In this issue . . .  
BOARD NEWS  Board of Directors continues to grow
FOCUS ON FUNDS Scholarships awarded to high school seniors + spotlight on GSK Cares
RECENT EVENTS  Million Orchid Project restores Gables orchids
MERRICK SOCIETY Become a member, make a difference in your community     
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Paul Lowenthal is newest Board Member


Paul Lowenthal is President and co-owner of Southern Audio Visual, an outsourced provider of audio visual equipment and comprehensive support services and technicians, focused primarily within the hospitality industry ensuring successful meetings, conferences and events. Paul has been with the Company since 1987. 


Born and raised in Miami and Hollywood, Florida, Paul obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and political science from Florida State University. After graduating from FSU in 1983, he pursued additional graduate course work at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He became a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Florida.


A Coral Gables resident, Paul is an active member of the Florida State University Platinum Chiefs, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Seminole Boosters, Inc., the national fundraising arm of Florida State University. In addition, Paul is involved as a contributor and supporter of organizations such as Camillus House, Sunil's Home Orphanage in India, Archdiocese of Miami, Children's Bereavement Center, as well as the Institute of American Polish Culture.


Andria Hanley joins Board of Directors

Andria Hanley stepped down as the Coral Gables Community Foundation's Executive Director last December after five great years. However, she will still be actively involved as one the Foundation's newest Board members. 

Andria is now the Vice President of Development & Grants at Camillus House.

"When the opportunity to work at Camillus House presented itself, I knew it was the right move for me professionally.  After five years as an actively involved member of the Gables community, I was ready for new challenges but didn't want to fully let go," said Andria. 

In addition to her role as a Board member, Andria also serves on the Community Giving Committee. Participating in the Foundation's efforts any way she can is still a high priority for her.

"The idea of a board position came to me as a way to move on yet stay involved at the same time. I was honored when Chairman Carlos Garcia agreed it was a good idea. I have met so many wonderful people through the Foundation and I am fortunate that I can continue to be involved in their success," added Andria.


Andria resides in Coral Gables with her husband and two daughters. Prior to her time with the Foundation and Camillus House, she worked for the University of Miami - from where she earned a master's degree - for ten years. Community involvement is important to Andria, as she also serves on the City of Coral Gables School and Community Relations Committee (Commissioner Quesada appointee) as well as the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.

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Scholarships awarded to outstanding high school seniors

Executive Director Mary Snow with scholarship award recipients Michael Hammond and Gema Baltodano, both Coral Gables High School seniors.
The Coral Gables Community Foundation administers five scholarship funds intended for outstanding students. The scholarship funds are the Ralph V. Moore Scholarship, the Lady Suzanna P. Tweed Scholarship, the Grant & Bridget Daugherty Scholarship, the Kerdyk Family Trust Music Scholarship and the Miami High Class of '61 Scholarship Fund. Each year, the selection committee meets to choose the scholarship recipients. The selection process is not an easy one, considering all of the talented candidate applications that the Foundation receives. Throughout various ceremonies in the past month, six deserving high school seniors have received their scholarships from the Foundation and will now go on to make their college dreams a reality. On April 30, 2014 at Coral Gables Senior High School, scholarships were awarded to the following students:


Michael Hammond is the recipient of this year's $1,000 Ralph V. Moore Scholarship. Michael is the epitome of what the Ralph V. Moore scholarship represents. Highly involved with the Coral Gables Senior High School community, he also holds an excellent academic record. Throughout his high school career, Michael has been Team Captain of the Varsity Golf team and a member of the Florida Business Leaders of America, International Baccalaureate Honor Society, Key Club, Italian Club, Mathematics Honors Society and a number of other organizations. He plans to study at The University of Pennsylvania in the fall.


Patricia Passwaters is the recipient of the $1,000 Lady Suzanna B. Tweed Scholarship. Not only is Patricia a talented writer, having been involved with Coral Gables Senior High School's online newspaper CavsConnect, journalism society, yearbook and other literary endeavors, she has also served as Student Council President. In addition, she has received numerous honors for her writing and academics. She plans to attend The University of Florida.


