Martine Morley Wins Yard of the Quarter … and more news


compiled by Lauren Salinero

Hidden Springs/Estates

John Scolaro (left) of Dr. Phillips presents a Hidden Springs/Estates Yard of the Quarter award to Martine Morley.

Hidden Springs Homeowners Association President Jeff Olszewski announced the winner of the Hidden Springs/Estates Yard of the Quarter, Martine Morley. Each quarter, residents nominate a fellow neighbor whose property stands out as being attractive and well-maintained. A committee of volunteers then reviews the nominations and selects a winner. Martine has lived in Hidden Springs for 27 years. Her home’s landscaping, aside from the St. Augustine grass, is very drought tolerant. She has Mexican sage, daisies and two species of the century plant, also known as the agave Americana, found mostly in Mexico and Arizona. Martine loves to garden, travel and walk her dog, as well as some of her neighbors’ dogs. She also owns three cats. The Yard of the Quarter program is sponsored by Dr. Phillips resident and Realtor John Scolaro, who awarded Martine a gift certificate to Orchard Supply Hardware.

Phillips Landing

Representatives of the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA placed a plaque on the wall next to Meeting Room B in honor of Phillips Landing resident and Realtor Ann Varkey and her family. Ann donates a part of her commissions to take care of individuals with special needs in the Dr. Phillips area and at the YMCA. She has been a member of the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA for more than 17 years, and each year, she participates in fundraisers and events to serve the community through the organization.

Torey Pines

Southwest Orlando Bulletin marketing consultant and Winderlakes resident Diane Kastner presents the 2017 Best of Southwest best salon/barbershop plaque to Torey Pines resident Nick DeMonte, owner of Nicks Barbershop.

Nick DeMonte of Torey Pines, owner of Nicks Barbershop, received a plaque for winning the best salon/barbershop category in Southwest Orlando Bulletin’s 2017 Best of Southwest contest. The plaque was presented to him by Southwest Orlando Bulletin marketing consultant and Winderlakes resident Diane Kastner.


Bill Konstand, a Windermere resident and president of TAG Digital Marketing, is invited to the Forbes Agency Council.

Windermere resident and TAG Digital Marketing President Bill Konstand was recognized as a leader, resource and mentor in the digital marketing industry by being named to the Forbes Agency Council. An invitation-only association for public relations, marketing and advertising agency executives, the Forbes Agency Council recognizes proven leaders in their respective industries. Members are invited to submit expert commentary and bylines based on their expertise, which is then published by Forbes magazine. Members of the Forbes Agency Council must be recognized leaders in their industry with a successful high-growth business and considered mentors within the community. Bill received the invitation for introducing innovative digital marketing strategies into the business-to-business market and for working closely with clients to integrate digital and social media concepts into their core marketing strategies.

Retired Lt. Col. Hugh Mills (left) presents an induction into the Order of St. Michael to former Windermere Town Council member and former Capt. John Briggs.

Former Windermere Town Council member John Briggs was inducted into the Order of St. Michael for his service as a scout helicopter pilot in Vietnam from 1968-69. Then Capt. Briggs was recognized for his high standards of professional competence as a pilot and his distinguished service to U.S. Army aviation at a ceremony at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, which was sponsored by the first of the 17th Calvary Regiment, the last active scout helicopter unit in the Army. John was presented with the recognition by retired Lt. Col. Hugh Mills, also a former scout pilot and author of the bestselling book Low Level Hell, which documents his year in Vietnam as a scout pilot. During his tour in Vietnam, John was awarded the Silver Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Winter Garden

Gianna Rappa (left) of Winter Garden takes a class with Mia Michaels of So You Think You Can Dance.

Winter Garden resident Gianna Rappa attended the Jump Dance Convention held at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress last month with her dance team from Central Florida Dance Center. The 12-year-old took a class taught by Mia Michaels of the TV show So You Think You Can Dance.

Et Al

Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips Foundation Chair Dave Lehman (left) presents Rotarian Ron Jansen with his eighth Paul Harris Fellowship Award.

Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips Foundation Chair Dave Lehman recently awarded a Paul Harris Fellow Award to Rotarian Ron Jansen for the eighth time. The award is given to those who make special donations toward Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellowship and whose lives exemplify the humanitarian and educational objectives of the Rotary Foundation. Paul Harris Fellowship contributions support Rotary International programs, providing educational opportunities, food, potable water, health care, immunizations and shelter for millions of people around the world.

A Cause 4 Paws Rescue representatives Faith Charles (back, left) holding Wasabi and Sheri Lyn Adams (back, right) holding Biscuit talk about the proper way to care for pets with Brownie Troop 4015 members (front, l. to r.) Kelsy, JNya, Leah H., Leah M., Shauna, (middle, l. to r.) Selene, Lilly, Elise, Emma and (back, center) Samantha.

Brownie Troop 4015 received a few special visitors to help the girls earn their pets badges. Faith Charles and Sheri Lyn Adams from A Cause 4 Paws Rescue talked to the members about how to care for pets. They also brought two of their dogs. A Cause 4 Paws Rescue is a local organization that rescues dogs and provides foster homes to care for the canines until they can be adopted. Participating Brownies hailed it their favorite meeting yet and donated supplies to the pet rescue.

Dick Batchelor (third from right) a Southwest resident and president of Dick Batchelor Management Group Inc., is recognized at the VIP reception of the Make It Possible Abilities Technology Expo.

Southwest resident Dick Batchelor, president of Dick Batchelor Management Group Inc., was honored for his charitable work and advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities at the VIP reception of the Make It Possible Abilities Technology Expo. With his legacy of public and governmental affairs, the former Florida House of Representatives member has blazed trails in Central Florida to help meet the needs of its youth, resulting in him being named several times as one of the 50 most influential people in Orlando. His commitment to serving the needs of children and adults with disabilities led to his advocacy of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, legislation that provides that students with disabilities are granted free, appropriate public education designed to meet their needs.

(L. to r.) Jackie Jaggers; Tatiana Fernando; Dr. Francelis Ivette Gonzales; Carol Carbia, president; and Mary Luz Rodriguez of Pinceladas de Mujer’s board of directors celebrate the group’s second anniversary.

The board of directors of Pinceladas de Mujer, a Hispanic women’s organization in Dr. Phillips and Windermere, celebrated its second anniversary with a luncheon at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood. All members and guests dressed in white attire with red accessories. The event included an art exhibition by Joyce Hayes, music by tenor Rafael Cavero, and a fashion show by Ca Va Chic Boutique, presented by Dominicci International. The organization’s mission is philanthropy, self-improvement and networking. It meets every month at restaurants in the Dr. Phillips area. For more information, email

Residents attend an annual Easter sunrise service/swim at the home of Southwest-area residents Lucky and Jacquie Meisenheimer.

The Lake Cane Restoration Society, in conjunction with Luckys Lake Swim, will sponsor its seventh annual Easter sunrise service/swim event — Eat. Pray. Swim. — at sunrise April 16. The event typically averages between 250 and 300 attendees and is held each year to raise awareness and funds for a worthy, local cause. This year, the recipient of all donations will be YMCA Aquatic Center’s scholarship fund. Participants don’t have to swim to attend, and breakfast is free for all. Luckys Lake Swimmers volunteer to run the event, and the host site is the home of Southwest-area residents JohnLucky and Jacquie Meisenheimer, longtime supporters of the YMCA Aquatic Center. The Rev. Tom Welch, a board member of the Roper YMCA, will perform the service.

Although we try to ensure that all information presented above is the most current, correct and dependable available, we do rely on others for the source of our news. Therefore, the Southwest Orlando Bulletin and Kearney Publishing Corp. cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information presented here, nor does mentioning it constitute an endorsement. In Your Neighborhood news is welcome and may be mailed to P.O. Box 851, Windermere, FL  34786; or emailed to 💓

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