve AND Grow! is the mantra of the next project for What if Works. This community-engaged, post-graduate company is “dedicated to providing artists in theatre, film and music a creative bridge between the academic environment and the professional world while championing arts for social change.”

Organizers will present Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at various sites in South Florida including Coconut Grove’s Barnacle House May 7 and May 9; New River Museum in Fort Lauderdale, May 11 and May 12; Phil’s Berry Farm, Redlands, Homestead, May 17 and May 18; and Florida International University-Miami Beach Urban Studios, Lincoln Road, May 21 and May 22. All shows start at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 general admission; and $10 for seniors, Veterans and students. Call 305-271-1073 or visit www.whatifworks.com to learn more about the mission of this group, which also raises funds for artists in need.

Relay for Life a success

It was a great day in Doral at the recent Relay for Life event that raised money for the fight against cancer. Friends, family members and neighbors gathered at Doral Central Park for the carnival-themed fundraiser that collected more than $115,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Caribbean Radiation Oncology Center was the presenting sponsor and Miami community leaders including Doral Mayor Luigi Boria, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, and Doral Councilwoman Christi Fraga were among the guests.

Dr. Pedro Serrano-Ojeda and Carmen I. Bigles, co-founders of Caribbean Radiation Oncology Center, began the relay with the introduction of the survivor’s lap. The honored survivors proudly walked the track to celebrate their victories over cancer and were cheered on by enthusiastic attendees.

Raffles featured treasured items including Miami Heat autographed memorabilia from athletes Chris Bosh, Alonzo Mourning and Luol Deng. Doral officials braved getting dunked in exchange for donations.

The day ended with luminary lights brightening the night sky in tribute to those who lost the battle and those currently fighting.

According to the American Cancer Society website there is a Relay for Life coming up June 4 at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, 3100 SW 62nd Ave. in Miami. For more type “Nicklaus” at http://relay.acsevents.org/

Pinecrest Rotary of Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest

Join other professionals and business executives to learn about community service projects and hear interesting speakers at Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest breakfast meetings held 7:30-8:30 a.m., at the Dadeland Marriott Hotel, 9090 S. Dadeland Blvd.

Kathleen Carr, certified professional coach, will talk about “Online Marketing” at the May 12 meeting. And on May 26 Ron Book, lobbyist and chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, will discuss “The End of Homelessness in Miami-Dade is in Sight.”

At the June 9 meeting Attorney Tammy Fox-Isicoff will talk about “The Immigration Dilemma: How to Fix It.”

The organization also plans monthly club dinners and networking events. For more contact Howard Horowitz at 786-346-6661 or hhtheman@yahoo.com. You can also contact Ron Lieberman at 305-613-6744 or miamilawyr@gmail.com.

New Neighbors Lunch

Give a warm welcome to internationally known singer Jaime Tinoco at the next New Neighbors Club of South Dade monthly luncheon. Tinoco has traveled throughout Europe and South America and now resides in the United States, according to event organizers.

“He is a unique performer who not only wows his guests in English, but also sings in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French, said Kathryn Shepard in a release. “He is a charming natural entertainer with a powerful voice and diverse vocal range which soars on standards interpreted in a unique style.”

New Neighbors members and guests will gather at this event starting at 11 a.m., May 13 at Killian Palms Country Club 9950 SW 104th St. Cost of the luncheon is $26. Reservations are required by noon on May 8. Email ritafosse@yahoo.com or call 305-595-0213.

To learn more about this friendly group check out http://newneighborssouthdade.webs.com/

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at ChristinaMayo05@aol.com.

  Comments