In this issue . . .  

RECENT EVENTS   Merrick Society Reception leads to night of great philanthropy
FOCUS ON FUNDS Twenty Little Working Girls Fund gives back to the community
BOARD NEWS Paul Lowenthal is a 'Gables Great'
UPCOMING EVENTS Save the date for our Annual Gala! 
MERRICK SOCIETY  Become a member, make a difference in  your  communit y      


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 Coral Gables Community Foundation holds Merrick Society Reception, awards $53,000 in college scholarships and announces community grant recipients


A special evening marked the third annual reception for the Coral Gables Community Foundation's Merrick Society. Dedicated to continuing city founder George E. Merrick's vision for Coral Gables, the Merrick Society represents the Foundation's highest levels of giving, where donors make a three-year commitment of support at the $1,000 level and higher. Friends and supporters gathered at the Bacardi Headquarters in Coral Gables to celebrate the Foundation's charitable giving, as well as to honor the recent community grant recipients and present scholarships to 12 deserving students. 


Coral Gables Community Foundation Chairman Carlos F. Garcia spoke about the Foundation's 24-year history of directing nearly $5 million dollars through charitable contributions in areas such as the arts and culture, education, health, historical preservation and green space. Garcia emphasized the local impact that Merrick Society donors make.


"Our Merrick Society members are such an important part of our giving," said Garcia. "Their generosity allows us to give back in meaningful ways that add to the footprint of the Foundation and enhance the quality of life in Coral Gables."


In the weeks leading up to the reception, the Foundation's Community Giving Committee met to review grant applications from a number of local non-profit organizations. Five deserving organizations were chosen to receive grants, totaling $23,000 from the Foundation. John R. Allen, Jr., Chair of the Community Giving Committee, and Garcia announced the following 2015 community grant recipients:


May Van Sickle Dental Clinic: The May Van Sickle Dental Clinic received an $8,000 grant to purchase a new dental chair for the clinic, which provides critically needed dental care for children of the working poor. The Dental Clinic is volunteer-run and operated out of the Coral Gables Women's Club. Mayra Dominguez, Dorothy Thomson and Gloria Burns accepted the grant award.


Coral Gables Preparatory Academy: The Foundation's $5,000 grant award to the Coral Gables Preparatory Academy will support the middle school's fine arts and performing arts programs and productions. Principal Cheli Cerra received the grant award on behalf of the school.


Childrens' Bereavement Center: The Foundation's $2,500 grant will help fund the Children's Bereavement Center's peer support groups for children affected by the loss of loved ones. Children's Bereavement Center CEO, Mindy Cassel, was in attendance to receive the grant.


Ponce de Leon Middle School: The Foundation presented a $5,000 grant to Ponce de Leon Middle to assist with the school's beautification efforts in purchasing benches and tables for the school grounds. Principal Martha Chang accepted the school's grant award.


SCORE Miami-Dade: The Miami-Dade Chapter of SCORE received a $2,500 grant from the Foundation to support its Simple Steps Program, which provides business and financial education information for veterans in the Coral Gables area to enhance their opportunities for employment and sustainability. Orlando Espinosa was in attendance to receive the organization's grant award.


Also during the reception, 12 students received college scholarships from the Foundation and its funds. This year, the Foundation created and presented a  new  scholarship: The Coral Gables Community Foundation Four-Year Scholarship. This award was created to assist students with critical financial need and will provide each recipient with $2,500 a year for four years toward their college tuition. Through its funds, the Foundation also presented eight scholarship awards, bringing its 2015 scholarship contributions to a grand total of $53,000. Coral Gables Community Foundation Chair-Elect John O'Rourke III and Board Chairman Garcia announced the following scholarship recipients at the reception:


Coral Gables Community Foundation Four-Year Scholarship

Allyssa Dobkins, Coral Gables Senior High: $2,500/year

Valerie Montesino, Coral Gables Senior High: $2,500/year

Juliana Robles, Coral Gables Senior High: $2,500/year

Teague Scanlon, Coral Gables Senior High: $2,500/year


Kerdyk Family Music Scholarship

Camila Conesa, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart: $2,500

Maria Yow, Coral Gables Senior High: $1,500


Ralph V. Moore Scholarship for Cavalier Excellence

Daniel Regalado, Coral Gables Senior High: $1,000


Lady Suzanna P. Tweed Scholarship

Elliot Kutmus, Coral Gables Senior High: $1,000


Grant & Bridget Daugherty Nursing Scholarship

Sierra Reid, Coral Gables Senior High: $1,000


Culinary Arts Fund Scholarship

Ahylin Carballo, Coral Gables Senior High: $2,000

Ibeth Funes, Coral Gables Senior High: $2,000

Janise Guyot, Coral Gables Senior High: $2,000


"We are so proud to award these 12 talented students with scholarships. Our Merrick Society members' generosity, our fund holders and all of our efforts throughout the year make this possible," said Coral Gables Community Foundation Executive Director, Mary Snow.


To view more photos from the event, please visit our Facebook page.


Ponce Society of Young Professionals run Baptist Health South Florida 5K


L: Ponce Society of Young Professionals member TJ Villamil crosses the finish line at the Baptist Health South Florida Tour of the Gables 5K; R: PSYP member David Rothenstein placed third in his age group

On Saturday, May 16th, the Ponce Society of Young Professionals participated in the Baptist Health South Florida Tour of the Gables 5K. To learn more about the Ponce Society and/or to get involved, visit their Facebook page!

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Twenty Little Working Girls Fund hard at work

Twenty Little Working Girls members volunteering at Camillus House


Since becoming a fund with the Coral Gables Community Foundation, Twenty Little Working Girls has grown its contributions to the community through fundraising, volunteering and organizing events. Comprised of approximately 70 young women representing various high schools throughout Miami-Dade County, the purpose of the organization is "to create within its members an awareness of community needs and to provide through group efforts means of fulfilling some of these needs." In 2015 alone, the Twenty Little Working Girls Fund has already disbursed $20,000 to South Florida non-profit organizations including Camillus House, Kristi House, Ronald McDonald House, Shake-A-Leg, plus many others. The Coral Gables Community Foundation is proud to support the efforts of Twenty Little Working Girls.

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Paul Lowenthal is a 'Gables Great'


Foundation Board member and President of Southern Audio Visual, Paul Lowenthal, was recently featured as a 'Gables Great' in Miami's Community Newspapers Coral Gables News edition. Besides being a member of the Coral Gables Community Foundation's Board of Directors, Lowenthal is an involved Gables resident and possesses a dedication to philanthropy.


Read all about Paul Lowenthal's commitment to enhancing Coral Gables and find out why he is a 'Gables Great!'

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Save the date for our 2015 Gala: A Night in Old Shanghai!

Purchase your tickets and/or tables today!

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Create your legacy today!    

DeSoto Fountain is a Coral Gables landmark


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."