Gema Baltodano is the recipient of the $1,000 Grant & Bridget Daugherty Scholarship. Created to assist Coral Gables Senior High School students who intend to study nursing, Gema is the perfect recipient for this scholarship. She plans to become a neonatologist and care for infants in poor health. She has previously volunteered at Miami Children's Hospital and with an outstanding academic resume, she is well on her way to a successful career. She will be studying nursing at Florida State University later this year.


Because the selection committee was so impressed with two Gables High seniors this year, the Foundation's Board of Directors decided to award a special scholarship to those two students: Michael Hammond and Patricia Passwaters. These students will receive a one-time $2,000 scholarship from the Coral Gables Community Foundation Scholarship Fund to use at their colleges in the fall.


Two local high school seniors received scholarships from the Kerdyk Family Trust Music Scholarship:

Kerdyk Family Trust Music Scholarship award recipients Daniela Rodriguez-Firmani (above) and Bryan Medina.  


Daniela Rodriguez-Firmani, a student at Gulliver Preparatory Academy, received a $3,000 scholarship through the Kerdyk Family Trust Music Scholarship. Tracy Kerdyk presented her with the scholarship during a ceremony at her school on May 9, 2014. Daniela is a diverse student with many talents. She has won numerous awards and competitions as a vocalist, pianist and percussionist. In addition, she is a member of various academic honors societies at Gulliver Preparatory Academy. She plans to study at Northwestern University, where she will double-major in biology and vocal performance.


Bryan Medina of Coral Gables Senior High School is a recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from the Kerdyk Family Trust Music Scholarship. Bryan is a talented musician, having served as Captain of the Coral Gables Senior High School Cavalier Chorus. He is an honors student and also plays guitar for school functions and events around the community. He plans to pursue music as a career and study at Florida International University. He stopped by the Foundation offices on May 8, 2014 to receive his award from Marlene and Tracy Kerdyk.


In addition, Miami Senior High School student Yesenia Dulce-Rapalo received a $500 scholarship from the Miami High School Class of '61 Scholarship Fund, created by alumni to support students from their former school.

Busy beginnings for GSK Cares Fund
The Coral Gables Community Foundation manages the GSK Cares Fund, a philanthropic fund created by the accounting firm, Goldstein Schechter Koch (GSK). Since its inception in October 2013, GSK Cares has been busy providing charitable giving and services to organizations and programs in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. 
GSK Staff build a home for Habitat for Humanity.
In February alone, GSK Cares contributed to two big events in South Florida. On February 8, 2014, GSK staff dedicated their day to helping build a home for a Partner family of the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami. On February 23, 2014, GSK Cares teamed up to participate at the annual Miami edition of The Kidney Walk, the nation's largest walk to fight kidney disease.  
During the short period of time that GSK Cares (which is funded entirely by the Firm, its leadership, and employees) has been in existence, it has contributed to a number of organizations around the community including the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation, Zoological Society of Florida, Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Christopher Columbus High School and many more. GSK Cares is certainly cementing its place as one of the Foundation's most active funds. 
To learn more about setting up your own corporate fund, contact Executive Director, Mary Snow at or 305.446.9670.
St. Philip's students donate proceeds from poetry booklet to the Foundation
The authors of The ABCs of Coral Gables.
St. Philip's Episcopal School's fifth grade class, under the direction of school librarian Laura Yusko, recently wrote a poetry anthology entitled The ABCs of Coral Gables.
In the booklet, every letter of the alphabet is represented by a Coral Gables characteristic, ranging from locations such as Actor's Playhouse (A) to people like City founder, George Merrick (G). Each page contains a unique poem about the subject written by a St. Philip's fifth grader.

The students decided a great way to give back to the city they all know and love would be to sell The ABCs of Coral Gables in exchange for donations to the Coral Gables Community Foundation. 


