In this issue . . .   
UPCOMING EVENTS Golden Gables Fund kickoff reception
BOARD NEWS Nelson Lazo joins Board of Directors
FOCUS ON FUNDS Give A Buck fundraiser + New fund: Smart City Startups
RECENT EVENTS Ponce Society visits Riviera Health Resort
MERRICK SOCIETY  Become a member, make a difference in your community    
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 Golden Gables Fund kickoff reception at Evensky & Katz/Foldes offices

RSVP to by Friday, April 3rd


Established in January 2015 by the Coral Gables Community Foundation's Board of Directors, the  Golden Gables Fund benefits the residents and non-profit organizations of Coral Gables' historic MacFarlane Homestead and Golden Gates neighborhoods. This historic part of Coral Gables is home to many organizations doing great work for the benefit of our children, our seniors and our community. Some of the organizations that will benefit from the Golden Gables Fund are: St. Albans Child Enrichment Center, The Barnyard, Lola B. Walker Homeowners Association, Thomas Armour Youth Ballet School, Young Tigers Foundation, Coconut Grove Outreach, Carver Elementary School, Carver Middle School, Frances S. Tucker Elementary and The Thelma Gibson Health Initiative. Evensky & Katz/Foldes and Lennar International have already pledged their support!

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Doctors Hospital CEO Nelson Lazo joins Board of Directors


The Coral Gables Community Foundation is proud to announce that Nelson Lazo, Chief Executive Officer of Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, has joined its Board of Directors. As CEO of Doctors Hospital, Nelson is responsible for overall administrative and operational management for the 281-bed, acute-care hospital and its more than 1,000 employees.


Nelson was named to his current position in January 2010 after serving as CEO of Baptist Health's Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, Florida for three years. Nelson received his bachelor's of science degree from Barry University in 1984. He went on to get his master's degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University's H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship in 1990. He was inducted into the 2010 Miami Dade College Alumni Hall of Fame in the field of healthcare.


In addition to serving on the Foundation's Board of Directors, Nelson is active in many other community organizations, serving on the Board of Directors for the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Cuba Corps, Health Facility Authority of Coral Gables and on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Beacon Council. Nelson also serves as the Chairman of the Life Sciences and Healthcare Committee of the One Community One Goal program for the Beacon Council and is a member of the Orange Bowl Committee and the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of the Health Council of South Florida, Inc., and also served as president of the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce.


Nelson and his wife, Olga, live in Coral Gables. They are the parents of two grown children.


Board member Jack Lowell receives prestigious award 


Coral Gables Community Foundation Board member and Pointe Group Advisors' Executive Vice President Jack Lowell recently brokered a deal for the $75 million sale of the Mercantil Commercebank office building on Ponce de Leon Blvd. The deal was not only one of the top transactions of the year, but garnered Pointe Group Advisors the recent "Top Office Sale of the Year" honor from NAIOP South Florida. 


Jack Lowell said the purchase by the bank is the latest in a trend driven by institutional buyers that are looking to Coral Gables' hot office market to reap rewards in an area with all of the hallmarks of a strengthening sector.


Congratulations, Jack!


Foundation recognized by Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Foundation Chairman Carlos F. Garcia and Foundation Executive Director Mary Snow receive their award with Coral Gables Senior High School Assistant Principal Joseph Evans.

On March 19, 2015, the Coral Gables Community Foundation was honored for a second time as an outstanding Community Partner in the non-profit category by Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Foundation Chair Carlos F. Garcia and Executive Director Mary Snow accepted the award, which recognized our work with Coral Gables Senior High School and its students.


Give A Buck for Special Equestrians raises more than $20,000 at Derby Fundraiser

Give A Buck Crew and Young Ambassadors - photo credit Sissy DeMaria
One of the Coral Gables Community Foundation's funds, Give a Buck for Special Equestrians, supports therapeutic horseback riding and equine assisted programs throughout the state and in North Carolina. The fund proudly raised more than $20,000 at the second annual Jump for the Children Pony Derby Classic and Gala held on March 6, 2015 at the Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Proceeds raised benefit Give a Buck for Special Equestrians and its partner stables in Florida and North Carolina including: Appalachian Therapeutic Riding Center (North Carolina), Good Hope Equestrian Training Center (Miami), Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast (Vero Beach), Stable Place (Davie), Naples Equestrian Challenge and Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (West Palm Beach) and Whispering Manes in Miami.

