Mayor Jacobs Cut Ribbon and more news …

compiled by Lauren Salinero

Harris Rosen featured nationally

Southwest resident and Rosen Hotels & Resorts founder Harris Rosen was featured on the February cover of the national meetings and conventions publication Meetings Today. In the feature, written by Tyler Davidson, Rosen talks about the charitable work he and his company are involved in.

“Beginning with [health care] and free college tuition programs for his employees, whom he refers to as associates — ‘We’re not a company with an employer and employees. We are a family with associates’ — Rosen has since branched out to assisting underserved Orlando communities and providing relief to Haiti, where many of his associates hail from.”

He also discussed the educational resources provided to the communities of Tangelo Park and Parramore, and the importance he places on education.

“‘We hear a lot about income inequality, and it does exist, and it’s expected to exist in an entrepreneurial society,” Rosen said. “What we cannot, as a wonderful nation, tolerate is educational inequality, so in an underserved community, you have people that would do well in college but can’t afford it. That’s unacceptable. And when they leave college they have no debt, and I would like to see that throughout America.”

Orange County’s year in review

Southwest resident and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs released her annual year in review, a comprehensive look at many of the past year’s accomplishments, milestones and challenges. Mayor Jacobs began by sharing her personal thoughts on the Pulse nightclub attack.

“Nothing can ever erase the harm, and no good comes from hatred and violence,” she wrote. “Yet, as dark and devastating as June 12 was, my spirit was lifted and inspired by the strength, the unity, the compassion and the love that poured forth from all parts of our community in the wake of this nightmare.”

Mayor Jacobs also gave details about community issues, economic development, public engagement, governmental issues and transportation. For the full report, visit

Ribbon cutting held for new community park

Southwest resident and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and District 4 Commissioner Jennifer Thompson (center front, holding scissors) cut the ribbon at the new Young Pine Community Park.

Southwest resident and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and District 4 Commissioner Jennifer Thompson joined local residents for the grand opening of Young Pine Community Park. Located at 5201 Young Pine Road, it features an inclusive playground designed for children with disabilities, with Braille signs for those who are visually impaired, ramps and swings for children in wheelchairs, and a quiet area for those who become overwhelmed by noise and crowds.

The park’s groundbreaking was held June 2014. Now complete, it is the first new park in Orange County and Central Florida to feature an inclusive playground. The 61-acre site also has a dog park, workout stations, walking trails, a kayak launch, fishing pier and multipurpose fields.

For more information, call 407-836-6200.


West Orange Chamber of Commerce members celebrate the opening of Bryan Fifer — State Farm (Photo courtesy of WOCC).

 West Orange Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Bryan Fifer — State Farm.  WOCC builds partnerships, strong businesses and commitment to the community by serving as the leading business advocate in Central Florida, facilitating opportunity to nearly 1,000 member businesses. For more information about WOCC, call 407-656-1304 or visit

Representatives of SeaWorld Orlando announced significant improvement in a rescued male bottlenose dolphin. The dolphin was brought to the SeaWorld Orlando Rehabilitation Center after being found stranded in Sanibel this past November. SeaWorld’s veterinary team recently assisted a representative from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration in performing a hearing test on the dolphin, which is a critical step toward the ultimate goal of returning it to the wild. The test showed the dolphin can hear, and the team remains hopeful it will continue to improve. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 29,000 animals in need for more than five decades. Anyone who sees an injured marine animal can help by calling the Florida Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 888-404-3922.

Tony Rappa, owner of Capture Video and Photo, is named a top-18 real estate photographer (

Capture Video and Photo was named one of the top 18 real estate photographers in Orlando for 2017 by Expertise, a website that connects people with experts in their area. Photographers were selected based on reputation, credibility, experience, availability and professionalism. Tony Rappa started Capture Video and Photo in 2009. He specializes in photography and video services for legal and real estate professionals. He is also an FAA-approved commercial aerial photographer. For more information, call 407-883-7555, email or visit

Rosen JCC has positions available for high school and college-age camp counselors, early childhood teachers and assistants, and building services and event staff. For a full list of positions, requirements or to apply, visit the career page at

The Central Florida community came together to celebrate the groundbreaking of Steinmetz Hall and The Green Room to complete the original three-theater vision for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Steinmetz Hall is a 1,700-seat, three-tier acoustical hall that will host unplugged local, national and international performances from rock to symphony that rely on the fidelity of sound. The Green Room has been designed as a gathering place for performers and guests for musical exploration, creative programming, recording, rehearsals, intimate performances and events. For more information, visit

A new attraction will be added to Fun Spot America’s Kissimmee park this summer. Mine Blower is a one-of-a-kind wooden-steel hybrid coaster with an inversion. Fun Spot America is Central Florida’s only family-owned theme park. It offers two locations with unique multilevel racing go-kart tracks, roller coasters and more. For more information, call 407-363-3867 (Orlando) or 407-397-2509 (Kissimmee) or visit

At the United Methodist Women of St. Lukes United Methodist Church’s 34th annual Holiday Bazaar, entertainment was provided by the Olympia High School concert choir, not Dr. Phillips High School as previously published in the Jan. 19 issue. OHS performs annually at the event. 💓

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