The Coral Gables Community Foundation thanks the students, Laura Yusko and St. Philip's Episcopal School for their donation, as well as for their hard work in producing this great book of poetry about our favorite city!


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The PARKnership Fund, City of Coral Gables and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden partner for the Million Orchid Project


This past Earth Day, April 22nd, 2014, the City of Coral Gables and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden unveiled the Million Orchid Project at George Merrick Park. The Million Orchid Project is an initiative created by the City and Fairchild to reintroduce one million native orchids to street trees in Miami-Dade County, including 250,000 in the City Beautiful.


The Coral Gables Community Foundation will be involved through its PARKnership Fund, created by Coral Gables Vice Mayor Bill Kerdyk, Jr. The PARKnership Fund will contribute $5,000 a year for the next five years to help fund the Million Orchid Project.


Immediately following the Aprill 22nd City Commission meeting, volunteers from Fairchild and the city's own Vice Mayor and commissioners were on hand to restore orchids into trees at the park and will continue to reintegrate orchids all over the community.  


Save the Alhambra Water Tower Committee honored with plaque


The PARKnership Fund had an eventful April! In addition to the Fund's donations to

The Save the Alhambra Water Tower Committee at their plaque dedication ceremony.

the Million Orchid Project, the PARKnerhsip Fund also played an important role in restoring the Alhambra Water Tower. The Save the Alhambra Water Tower Committee, a group of Coral Gables citizens dedicated to the refurbishing of the cherished City landmark, raised $70,000 to complete the rehabilitation of the Alhambra Water Tower. Part of those proceeds came from the PARKnership Fund, administered by the Coral Gables Community Foundation.


On April 10, 2014, the City of Coral Gables honored the Save the Alhambra Water Tower Committee with a plaque at the historic location. Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason was on hand to present the plaque to the committee, which includes the Foundation's own Immediate Past Chairman Bill Bonn and Board member, Matthew Meehan.

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Create your legacy today!

(George Merrick's office, known as the "Merrick Building", circa 1923. Photo taken by W. A. Fishbaugh, State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, image no. RC06103.) 

Merrick's vision for better living lives on 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 of color. 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 level donors are invited to the annual benefactor reception and other special functions, and receive a lapel pin in recognition of their participation and vision. To find out more, please contact our Executive Director, Mary Snow, at 305.446.9670, or via email at

Merrick Society Dream in Color 



The Foundation is pleased to present our MERRICK SOCIETY Level Donors


 Robert J. "Bob" & Marian Fewell*

John R. Allen, Jr.                                  Matthew T. Meehan & Rod Hildebrant                      
Pat Blanco, BSN MPH FACHE F.                                    David & Ann Olazabal

William A. Bonn & Ruben Ceballos                          John & Marichi O'Rourke     

Evelyn Budde                                                                       Lee J. Osiason, Esq.

Karelia & Marino E. Carbonell                                  Alfonso & Shannon Perez            

George Corrigan                                                                           Aura Reinhardt

Sissy DeMaria                                                           Anthony L. "Tony" Rogers                    

Dr. Joyce Elam                                                                                     Ari Rollnick

Wayne Cameron Eldred                                                                Jorge E. Silva

Carlos F. Garcia, CPA                        The Hon. and Mrs. Don Slesnick II, Esq.            

Zeke Gulford, Esq.                                                                 Eddie & Judy Snow

Andria Hanley                                                                          Jose Valdes-Fauli

Henry O. "Hank" Langston                                               Marielena A. Villamil      

Paul Lowenthal                                                            Wayne E. "Chip" Withers

Miles & Patty McCrane                                                            



*Lifetime Membership at $100,000 Level 

305.446.9670 |


Established in 1991, the mission of the Coral Gables Community Foundation is to foster programs that promote and encourage cultural, educational, health, historic preservation, and charitable projects that enhance the quality of life for all people in Coral Gables.  


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