More than 50 young riders took to the ring to compete in three $5,000 Pony Derby Classics - small, medium and large divisions - to raise money and awareness for therapeutic horseback riding and equine assisted therapy programs.

"It was so rewarding to see the young members of the equine community join together in support of such a worthy cause," said Foundation Board member, Sissy DeMaria, founder of Give a Buck and event Co-Chairperson. "This event introduces horse lovers to philanthropy and enables them share their joy of horses and horsemanship with those in our communities facing difficult physical and emotional life challenges."

Other sponsors included Kreps DeMaria Public Relations & Marketing, PR on the Net, Palm Beach Illustrated, Coral Gables Community Foundation and TruckMax.

For more information about Give a Buck, call 305.608.5350 or visit

Smart City Startups Fund highlights emerging technologies

The Smart City Startups Fund is the Coral Gables Community Foundation's newest fund. The Fund organizes content, events and people by finding and supporting the most promising startup solutions to urban challenges. Smart City Startups is holding its  Smart City Startup Festival on  Thursday, April 23, 2015 in Wynwood, thanks to the support of the Knight Foundation, Direct Energy, and others. They are  offering friends of the Coral Gables Community Foundation a  discounted early bird rate  of $99 (offer ends April 1st, 2015).

See, try and ride the very best emerging technologies from 100 of today's leading startups that are making cities better. You can see Skycatch drones used to automate construction, ride Onewheel's self-balancing skateboard or try Direct Energy's complete smart mobile exhibit.

Smart City Startups is hosting 100 startups and over 1,000 people and organizations that are working towards transforming cities in the next decade. In addition to Key Biscayne, Miami-Dade County and Broward County, other participating city officials will be attending from as far as Tel Aviv, San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Phoenix. Register today!



Foundation now accepting grant applications


The Coral Gables Community Foundation is currently accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations that have an impact in or on the Coral Gables community. Visit our website to learn more and find the application. All applications are due Friday, April 17, 2015.

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 Ponce Society of Young Professionals deliver gift baskets to the elderly


Ponce Society of Young Professionals (PSYP) members William Colas, Derek Spak and PSYP Chair Monica Canabal with Riviera Health Resort employee and residents.

In February, the  Ponce Society of Young Professionals (PSYP) paid a visit to the Riviera Health Resort to provide the residents with Valentine's Day gift baskets. After distributing the homemade gift baskets, members of the Ponce Society stayed and played bingo with the residents. The Ponce Society's Valentine's Day gift basket initiative with the elderly is just one of the many ways the group gives back to the community. View more photos from the event on the PSYP Facebook page. 
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Create your legacy today! 

Marker outside of George E. Merrick's historic Coral Gables home, located at 907 Coral Way


Merrick's vision for better living continues today as involved Coral Gables stakeholders strive to maintain the look and feel of the City Beautiful. Do you have a vision for Coral Gables? The Coral Gables Community Foundation established the Merrick Society so that visionary people like you could continue George Merrick's dream. The Merrick Society preserves key philanthropic activities in the Gables and raises unrestricted funds for the Foundation. Merrick Society donors commit to a three-year annual contribution of  $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, or more. Merrick Society donors are invited to the annual benefactor reception and other special functions, and receive a lapel pin in recognition of their participation. To find out more, please contact our Executive Director, Mary Snow, at 305.446.9670, or via email at



305.446.9670 | 



Led by community leaders, the Coral Gables Community Foundation provides the philanthropic conduit to connect individuals and corporations looking to positively impact the success of the community. For almost 25 years, The Foundation has been at the forefront of the evolving needs of Coral Gables, while effectively bringing together beneficiaries and benefactors to fund programs with the greatest impact and benefit to "The City Beautiful."