Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 Scholarship Awards Presentations

Group Sc holarship Winners Photo
Front Row Left to Right: Maria Ceballos, Mavil Cordoba, Diana Galiano, Annelise Hernandez,
Kelley Rendon, Nataniah Trujillo, Wanda Bravo, Ana Chacin
Back Row Left to Right: George Monjarretz, Jose Melendez, Cole Scanlon, Michael Hammond,
Edward Torgas, Daniela Alvarado

At the April 10th meeting and for the 27th year, the Rotary Club of Coral Gables presented $20,000 in scholarships to 14 graduating seniors from Coral Gables Senior High School who are pursuing university degrees.

The students were selected based on community service, high academic performance and demonstration of leadership. The winners included Senior Class President, Cole Scanlon and Interact Service Club President, Nataniah Trujillo. 

The scholarship funds are sponsored by the Rotary Foundation of Coral Gables, Inc., and funded by the money collected weekly from Happy Dollars.  Additional Scholarship Donors include Dan & Donna Brandt, Terry C. Long, Joan Reitsma, Carlos & Cathy Ruiz de Quevedo, Elizabeth Silverman, Debbie & John Swain, Rick & Margarita Tonkinson Foundation and Yoli & Fred Woodbridge.

The Club is grateful to the Marilyn K. Gaylord Charitable Trust (Kenneth Lancaster, Trustee and Charles L. Gomes, Co-Adviser) and the Jules Zentner/California Community Foundation Fund for their ongoing support of our efforts.  They provide funding that, when matched by the private donors, gives the Club the ability to make significant awards to these talented young people.  In many cases, these scholarships are the difference between being able to afford college or not.

The Rotary Foundation of Coral Gables has opened an endowment for the purpose of providing additional funding and growth for scholarships in the coming years. Donations made to this endowment will assure continued growth and make it possible to fund such scholarship presentations far into the future.  The Endowment Donors to date include The Rotary Charity Golf Classic for Scholarships, Terry C. Long, Bruce Kerestes, Dick Golden, Debbie & John Swain and the Jules Zentner Fund/CCF Fund, David Sanchez, Trustee.  

Members of the Scholarship Committee, all who worked so diligently to make these awards include the Chairperson, Terry Long, Walter Alvarez, Dan Brandt, Dr. Phil Boswell, Bruce Kerestes, David Mitchell, Patrick Morris, Joan Reitsma, David Sanchez, Andrea Stone, Debbie Swain, Margarita & Rick Tonkinson and Donald Trombly. 

For more information on Rotary Foundation of Coral Gables Scholarships, to get involved or to donate, please contact Terry Long, Chair, Scholarships Committee at 

Scholarship Chairperson Terry Long Recognizes Endowment Donor Bruce Kerestes,
Rotarian and Past-President of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables

Charles L Gomes Representing Donor/Advisor Marilyn K. Gaylord Charitable Trust with Terry C Long

Scholarship Presentation to Senior Class President, Cole Scanlon
Rotarian and former Coral Gables Senior High teacher, Joan Reitsma presents
scholarship to Cole Scanlon, as Rotary Club President, Donald Trombly looks on.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Raising Money for the Orphans

 The Club's Annual Fundraiser
Hats, Bow Ties & Horseplay

The Kentucky Derby Casino Fund Raiser is  presented by the Rotary Foundation of Coral Gables.  This evening will provide a variety of parimutuel gaming opportunities.  Whether you fancy the “Sport of Kings” or you’d rather test your mettle on games of chance, or  simply like to play some back room poker, the night is yours.   

All proceeds from the evening go to fund NPH USA (Friends of the Orphans), a 501(c).3 non-profit corporation, awarded FOUR STARS by Charity Navigator for their responsible stewardship of donor funds and meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by law. 

NPH USA,  is an organization that specializes in raising children and transforming lives.  NPH USA supports the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”) network of homes and  outreach programs in nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. NPH USA transforms the lives of orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children by creating families for life through values of unconditional love, shared responsibility and education. This enables children to transcend poverty and grow into caring, productive members of their community. 

