Social Breakfast

Coral Gables Country Club hosts SocialMiami and friends



Atrium Room

Ballroom

Standing: Ellyn Robinson, Nadine Johnson and Jeanette Jordan; seated: Chantal Martell and Nathalie Merle

Gita Shonek, Adriana Verdeja, Erika Mayor-Diaz and Paola Cassana
by Melanie Cohen

Beautiful Coral Gables was the site of SocialMiami''s most recent Social Breakfast. Michele Sadkin and I had the pleasure of hosting a group of nonprofit professionals and volunteers at the Coral Gables Country Club. We worked with the club’s director of sales, Nathalie Merle, and she couldn’t have been more accommodating and attentive. The menu was another extravaganza – wonderful coffee and mini muffins as we gathered; then, once seated, a tropical fruit and berry yogurt parfait, sundried tomato quiche with goat cheese and pancetta crisp, pistachio and chocolate pancakes with wild berry compote and a homemade waffle topped with hazelnut gelato and pomegranate syrup. Delicious and elegantly served - we felt as though we were being feted in a grand European villa.

Built in 1924 as part of Coral Gables’ founder George Merrick’s “Mediterranean Riviera,” the Coral Gables Country Club recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. The result is stunning and gracious. The banquet foyer, with its gleaming black marble floor and contemporary Austrian crystal chandeliers, will accommodate large receptions – up to 350. The club’s beautiful ballroom can hold 600, and its carpeted floor was replaced with hardwood, allowing great flexibility in placing tables and space for dancing. Smaller events are perfect for either the Atrium Room, which is actually two levels overlooking a pool, or the Fountain Room, which is where we were treated to breakfast. Parking for the club is onsite, just steps from the graceful new entrance.

Joining us for breakfast were:

Gita Shonek, communiation and marketing associate from the Lowe Art Museum, and Adriana F. Verdeja, development director for UM, who shared news about the university. Gita was gearing up for the Museum’s LoweDown, a popular monthly event that attracts a huge number of art enthusiasts for exhibition tours, entertainment, cocktails and great networking. The University’s art and culture department is quite vast, and in addition to the Lowe, there are the College of Arts & Sciences gallery on campus and the UM Project Space in the Wynwood Art District. Performances include the Frost School of Music, Festival Miami, Jazz on the Green, the Jerry Herman Ring Theater, a full line-up of events at the BankUnited Center at U.M. and even more!

Erika Mayor-Diaz and Paola Cassana from ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, who encouraged us all to work off some of our breakfast calories by participating in St. Jude’s upcoming walk at Jungle Island on November 19. Supporters in more than 80 communities across the country will join together as teams and individuals to help St. Jude fight childhood cancer. For information, call Paola at 305-265-1371.

Chantal Martell, advisory board member of the Alliance Française South Florida, in typical French style, invited us all to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the house of Yves St. Laurent with a talk by fashion expert Monsieur Cotta from the Paris Museum of Fashion. And on November 17, AF will host the Fete du Beaujolais Nouveau, a global race to be one of the first in the world to taste this year’s harvest.

Nadine Johnson, executive director of South Florida SPCA, and Jeanette Jordan made certain that we all knew about Tea for the Horses on November 13 at The Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove, an afternoon fundraiser to benefit the South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The group has been rescuing and rehabilitating horses and other large animals for nearly 20 years. They are dedicated to finding homes for abused, neglected and abandoned animals and to educating the community about responsible animal care and ownership. South Florida SPCA is always looking for volunteers and supporters, and they offer regular orientation classes for interested volunteers. Contact shelley@helpthehorses.org to learn more.

Ellyn Robinson, the founder of a pet therapy program at Villa Maria in North Miami, has also been involved with South Florida SPCA for many years. Ellyn provides training for dogs and their owners who regularly visit and interact with elderly patients.