compiled by Lauren Salinero
As a case manager at South Lake Hospitals’s intensive care unit, Gotha resident Judy Williams, RN, facilitated finding health care services that patients would need once discharged from the unit and ultimately the hospital. At times, hospice was the best option. When she retired three years ago, Judy realized the west Orange County community needed enhanced hospice services, including a Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care inpatient unit at Orlando Health — Health Central Hospital in Ocoee. Inspired by the Lake County organization Women for Hospice, Judy is seeking other members of the community to join her mission to raise funds for the creation of enhanced hospice services to meet the demands of the west Orange community. She recently held a Friends of Cornerstone Hospice cocktail hour at RusTeak in Ocoee to raise awareness and money for her cause. For more information, call Judy at 407-701-1639 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Realtor and Dr. Phillips resident John Scolaro (right) presents the Yard of the Quarter Award to Hidden Springs/Estates residents Brian and Elizabeth Velez.
Brian and Elizabeth Velez were selected as the recent Hidden Springs/Estates Yard of the Quarter winners. The Velez family is deeply entrenched in the Dr. Phillips community. They purchased their Hidden Springs/Estates home in 2004. The couple also went to Dr. Phillips High School, as their two children currently do. Their son is on the Panthers football team, and their daughter is on the varsity cheerleading squad. Brian is the chef at Fresco Cucina Italiana, and Elizabeth co-owns Mondi Hair Salon with her mother. The Velez yard, which has garnered this award twice, recently went through some renovations, including new sand-colored pavers in the driveway, along the sides and back of the home, and on the pool deck; new windows, sliders and a new front door; and new paint on the exterior of the home. The couple was able to create a more contemporary-looking house from the typical ranch-style that is prevalent in Hidden Springs/Estates. They also renovated the back of the home with new pavers, a fire pit and gazebo. The Yard of the Quarter program is sponsored by Realtor and Dr. Phillips resident John Scolaro, who awarded the Velez family a gift certificate from Orchard Supply Hardware.
Home At Last built and turned over two Oakland homes recently to two veterans who were wounded in the Iraq War. The organization partners with Winter Garden Construction and Hensel Phelps Construction, who oversee the combined efforts of several other local building contractors to provide beautiful homes. There have been six homes provided during the past eight years. Home At Last’s seventh home was recently dedicated to the Windfield family. U.S. Marine Sgt. Sean Windfield was wounded during combat operations in Iraq, and he, wife Stacy and their children received keys to their new home during a ceremony a couple of weeks ago. In addition, Lennar Homes joined with Home At Last this year to provide the organization’s eighth home, which was presented to U.S. Army Capt. Elmer Rivera, wife Leyda and their three children July 1.
The Ocoee Fire Department received an ISO Class 1 rating, the highest public protection classification rating that is provided by the Insurance Service Office, which independently evaluates municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. The new rating places the department in the top half of 1 percent of more than 46,000 departments in the nation.
“I want to thank Chief John Miller and his entire team,” said Ocoee Mayor Rusty Johnson. “This is just another example of the dedication that our city employees display in the way that they perform their jobs. This rating assures our citizens and business owners that we are not only making them as safe from fires as we possibly can, but we’re also doing everything we can to keep their insurance rates as low as possible.”
The Manors At Butler Bay
(Front, l. to r.) David Hinshaw, Sarah Grande, Dean Hinshaw, Elijah Langley, Brady O’Malley, (back, l. to r.) Pammy Hinshaw, Sayla and Keira Wojdyla, Jane Langley and Claire O’Malley sew hearts to pass out to their neighbors in The Manors at Butler Bay to honor the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
A group of local children, along with their families, kicked off a “CommUnity” effort to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting. In partnership with Hang a Heart Inc., the children sewed 96 hearts and tagged them with handwritten notes of love, encouragement and acceptance. The hearts were passed out with a letter explaining the child-led mission to every neighbor in The Manors at Butler Bay, a Windermere neighborhood. In the letter, the children requested that neighbors hang their handmade hearts on their front doors for 49 days, to honor the 49 lives lost during the shooting. Community members are hoping The Manors is just the first neighborhood in this movement. They would like to see 48 neighborhoods show their support by following suit, for a total participation of 49 neighborhoods.
Felecia Green (back, second from left), David Rodriquez (front, far right) and Monica Tyson (back, sixth from left) of Winter Garden volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank during Fifth Third Bank’s Feeding Our Communities campaign.
Winter Garden residents Felecia Green, David Rodriquez and Monica Tyson joined fellow Fifth Third Bank coworkers for the Feeding Our Communities campaign. Throughout the course of 31 days, Fifth Third Bank surpassed its goal of collecting 1 million donated meals by collecting 1,076,541. In Florida, customers and employees contributed 58,669 meals through donations and volunteer events. Employees logged 438 service hours at food bank partner organizations throughout the state. In Central Florida, the donations directly support the Summer of Dreams program at After-School All Stars and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
West Orange Chamber of Commerce members celebrate the opening of Orlando Health — West Orange Neurology Specialists. (Photo courtesy of WOCC)
West Orange Chamber of Commerce representatives held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Orlando Health — West Orange Neurology Specialists. 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 wochamber.com. For more information about Orlando Health, visit www.orlandohealth.com.
Girl Scout Troop 4015 members (l. to r.) Leah M., Anjana, Kelsy, Selene, Emma L., Leah H., Emma C., Samantha, J’Nya, Shauna and Elise celebrate the end of their first year as Brownies.
Girl Scout Troop 4015 held its end-of-the-year party at Crayola Experience. The girls celebrated the end of their first year as Brownies by customizing and wrapping their own crayons, sculpting with model magic, drawing with neon markers in the dark room, making their drawings come to life on computer screens and wall projections, making melted wax spin art, painting masks and more. They also were pinned with the Brownie membership pin and disc, showing that they have completed one full year as Brownies, and were sent home with fun challenges to
complete over the summer break.
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