NPH Haiti Facts
In Haiti the program is known as Nos Petits Frères et Soeurs (NPFS). There are several distinct facilities and programs, including St. Hèléne Foyer (the main children’s home) and the largest non profit hospital in the area,  St. Damien Pediatric Hospital.  St. Hèléne Foyer was opened in 1987 in the mountains of Kenscoff.  It is on 15 acres, has 19 residential cottages, an open-air amphitheater, chapel, farm, Montessori pre-school and school for grades 1 thru 8.  It is home to over 850 children. 350 additional  students from the surrounding community attend the St. Hèléne School.  St. Damien Hospital is the premier pediatric facility in Haiti.  Located in Tabarre, a suburb of the capital of Port-au-Prince, it focuses on long term care for critically ill children.

Rotary Club of Coral Gables Haiti Initiatives
For the past 15 years, the Rotary Club of Coral Gables’ has supported programs that positively impact the quality of life for children in Haiti and the Island of Hispanola. The Club began its work in this country, building fresh water wells in St. Michel, where we chartered a new Rotary Club and we worked jointly with the Rotarians and Bridges Farms, a faith based organization.  We provided hundreds of water filtration systems in the neighboring communities of the Dominican Republic.  To answer their needs after the catastrophic earthquake, the Club sent Shelter Boxes and wheelchairs to Haiti.  Our most recent efforts were in support of Project MediShare, a medical project undertaken jointly by teams from the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital

Hats, Bow Ties and Horseplay - April 26th

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Steven Tonkinson is on the Road with ShelterBox USA

The Philippines are devastated
by Typhoon Hayian

And ShelterBox USA is there.  ShelterBox is the premier international disaster relief organization that provides shelter and lifesaving equipment, after natural and other disasters.  Responding to over 200 disasters in more than 85 countries, ShelterBox has firmly established itself at the forefront of disaster relief.

The first box in 2000 was sponsored by Rotary, and today it is the largest Rotary Club project in the 100+ year history of the organization.
What ShelterBox provides is unique and does not duplicate any other aid that is provided.  We work with other established relief organizations to enhance and complete the services and supplies that help survivors.  In many cases, our boxes have made the difference between life and death.

ShelterBox USA, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Sarasota, Florida, is the U.S. headquarters and one of 20 ShelterBox affiliates around the world.  
ShelterBox USA partners with ShelterBox Trust in the U.K. for the procurement and delivery of aid. Operations are conducted from Cornwall, England. Each ShelterBox costs $1,000 US, and can support the needs of a family of 10 for up to six months.
There are more than 350 volunteer Ambassadors across the country and many more around the world. There are also more than 50 highly-trained ShelterBox Response Team members based in the United States who distribute boxes in disaster zones, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and Rotary Clubs worldwide.
Steven Tonkinson, son of Margarite and Rick Tonkinson is currently in the Phillippines delivering boxes as part of the the Shelter Box Response Team.  He was transferred from Tacloban to Roxey and then to Piney.  He sent these photos from there.

 As you might expect, Rick and Margarita are truly proud of the work that Steven is doing on behalf of Rotary and ShelterBox for those most vulnerable after such a devastating storm.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

2014-2015 Officer & Board of Directors Confirmed

 2014-2015 Rotary Year Announcement

President-Elect Carlos Bolado announced the Officers and Directors for this upcoming Rotary year which begins on July 1, 2014.

It looks like he's put together a really great group of Rotarians to continue the hard work and dedication that has made Rotary Club of Coral Gables such an outstanding and dynamic club in the District.

The elected and appointed members of the Board are as follows:

President - Carlos Bolado
Past President - Don Trombly
President-Elect (2015-16) - Greg Martini
Vice President - Steven Spann
Secretary - Paolo Possenti
Treasurer - Bill Quesenberry
Sergeant-at-Arms - Rick Belz

Club Meeting Service Chair - Lan Nghiem-Phu
Community Service Chair - Lorraine Sheldon
Rotary Foundation Chair - George Reeves
Vocational Service Chair - Carol Alexander
Youth Service Chair - Sally Baumgartner
Civic & Charity - Rodney Langer
International - Noelle Galperin
Membership - Joe Lancaster
Programs - Richard DeWitt
Public Relations - Gloria Burns
Rotarygram - Yolanda Woodbridge
At Large Director - Ana Fournaris